FIGHTING JUDGES OF MARYLAND Sanctions against Montgomery County Judge Candidate Marylin Pierre, who used the Stanalonis Defense from St. Mary’s County 2014 campaign; Bar Counsel Linda Lawless quits after being lectured on ethics by Supreme Court Justice Watts

SCROLL DOWN for the once-in-a-lifetime exchange between Zooming Justice Shirley Watts as she divebombed Bar Counsel Linda Lawless

The complaint against Stanalonis by the AGC was dismissed, and he was later appointed in 2018 as Circuit Court Judge by Governor Larry Hogan.

Stanalonis Cleared by Court

Maryland Supreme Justice Shirley M. Watts, on Zoom, grills Linda Lawless on the ethics of taking a complaint against a candidate in the Montgomery County Judge Election.
Marylin Pierre-counsel-left-AGC-Bar-Counsel-Linda-Lawless-being-quizzed-by-Justice-Watts-on-her-ethics-weeks-before-suddenly-resigning- a few weeks later.

From Irwin R. Kramer

In Attorney Grievance Comm’n v. Marylin Pierre, Bar Counsel pressed charges against a grassroots challenger for a seat on the Circuit Court for Montgomery County. Within an hour of receiving campaign literature from incumbent judges seeking to defeat their rival, Bar Counsel opened an official state investigation and worked with the Sitting Judges campaign to compile evidence against Ms. Pierre.

Worried “that Judiciary resources are being used to intervene in this sitting judges election campaign,” Justice Shirley Watts expressed concern over an “appearance of impropriety” in favoring one campaign over another:

JUSTICE WATTS: So in addition to a question about a broad conflict in the use of Judiciary resources and potentially intervening or being perceived as intervening in the sitting judge’s election, I have a question about professional conflict of interest where you as Bar Counsel are concerned.
You receive the email as a member of the Montgomery County Bar Association in that capacity. It was not a complaint to your office. How would a reasonable member of the public know whether in initiating this investigation, you were acting in your capacity as Bar Counsel or as a member of the Montgomery County Bar Association with an interest in helping the campaign as requested?

MS. LAWLESS: Your Honor, it’s because I was acting in my official capacity as Bar Counsel. All correspondence sent and received were in my official capacity as Bar Counsel.

JUSTICE WATTS: So the answer is basically, we would take your word for it?

Circuit judge candidates, clockwise from the top left, are: David Alan Boynton, Marylin Pierre, Christopher C. Fogleman, Michael Joseph McAuliffe, and Bibi M. Berry. Credit: File photos

Sanctions against Marylin Pierre and text of complaint of Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland

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