[photo, 200 Harry S Truman Parkway, Annapolis, Maryland] Created in 1975 by Rule of the Court of Appeals, the Attorney Grievance Commission investigates complaints against lawyers practicing in Maryland and administers discipline to them (Maryland Rule 19-702). It also supervises the inactive status of lawyers and monitors nonmembers of the Maryland Bar who practice in Maryland. The Commission approves all recommendations for dismissal or reprimand made by the Bar Counsel or Peer Review Panels and may direct that public charges be filed against an attorney. All reprimands are public. The Commission meets monthly (Maryland Rule 19-702).

200 Harry S Truman Parkway, Annapolis, Maryland, March 2020. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

The Commission is funded by annual assessments paid by attorneys wishing to practice in Maryland which constitute the Disciplinary Fund (Maryland Rule 19-705). A portion of the fee also is deposited in the Clients' Protection Fund of the Bar of Maryland. The Disciplinary Fund reimburses clients and third-parties for losses (not recoverable from other sources) caused by misuse of client money.

Twelve members make up the Commission. They consist of nine lawyers and three lay persons appointed to three-year terms by the Court of Appeals. The Chair and Vice-Chair are named by the Court of Appeals. The Commission selects the Executive Secretary (Maryland Rule 19-702).

The Commission formerly was located at the People's Resource Center, 100 Community Place, Crownsville, Maryland. It moved to its present Annapolis site in April 2015.


Subject to approval of the Court of Appeals, the Commission appoints an attorney to serve as Bar Counsel and principal executive officer of the disciplinary system. The Bar Counsel and staff investigate all matters involving possible misconduct, prosecute disciplinary proceedings, and investigate petitions for reinstatement (Maryland Rule 19-703, 19-711 through 19-718).

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