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Posted at 08:50 PM ET, 07/19/2011

Md. lawyer agrees to surrender law license

A longtime player in Montgomery County government and politics has agreed to surrender his law license for at least three months as part of a settlement with Maryland attorney regulators, according to court filings.

Michael Subin, who spent 20 years on the Montgomery County Council, caught the attention of the Attorney Grievance Commission for actions taken at his private law practice. The commission alleged that clients paid him up-front fees, after which he didn’t account for work performed but spent the money anyway.

Subin maintained the issues involved poor bookkeeping. Through his attorney, he said Tuesday that the matters involved only two clients, both of whom were repaid, and neither of whom suffered any financial losses.

His private practice isn’t his only job. Subin also works for County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) as director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Commission. The commission tries to synchronize various criminal justice players in the county, from police to judges to public defenders to jails.

That director position drew attention from the county’s Organizational Reform Commission, which earlier this year recommended it be eliminated. The work could be done by staff members from the County Police Department, according to the commission.

But Leggett’s office argued that the director position was key to the commission’s operations. The County Council decided to keep Subin’s position, said Patrick Lacefield, a spokesman for Leggett.

Lacefield said there is no requirement the director be a licensed attorney, and Subin will continue to direct to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Commission.

Albert D. Brault, a lawyer who represented Subin before the Attorney Grievance Commission, said Subin’s 20 years of legislative experience made him a good fit for the job. “That’s why Ike has him and has confidence in him,” Brault said.

Subin’s original troubles with the Grievance Commission were first reported by the Washington Examiner.

Subin agreed to an “indefinite suspension” from the right to practice law, effective Aug. 1. But the Grievance Commission also gave him the right to reapply within 90 days, according to records filed Friday in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

By  |  08:50 PM ET, 07/19/2011

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