Court of Appeals Outlines Reasons for Disbarring Silver Spring Attorney
Lawyer prohibited from practicing after multiple conduct violations
Silver Spring attorney Garland Montgomery Jarrat Sanderson was disbarred in April.
via court of appeals
The state Court of Appeals issued an opinion last week explaining why it disbarred a Silver Spring-based attorney and found that he violated more than a dozen Maryland rules of conduct in representing several clients over the past seven years.
Garland Montgomery Jarrat Sanderson, a solo practitioner with offices in Baltimore City and Silver Spring, was disbarred in April for transgressions of the Maryland Attorneys’ Rules of Professional Conduct.
The Court of Appeals revealed in an opinion filed July 23 by Judge Joseph Getty its reasoning for disbarring Sanderson.
The Attorney Grievance Commission filed a petition for disciplinary action against Sanderson through the Office of Bar Counsel in the Court of Appeals. The seven-member court unanimously sided with the commission in disbarring Sanderson, ruling against the attorney’s request for a six-month suspension as a suitable sanction.
“Mr. Sanderson, as an attorney, failed to demonstrate the requisite competence, diligence, and communicative abilities required of the profession,” Getty wrote.
Sanderson declined to comment on his disbarment or his future career plans.
Sanderson’s violations began in January 2013, spanning five clients and one non-client through March 2018. They include multiple missed court appearances, mismanaging client funds, failing to delivering settlement proceeds and urging a client to give misinformation to Bar Counsel.
Sharon Ozel retained Sanderson for a personal injury claim in 2015. He negotiated a $6,900 settlement in the case, but didn’t disclose the total to Ozel, according to the court filing.
Sanderson initially gave Ozel a check for $2,000 in July 2016, then another for $2,000 later that month. In December 2016, he gave her a check for $2,900.
Sanderson contacted Ozel a year later while under investigation by the Bar Counsel, instructing her to say she had retained him for a different matter if anyone asked about his representation. He asked her to repeat the instructions back to him “in an apparent attempt to ensure that she memorized the narrative of falsehoods,” Getty wrote.
Sanderson represented the parent of a child in a Child in Need of Assistance case in November 2015 before the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, according to the court filing. Baltimore County Department of Social Services employee Tuesday Racquel Isom-Cyrus testified in the case.
Sanderson approached Isom-Cyrus after the hearing and in a heated exchange, called her a “baby-snatching bitch,” according to the court filing.
“He engaged in a widespread pattern of misusing client funds, failing to properly maintain records associated with his attorney trust account, and engaged in conduct which has the potentiality to bring the profession into disrepute,” Getty wrote.
Sanderson had been a member of the Bar of Maryland since 2005. He primarily represented clients in criminal, personal injury and immigration cases.
Charlie Wright can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org