Attorney Grievance v. Butler

Attorney Grievance Commission v. Lance Butler, III, Misc. Docket AG No. 14, September Term 2016 ATTORNEY MISCONDUCT — DISCIPLINE — DISBARMENT — Respondent, Lance Butler, III, violated Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct 3.3 and 8.4(a), (b), (c), and (d). These violations stemmed from Respondent’s conduct in falsifying and failing to file tax forms for multiple tax years; intentionally misrepresenting to his government employer the existence of, and earnings from, his private law practice and job as a personal trainer; misrepresenting his employment status to obtain a loan deferral; and lying under oath at a deposition and hearing in a prior attorney discipline proceeding. Disbarment is the appropriate sanction for Respondent’s misconduct. Circuit Court for Prince George’s County Case No. CAE16-25945 Argued: September 7, 2017 IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF MARYLAND Misc. Docket AG No. 14 September Term, 2016 ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMMISSION OF MARYLAND v. LANCE BUTLER, III Barbera, C.J., Greene Adkins McDonald Watts Hotten Getty, JJ. Opinion by Barbera, C.J. Filed: October 23, 2017 On June 22, 2016, Petitioner, the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland (“AGC”), acting through Bar Counsel, filed in this Court a Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action (“Petition”) against Respondent, Lance Butler, III. The Petition alleged violations of the Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct (“MLRPC”) 3.3 (Candor Toward the Tribunal) and 8.4 (Misconduct).1 Those violations stemmed from Respondent materially misrepresenting the existence of his private law practice and the status of his personal finances; falsifying his time sheets at his job with a federal agency; submitting false testimony during his deposition and hearing in a prior disciplinary proceeding; making material misrepresentations to the Inspector General of the federal agency at which Respondent was employed; and, for multiple years, failing to file certain tax returns and making misrepresentations on others. Pursuant to Maryland Rules 16-752(a) and 16-757, this Court designated the Honorable Beverly J. Woodard (“the hearing judge”) to hold an evidentiary hearing and make findings of fact and conclusions of law. On September 6, 2016, Respondent was served, pursuant to Rule 19-723(b), with the Petition and “Petitioner’s Request for Admission of Facts and Genuineness of Documents.” Respondent failed to respond to either. On October 6, 2016, Bar Counsel filed a Motion for Order of Default and Military Service Affidavit. On November 28, 2016, the hearing judge entered an Order of Default 1 Effective July 1, 2016, the Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct (“MLRPC”) were renamed the Maryland Attorneys’ Rules of Professional Conduct and recodified, without substantive change, in Title 19 of the Maryland Rules. Because we judge Respondent’s conduct against the extant law at the time of his actions, we refer to the MLRPC throughout. and mailed a copy to Respondent. The order included notice to the parties of the scheduled hearing. Respondent did not move to vacate the Order of Default. The hearing judge held a hearing on January 13, 2017. Respondent did not appear at that hearing. The hearing judge deemed Respondent to have admitted both the averments in the ...

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