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Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v. Ogilvie

Court of Appeals of Maryland

March 23, 2018

ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMMISSION OF MARYLAND
v.
CLAIRE L. K. K. OGILVIE

          Argued: March 1, 2018

          Barbera, C.J., Greene, Adkins, McDonald, Watts, Hotten, Getty, JJ.

          OPINION

          GREENE, J.

         Claire L. K. K. Ogilvie ("Respondent") was admitted to the Maryland Bar on February 5, 2007. On August 18, 2014, Respondent was indicted in the Circuit Court for the City of Charlottesville, Virginia. Commonwealth of Virginia v. Claire L. K. Kennedy Ogilvie, Case Nos. CR 1400209-01, CR 1400209-02, and CR 1400209-03. The indictment charged Respondent with one count of felony breaking and entering while armed with a deadly weapon, [1] one count of felony malicious wounding, and one count of felony abduction. On January 23, 2015, Respondent entered an Alford plea[2] to the charges of felony breaking and entering, felony malicious wounding, and felony abduction in violation of the Va. Code Ann. §§ 18.2-90, 18.2-91, 18.2-51, 18.2-47. On January 23, 2015, the Honorable John Cullen found the facts sufficient to support an Alford plea and sentenced Respondent to fifty years of incarceration, with forty-six years suspended and supervised probation for an indefinite period of time, with additional conditions of probation. We issued a per curiam order disbarring Respondent on March 6, 2018. Now we explain our reasons for imposing the sanction of disbarment.

         On March 30, 2016, the Attorney Grievance Commission ("Petitioner"), acting through Bar Counsel, petitioned this Court for disciplinary action pursuant to Maryland Rule 19-738(c), [3] because of Respondent's criminal convictions and sentencing in Virginia. Petitioner alleged that Respondent had engaged in professional misconduct and that she violated the Maryland Attorneys' Rules of Professional Conduct ("MARPC") 19-308.4 which provides, in relevant part:

         It is professional misconduct for an attorney to:

(a) violate or attempt to violate the Maryland Attorneys' Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;
(b) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the attorney's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as an attorney in other respects;
(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation;
(d) engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice[.]

         On March 31, 2016, this Court issued a Show Cause Order directing Respondent to show cause in writing why she should not be suspended immediately.[4] On May 17, 2016, Respondent filed a letter with this Court responding to the Show Cause Order. In the May 17 letter, Respondent stated, in relevant part:

I do not think I should lose my ability to practice law because of my 2014 convictions.
* * *
[] I do not feel that my charges violate the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct. While these convictions would reflect adversely on myself as a person, they do not do so on my honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness to practice law specifically. Although an attorney is personally answerable to all criminal laws, she should be professionally answerable only for those offenses indicating a lack of characteristics desirable and relevant to law practice, such as those involving dishonesty, fraud, or the like.
In addition, my experiences while incarcerated have in fact made me more fit to practice law. The injustices I've witnessed and experienced, including those committed by my own attorney, have opened my eyes to the inadequate resources available to defendants, and the ...

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