COURT NEWS: Maryland Attorneys Sanctioned & Disbarred in 2020

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  • SANCTIONS AND ACTIONS AFFECTING LICENSURE (FY 2020)
  • AMBE, Jude – Disbarred on October 21, 2019, for failing to represent his client competently and diligently, failing to abide by the scope of representation, failing to adequately communicate with his client, collecting unreasonable fees, failing to safekeep funds in an attorney trust account, failing to take steps to protect his client’s interest upon termination of his representation, failing to maintain candor to the tribunal, knowingly making false statements to Bar Counsel, and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Respondent neglected his client’s immigration case, failed to appear in court, made various material misrepresentations to a tribunal and to Bar Counsel and failed to deposit unearned funds in an attorney trust account.
  • ANTHONY, Steven Cochario – Suspended on August 21, 2019, effective immediately, until further order of the Court of Appeals. ASAKI, David Wayne – Commission Reprimand on July 2, 2019, for failing to provide a written retainer agreement when collecting a contingency fee, representing a client involving a conflict of interest, and failing to safekeep funds in an attorney trust account. Respondent represented a business owned by two individuals in equal shares. Respondent obtained and collected a judgment on behalf of the business but disbursed the funds to only one owner.
  • BALANNIK, Dmitry David – Disbarred by Consent on November 22, 2019, effective January 15, 2020, for failing to represent his client competently and diligently, failing to abide by the scope of representation, failing to adequately communicate with his client, collecting unreasonable fees, failing to take steps to protect his client’s interest upon termination of his representation, failing to reasonably expedite litigation, failing to maintain fairness to opposing parties and counsel, knowingly failing to respond to Bar Counsel, and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. In bankruptcy matters, Respondent failed to comply with court orders, failed to appear at hearings, filed multiple bankruptcy cases to stall legitimate debt collection and foreclosure proceedings, routinely failed to file documents required by the bankruptcy code and failed to correct his clients’ false testimony during a meeting of creditors.
  • BROWN, Warren Anthony – Commission Reprimand on July 25, 2019, for failing to represent his client diligently, failing to adequately communicate with his client and failing to act promptly and decisively in refunding a client’s retainer payments at the time when such representation was terminated.
  • COOKE, Ira Charles – Commission Reprimand on December 23, 2019, for failing to diligently represent his client and failing to adequately communicate with his client. Respondent failed to advise his client regarding the likelihood of success of a Motion for Modification of Sentence before the revisory period expired and failed to adequately explain the scope of his representation to the client.
  • EKEKWE, Olekanma Arnnette – Indefinite Suspension on November 20, 2019, with the right to petition for reinstatement after reinstatement in the District of Columbia, in a reciprocal action from the District of Columbia for failing to represent her client competently and diligently, failing to adequately communicate with her client, collecting unreasonable fees, and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. In a suit against the University of the District of Columbia, Respondent failed to conduct any legal research, failed to correct deficiencies in the complaint, failed to take further action in the matter despite informing her client she would do so, refused to refund any fees to her client, and deliberately falsified an invoice in support of her argument that she was entitled to fees paid by the client.
  • GONZALEZ, Edward – Indefinite Suspension by Consent on September 27, 2019, in a reciprocal action from the District of Columbia, for failing to adequately communicate with his clients, failing to protect his clients’ interests upon termination of his representation, and engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Respondent failed to provide Spanish-speaking clients with translated fee agreements and documents related to bankruptcy filings and threatened to withdraw from representation if clients did not execute new fee agreements to secure the Respondent’s requested fees. JOHNSON, Kim Yvette – Disbarred by Consent on October 4, 2019, effective immediately, for failing to safe-keep funds in an attorney trust account, and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. In a bankruptcy matter, Respondent instructed her client to make unauthorized disbursals and collected attorney’s fees, without court approval and in direct violation of court orders.
  • KANE, Jr., Eugene Ignatius – Indefinite Suspension on August 26, 2019, effective September 25, 2019, for failing to represent his clients competently and diligently, failing to abide by the scope of representation, failing to adequately communicate with his clients, failing to identify a conflict of interest, failing to properly withdraw from representation, filing frivolous pleadings, failure to maintain candor to the tribunal and fairness to opposing parties and counsel, knowingly making a false statement of material fact, knowingly failing to respond to Bar Counsel and engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Respondent provided inaccurate legal advice to clients to the detriment of those clients, repeatedly failed to communicate with clients regarding the status of their cases and made misrepresentations in his personal bankruptcy and tax return filings.
  • KAUFMAN, Kenneth Steven – Disbarred on November 22, 2019, for failing to represent his client competently and diligently, failing to abide by the scope of representation, failing to adequately communicate with his client, collecting unreasonable fees, failing to take steps to protect his client’s interest upon termination of his representation, knowingly failing to respond to Bar Counsel, and engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Respondent failed to communicate with his client regarding the status of her case, ignored her many attempts to contact him, failed to respond to or oppose motions for summary judgment, failed to appear at two hearings, failed to inform his client that her case was dismissed, failed to inform his client of pending punitive sanctions, and failed to participate in the attorney grievance proceeding.
  • LOVE, Jonathan Frederick Seamon – Commission Reprimand on July 1, 2019, for failing to provide competent and diligent representation, failing to adequately communicate his client, collecting unreasonable fees and engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Respondent failed to respond to a request for discovery in his client’s divorce matter, failed to adequately communicate with his client prior to her merits hearing, and failed to advise his client that the outstanding attorney’s fees had significantly exceeded Respondent’s initial estimate.
  • McKENNA, Christopher Benedict – Reprimand by Consent on November 20, 2019, for committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as an attorney. Respondent was convicted of criminal harassment.
  • NOLAN, Terrence Michael – Commission Reprimand on July 25, 2019, for failing to safekeep unearned fees in his attorney trust account and failing to obtain his client’s informed consent, confirmed in writing, to hold the funds outside of trust.
  • OSTENDORF, Jason Alan – Commission Reprimand on August 26, 2019, for failing to safekeep unearned fees in an attorney trust account. Respondent collected a fee from his client in the amount of $20,000.00 and failed to deposit any of those funds in his attorney trust account until earned.
  • PANTELEAKIS, Nicholas Peter – Disbarred by Consent on August 12, 2019, effective September 3, 2019, for failing to maintain candor to the tribunal, committing a criminal act that that reflects adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness and fitness as an attorney and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Respondent made false statements to a detective and an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigations regarding the whereabouts of Respondent’s girlfriend. In addition, Respondent represented his girlfriend in her child custody matter and made false statements to the Court regarding the whereabouts of the minor child.
  • PHAROAH, Marie Lott – Commission Reprimand on December 4, 2019, for failing to safekeep unearned fees in her attorney trust account, failing to obtain her client’s informed consent, confirmed in writing, to hold the funds in a non-trust account, and failing to keep contemporaneous time records in order to provide her client with an accurate invoice.
  • PLANTA, William Clark – Disbarred on December 6, 2019, effective immediately, by Per Curiam Order. Opinion of the Court of Appeals to follow.
  • REED, James Kevin – Disbarred by Consent on October 24, 2019, effective immediately, for failing to adequately communicate with his client, failing to safekeep funds in an attorney trust account, knowingly failing to respond to a request for information by Bar Counsel, knowingly making false statements to Bar Counsel, committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as an attorney, and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, and that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Respondent misappropriated client funds and provided falsified bank statements during Bar Counsel’s investigation.
  • RILEY, Nina M. – Commission Reprimand on July 24, 2019, for the unauthorized practice of law and engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Respondent appeared on behalf of her client in a criminal matter despite the fact that she is not admitted to the Maryland Bar. After the court advised that Respondent was unable to participate in the Maryland matter, she drafted a “Pro Per” Motion for Reconsideration and Evaluation by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene which was subsequently filed with the court.
  • ROLLINS, III, Edward Dorsey Ellis – Suspended by Consent for sixty (60) days on August 21, 2019, effective September 1, 2019, for engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Respondent received probation before judgement for one count of disorderly conduct and one count of indecent exposure. (See below)
  • ROMELL, Luke – Commission Reprimand on December 3, 2019, for engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Without the permission of the court, Respondent took possession of a shirt that had been admitted into evidence as one of the State’s exhibits, removed the shirt from the courtroom and instructed his client to try on the shirt. Respondent’s conduct delayed the proceedings and prejudiced the orderly administration of the trial.
  • ROTHMAN, Michael Steven – Commission Reprimand on December 23, 2019, for failing to adequately communicate with his client, failing to safekeep funds in his attorney trust account, and failing to take steps to protect his client’s interest upon termination of his representation. Respondent withdrew funds from his attorney trust account before they were earned and left his client’s file in a public area outside of his office.
  • RYAN, III, Charles Joseph – Indefinite Suspension by Consent on November 20, 2019, for disclosing confidential client information, failing to uphold his duty to a former client, and engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. Respondent represented a current client in litigation filed against a former client involving licenses for cellular and broadband multimedia services. During his representation of the current client, Respondent disclosed confidential information obtained during his representation of the former client.
  • SAVINGTON, Richard Lee – Disbarred by Consent on October 23, 2019, for committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as an attorney, and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, and that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Respondent failed to disclose to law enforcement that his client was hiding in Respondent’s home and Respondent was convicted of harboring a fugitive.
  • SINGH, Raj Sanjeet – Suspended for sixty (60) days on July 17, 2019, effective August 16, 2019, for failing to represent his clients diligently, failing to adequately communicate with his clients, representing a client involving a conflict of interest, failing to safekeep unearned fees in an attorney trust account, knowingly making a false statement to Bar Counsel, engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, and engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Respondent represented both spouses in an immigration matter, failed to communicate regarding conditions on the resident status of the immigrant spouse before a two-year limitations period, and undertook to advise one spouse on whether he could bring criminal charges against the other spouse. In addition, Respondent gave a misleading statement under oath to Bar Counsel about whether he usually complied with rules requiring deposit of client funds in an attorney trust account.
  • TOLAR, Jane – Suspended by Consent for sixty (60) days on August 19, 2019, effective September 20, 2019, for knowingly making a false statement of material fact and knowingly failing to respond to Bar Counsel. Respondent misrepresented to Bar Counsel’s investigator that she had not received or seen a copy of the complaint filed against her and failed to respond to Bar Counsel’s numerous requests for information.
  • TSIMPEDES, Athanasios Theodore – Indefinite Suspension by Consent on August 12, 2019, effective September 1, 2019, in a reciprocal action from the Supreme Court of New Jersey, for failing to safekeep unearned fees in an attorney trust account, knowingly failing to respond to a request for information by the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics and engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Respondent failed to create and maintain records associated with the receipt and disbursement of the client and third-party funds and commingled funds in his attorney trust account.
  • TURNER, John Winfield – Disbarred by Consent on October 24, 2019, effective immediately, for committing a criminal act that reflects adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as an attorney and engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Respondent was convicted of three counts of possession of child pornography.
  • UGWUONYE, Ephraim Chukwuemeka – Disbarred on December 9, 2019, in a reciprocal action from the District of Columbia, for failing to adequately communicate with his clients, collecting unreasonable fees, failing to safekeep funds in his attorney trust account, and engaging in behavior that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Respondent recklessly misappropriated client funds.
  • WALTON, Charles Earl – Reprimand by Consent on October 21, 2019, for failing to represent his client diligently, failing to adequately communicate with his client, and engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. In an EEOC matter, Respondent failed to appear for the Oral Argument.
  • WOO, David B. – Disbarred by Consent on December 3, 2019, for failing to represent his client competently and diligently, collecting unreasonable fees, failing to adequately communicate with his client, failing to safekeep funds in his attorney trust account, and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. Respondent misappropriated approximately $28,000 of funds intended to pay his clients’ creditors and failed to disburse in a timely manner $3,000 held in trust and due to a third party
Cecil County States Attorney Edward Dorsey Ellis Rollins III mugshot from Worcester County jail on indecent exposure charge

Cecil Prosecutor Edward Rollins Guilty Sentenced to 90 days in jail and mental treatment in Balcony SEXscapade at Maryland States Attorney Convention

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