SHE’S THE LAW: BALTIMORE STATE ATTORNEY MARILYN MOSBY - DISBARMENT CHARGES FILED
Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby has been lauded by many, yet vilified by more. She rose to instant political fame when she stood in all of her #BlackGirlMagic, and professed to the nation that charges would be brought against the six police officers accused of causing the untimely death of Freddie Gray. Attorney Mosby was instantly publicized to the black community as a beacon of change following the many instances of police brutality and abuse of power the nation has witnessed for many years. This smart, intelligent, and beautiful woman did what many in the community felt was necessary, and that was diligently prosecute the police officers for depraved heart murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and misconduct, yet several legal professionals see her moves as a violation of the law.
John Banzhaf, a law professor at George Washington University, filed a complaint with the Maryland Bar Attorney Grievance Committee seeking Mosby’s disbarment. In his 10 page complaint (http://www.wbaltv.com/blob/view/-/40278832/data/1/-/gt8p2t/-/Mosby-Bar-Complaint.pdf), Banzhaf accuses Mosby of filing charges against the officers to put a halt to the civil unrest that existed in Baltimore after Freddie Gray’s death, and not because there was probable cause. He refers to Mosby as a “runaway prosecutor”, and alleges that she violated ethics rules.
Specifically, the list of complaints against Mosby are as follows:
that she did not have probable cause to believe that there was sufficient admissible evidence to support a conviction of the officers;
that she made public statements regarding the case which were false; that she improperly withheld evidence from the defense that was exculpatory; that she continued to prosecute cases after the judge assigned to hear the cases found insufficient evidence to support a conviction; that she engaged in conduct that was dishonest, fraudulent, deceitful and which misrepresented the facts in the case.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
For the record, anybody can file a complaint against any attorney, anytime they damn well choose to. Just because someone files a complaint, or seeks punishment against an attorney, the simple filing does not automatically equate to the attorney being held responsible for what is being alleged. Once the complaint against an attorney has been filed with the grievance committee of that particular state, the committee will review the claims and determine if the complaint is accepted. If the complaint is accepted by the committee, they will investigate the claims brought, and will also seek information, evidence, and statements from the attorney as well. The extent of the grievance investigation depends on the charges alleged.
If the committee determines that the claims are valid, they are the ones to decide the fate of the attorney. This could include sanctions, public reprimand, suspension, or disbarment. An attorney can appeal a decision of the committee if they do not agree with its decision, and even if disbarred, an attorney may be reinstated upon application to that particular bar.
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT YOU?
I have had an opposing party file false claims against me to an attorney grievance committee. This tactic is sometimes used for strategic purposes to attempt to take an attorney, or their client, off of their game. It is my personal opinion that these “learned lawyers” who are coming for Attorney Mosby are doing so in an attempt to send a message. This complaint filed against her is legal intimidation at its finest.
If you are a former, current or purported client of an attorney, you do have a right to file a complaint against them for violating any model / professional rules of responsibility (http://www.americanbar.org/groups/professional_responsibility/publications/model_rules_of_professional_conduct/model_rules_of_professional_conduct_table_of_contents.html). Additionally, as evidenced by this string of events against Attorney Mosby, if an attorney is thought to have damaged public interest or safety, a member of that community may file a complaint as well. The most important aspect of it all is to ensure any complaint made actually has merit and harm has been done.