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David D. Downes, Esq., Chair (chosen by Court of Appeals), 2006
Linda H. Lamone, Esq., Vice-Chair (chosen by Court of Appeals), 2006
[photo, 100 Community Place, Crownsville, Maryland] Appointed by Court of Appeals to 3-year terms: Louise T. Keelty, Esq., 2006; Barry P. Gossett, 2006; Cornelia Bright Gordon, Esq., 2007; Gilda O. Karpouzian, 2007; Linda Bowler Pierson, 2007; B. Harriette Taylor, Esq., 2007; John A. Bielec, Esq., 2008; J. Donald Braden, Esq., 2008; Jerald S. Sachs, 2008; Mayda C. Tsaknis, Esq., 2008.

100 Community Place, Crownsville, Maryland, February 2006. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

Melvin Hirshman, Esq., Bar Counsel
Glenn M. Grossman, Esq., Deputy Bar Counsel
Kendall R. Ruffatto, Esq., Executive Secretary

Meetings: 3rd Wednesday

People's Resource Center, Suite 3301
100 Community Place, Crownsville, MD 21032 - 2027
(410) 514-7051; 1-800-492-1660 (toll free, Maryland)

Created in 1975 by Rule of the Court of Appeals, the Attorney Grievance Commission investigates complaints against lawyers practicing in Maryland and administers discipline to them. It also supervises the inactive status of lawyers and monitors nonmembers of the Maryland Bar who practice in Maryland. The Commission approves all recommendations for dismissal or reprimand made by the Bar Counsel or Peer Review Panels and may direct that public charges be filed against an attorney. All reprimands are public (Maryland Rule 16-711).

Subject to approval of the Court of Appeals, the Commission appoints an attorney to serve as Bar Counsel and principal executive officer of the disciplinary system. The Bar Counsel and staff investigate all matters involving possible misconduct, prosecute disciplinary proceedings, and investigate petitions for reinstatement (Maryland Rule 16-712).

The Commission is funded by annual assessments paid by attorneys wishing to practice in Maryland. A portion of the fee also is deposited in the Clients' Protection Fund of the Bar of Maryland. The Fund reimburses clients and third-parties for losses (not recoverable from other sources) caused by misuse of client money.

Nine lawyers and three lay persons appointed by the Court of Appeals make up the Commission. They serve three-year terms. The chair is named by the Court. The Commission meets monthly.


Peer Review Panels began as Inquiry Panels first created from the Inquiry Committee in 1975. The Panels reorganized under their present name in July 2001. To resolve disputes, Peer Review Panels may be formed to meet informally with complainants and respondents. Panels are created as needed in Baltimore City or in whichever county holds the main office of the attorney against whom a complaint is filed.

A peer review panel consists of at least two attorneys and one lay member. It is appointed by the Peer Review Committee of the Attorney Grievance Commission after notification to the appropriate bar association and the general public (Maryland Rule 16-742).

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 Maryland Manual On-Line, 2009

July 1, 2009   
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