Court of Appeals votes to disbar former city school board chief Evidence against Hollis called 'clear, convincing'

November 08, 1997|By Andrea F. Siegel and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Andrea F. Siegel and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

The Court of Appeals disbarred former Baltimore school board President Meldon S. Hollis Jr. yesterday for misappropriating about $90,000 from a client and lying about what happened to the money.

Maryland's highest court took the action after the state Attorney Grievance Commission filed a petition last year to take away Hollis' law license.

In a 17-page ruling, the court called the evidence "clear and convincing.

"No compelling extenuating circumstances were found to exist," the unanimous court held. "Therefore, appropriate sanction is disbarment."

Hollis, who was admitted to the bar on June 17, 1987, would not comment. He was school board president from December 1987 to September 1988.

The court based its ruling on the findings of Baltimore City Circuit Judge Richard T. Rombro, who presided over a two-day hearing in April 1996.

After that hearing, Rombro found that Hollis violated rules of professional conduct while representing Dr. Leroy Amar by transferring money from an escrow account to his operating account and using the funds to pay expenses for his law office.

Rombro also rejected Hollis' explanations that the dispute grew out of a misunderstanding about legal fees and that the money was a loan.

All attorney discipline cases go through Circuit Court, where judges research facts. The cases then reach the Court of Appeals, where penalties are weighed.

Pub Date: 11/08/97

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