Court of Appeals suspends law license of political gadfly, sports heckler Ficker

Maryland

June 08, 2007|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Sun reporter

Former Montgomery County delegate, county executive candidate and well-known sports heckler Robin K.A. Ficker is out of the practice of law for at least a year.

The Maryland Court of Appeals suspended his law license yesterday, saying that despite four previous warnings, he ran his Bethesda law office in a slipshod way to the detriment of clients.

"I will be back practicing in a year," Ficker said yesterday, adding that his associates will continue to staff the office without him. With his real estate sales business, efforts to roll back the state sales tax and other initiatives, he said, "I've got plenty on my plate."

He blamed animosity against him on his activism - which included winning two lawsuits to allow lawyer solicitation of clients - that has annoyed defense lawyers, judges and politicians.

The 6-1 ruling by the state's highest court suspends his law license indefinitely but allows him to seek readmission in a year.

The dissenting judge wrote that Ficker should be disbarred.

Ficker served one term as a Republican in the House of Delegates from 1979 to 1983 and ran unsuccessfully as an independent for Montgomery County executive last year. In more than 30 years, he placed about 20 initiatives on the ballot, most to limit taxes and most of which failed.

Over 12 years, while sitting behind the opponent's bench at home games of the old Washington Bullets, Ficker earned the reputation as America's most enthusiastic courtside heckler.

Unintimidated by the NBA's biggest stars, Fickler mocked rap lyrics sung by Shaquille O'Neal, recited the names of Scottie Pippen's former girlfriends to his face and served plates of veggies to Charles Barkley's teammates after learning of his distaste of vegetables.

andrea.siegel@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Phillip McGowan contributed to this article.

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