Super fan Ficker's law license suspended Court cites lax practices by firm run by longtime heckler on Bullets' behalf

March 11, 1998|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

The Maryland Court of Appeals suspended yesterday the law license of Robin Ficker, the former Montgomery County delegate and chief heckler at Washington Bullets games, for running his high-volume Bethesda law practice "like a taxicab company."

He dispatched to court whichever lawyer in his office was available, and supervision in his office was so lax that he and others in his practice failed to appear in court, according to the 36-page opinion. Lawyers who worked for him allegedly appeared in court unprepared and, in one case, one of his lawyers went to the wrong court.

The unanimous ruling gives Ficker a month to notify clients and stop practicing law. It allows him to apply to regain his license after 120 days under terms that include running his office in such a way that lawyers assigned to cases do not miss court dates and having another lawyer monitor his practice for at least two years.

Ficker, who was reprimanded in 1990 for what the court called "similar inattention to detail," relayed through his law aide that he had not seen the opinion and could not comment on it.

Of eight misconduct and related allegations made by the Attorney Grievance Commission, the court found four violations. The complaints were about cases between 1988 and 1992.

"We are disappointed that a period of any suspension was imposed. But we are very pleased that the court rejected the Attorney Grievance Commission's efforts to have Mr. Ficker suspended for a much greater period," said Ficker's attorney, Stanley Reed.

Ficker's law firm handles a high volume of criminal and motor vehicle cases. In the early 1990s, his letter soliciting clients drew unfavorable attention from the General Assembly and courts.

Ficker, who was long a thorn in the side of the Bullets' opponents, particularly the better-known players, declined to transfer his allegiance when the team moved to Washington's downtown MCI Center and became the Wizards.

The Wizards wouldn't offer him the same seat behind the visitors' bench, saying those seats would be reserved for the disabled -- a plan that was later changed -- and he declined a seat behind the basket.

Ficker was known throughout the league for his antics. Among others, he loved to taunt Charles Barkley, who nevertheless once called Ficker the "the best fan in the NBA."

Pub Date: 3/11/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.