A prominent Maryland medical malpractice lawyer has been accused by the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland (“AGC”) of numerous conflicts of interest and engaging in an allegedly improper scheme by seeking a $25 million payment directly to him by way of a sham consulting agreement with a large hospital system in Maryland in exchange for him remaining silent as to issues he allegedly uncovered regarding the hospital system’s transplantation program gained from his representation of two medical malpractice plaintiffs, and his agreement not to represent other medical malpractice plaintiffs against the hospital system in the future.
The AGC alleges in its petition seeking disciplinary action against the lawyer (“Respondent”) that “Respondent knew that he could not demand any funds from UMMS [University of Maryland Medical System] in exchange for his silence. The Respondent also knew that Rule 5.6(b) of the Rules of Professional Conduct prohibited him from “participating in offering or making  an agreement in which a restriction on the attorney’s right to practice is part of the settlement of a client controversy.” The Respondent, aware of the prohibitions that he faced, developed a plan by which he could shroud his unlawful demand in legitimacy by entering into a consultancy or retainer agreement. The sham agreement would purport to retain the Respondent as a consultant, but the reality of the situation would be that the Respondent would receive $25 million in exchange for his silence.”
The AGC further claimed “Respondent stated that he had a “gold mine” and he was not giving it up. He stated that he would settle the J.S. case for whatever it was worth and that UMMS would pay him $25 million directly to act as a consultant in the future to conflict him out of any future case. When Ms. Kinter [UMMS’s lawyer] stated that she thought the $25 million demand was for the J.S. case, the Respondent replied that M.S. did not “deserve” that much money and that the $25 million was for him.”
The AGC also alleged that “Respondent confirmed that the $25 million was for him personally and that it was his opinion that the J.S. case was “not worth that much money.” He estimated the value of the J.S. case to be $3-5 million. The Respondent stated that the $25 million would help with his “legacy.” When asked what he proposed to do to earn a $25 million consulting fee, the Respondent said, “I could be a janitor.” The Respondent stated that it would be a “tragedy” if UMMS did not pay him, that Ms. Kinter would get fired and that the hospital would say, “how the fuck did you let this happen.””
The AGC’s Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action dated July 13, 2020 charges that the Maryland medical malpractice lawyer violated various Maryland Attorneys’ Rules of Professional Conduct and requests the Maryland Court of Appeals “Take such disciplinary action against the Respondent as it deems appropriate,” as well as seeking other relief.
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