Bob Clark hosted attorney, Irwin Kramer on his program Everyday Law, in a wide-ranging discussion of practice before Maryland's Attorney Grievance Commission.
Mr. Kramer has developed a unique practice assisting lawyers in need who have the ill-fortune to come before the AGC for problems associated with their law practices. Mr. Kramer noted the high incidence of alcoholism, drug abuse and mental health crises among members of the practicing bar, which have adverse effects on their actions.
He noted the many people working with the Maryland State Bar Association provide assistance to lawyers in extremis, including prior Everyday Law guests Lisa Caplan and Reena Shah. Mr. Kramer expressed concern that many members of the bar in Maryland are often unaware of the resources available to them through the MSBA and other organizations.
His recent MSBA publication " Caring for our colleagues" notes that many members of the bar look down on their colleagues in crisis rather than recognizing that similar fates could befall them and decries the tendency of the AGC to punish attorneys rather than try and help them.
Irwin suggests that a series of measures to provide remedial education, mentorship and community service, might be more effective in helping lawyers overcome mistakes and deficiencies, rather than disbarment, suspension and professional humiliation.