Attorney Grievance v. Ndi

Attorney Grievance Commission v. Benjamin N. Ndi Misc. Docket AG No. 14, September Term 2017 Attorney Discipline – Misappropriation of Client Funds – Unauthorized Practice of Law – Misrepresentations to Clients and to Bar Counsel – Disbarment. Disbarment is the appropriate sanction when an out-of-state attorney failed to represent two clients competently and diligently and to communicate with them adequately concerning their cases, failed to inform potential clients of the jurisdictional limitations of his law practice, engaged in the unauthorized practice of personal injury law in Maryland and mishandled the proceeds of that action, failed to respond to Bar Counsel’s investigation in a timely manner, and made various dishonest and false statements to his clients and Bar Counsel. MLRPC 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.15, 1.16, 5.5, 7.1, 7.5, 8.1, 8.4; Maryland Rules 19-308.1, 19- 308.4, 19-404 (formerly Maryland Rule 16-604). Circuit Court for Montgomery County Case No. 433731 Argument: April 10, 2018 IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF MARYLAND Misc. Docket AG No. 14 September Term, 2017 ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMMISSION OF MARYLAND V. BENJAMIN N. NDI ______________________________________ Barbera, C.J. Greene Adkins McDonald Watts Hotten Getty, JJ. ______________________________________ Opinion by McDonald, J. ______________________________________ Filed: May 1, 2018 This attorney disciplinary matter concerns Respondent Benjamin N. Ndi, an attorney licensed in New York, but not in Maryland, who committed various violations of the rules of professional conduct, as well as of a related rule concerning the use of attorney trust accounts, while providing immigration and other legal services in Maryland. Mr. Ndi did not cooperate fully with Bar Counsel’s investigation into his activities in Maryland, failed to respond to discovery requests in this proceeding, and did not appear at the evidentiary hearing before the hearing judge or at oral argument before this Court. Following oral argument, we disbarred Mr. Ndi and ordered the Clerk of this Court to place his name on the list of attorneys who are excluded from the practice of law in Maryland.1 We now explain the reasons why we took that action. I Background A. Procedural Context On June 8, 2017, the Attorney Grievance Commission (“Commission”), through Bar Counsel, filed with this Court a Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action against Mr. Ndi. The Commission charged him with violating Rules 1.1 (competence), 1.3 (diligence), 1.4 (communication), 1.5 (fees), 1.15 (safekeeping property), 1.16 (declining or terminating representation), 5.5 (unauthorized practice of law), 7.1 (communications concerning lawyer’s services), 7.5 (firm names and letterheads), 8.1 (bar admission and disciplinary matters), and 8.4 (misconduct) of the Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Profession- 1 See Maryland Rule 19-742(g). al Conduct (“MLRPC”), as well as Maryland Rule 19-308.1 (bar admission and disciplinary matters) and Maryland Rule 19-308.4 (misconduct) of the Maryland Attorneys’ Rules of Professional Conduct (“MARPC”).2 He was also charged with violating former Maryland Rules 16-603 (duty to maintain trust account) and 16-604 (trust account – required deposits).3 Pursuant to Maryland Rule 19-722, this Court designated Judge Joan E. Ryon, of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, to conduct a hearing and to provide ...

Original document
Source: All recent Immigration Decisions In All the U.S. Courts of Appeals