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Election 2022 Government & Politics Justice

Robin Ficker Is Disbarred; Pledges His Gubernatorial Bid Will Continue

Robin Ficker, a perennial candidate making a 2022 bid for the Republican nomination for governor, talks with diners at the J. Millard Tawes Clam Bake and Crab Feast. Photo by Danielle E. Gaines.

Robin Ficker has been disbarred by the Maryland Court of Appeals.

The colorful Montgomery County defense attorney, a Republican candidate for governor, confirmed on Friday that he was barred from practicing law this week, following a lengthy disbarment process initiated by the state’s Attorney Grievance Commission.

Ficker was recommended for disbarment following his handling of a 2018 District Court case in which he represented a man accused of driving without a license. He was accused of “a slate of violations of the Maryland Attorneys’ Rules of Professional Conduct.”

According to the high court’s 37-page ruling, Ficker was found to have failed to appear for a trial, “assured the trial judge that his office had contacted his absent client about the trial date without a basis to believe that assurance to be true,” and made “contradictory statements as to whether he had personally signed a continuance motion that contained misstatements and that in fact had been signed and filed by his office assistant (a disbarred former attorney).”

In stripping the 78-year-old Ficker of his law license, the court noted that he has been flagged for misconduct repeatedly through his career.

“In all, three generations of Bar Counsel have brought charges and 27 members of this Court have deliberated whether a particular sanction for Mr. Ficker’s repeated infractions would deter further such practices and thus protect those who seek out his services,” the judges said. “The Court’s prior deliberations resulted in private reprimands, public reprimands, and indefinite suspensions of Mr. Ficker from the practice of law.”

Ficker is one of five candidates running for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. His running mate is LeRoy F. Yegge, Jr. of Baltimore County.

Although he served one term in the House of Delegates, representing Bethesda, in late 1970s and early 1980s, Ficker is best known for dozens of unsuccessful political campaigns and ballot initiatives, and his high-volume heckling of Washington Bullets/Wizards opponents.

His 2022 campaign is his 21st run for political office. Ficker has also launched dozens of ballot initiatives over the years, and a handful have been embraced by voters, including a 2016 effort to limit the number of terms that Montgomery County officials can serve and a 2008 vote to require a unanimous vote of the Montgomery County Council to raise property tax revenues beyond the rate of inflation.

Reached late Friday, Ficker said disbarment does not necessarily mean the end of his legal career, because he could apply for reinstatement. Ficker was previously suspended from the practice of law in 1998 and 2007, on charges similar to those in this week’s opinion. He managed to get his license reinstated following the prior two episodes.

Asked if he intended to do so now, Ficker said he wasn’t sure. “We’ll see,” he said. “I’m pretty busy.”

In addition to running for governor on a pledge to cut the state’s sales tax two cents and his law practice, Ficker is also a real estate broker.

“It’s political,” he said of the Court of Appeals decision. The legal establishment opposes his pursuit of rules allowing attorneys to solicit clients, potentially enticing them with lower fees, he said.

“I’ve completed 40,000 cases over 46 years,” he added. “Clients aren’t complaining. It’s just some judges and attorneys.”

Ficker said he does not plan to suspend his gubernatorial campaign and will participate in two forums on the environment that are scheduled for next week and co-sponsored by Maryland Matters. “I’ll be there!” he said.

Louis Peck contributed to this report.


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Robin Ficker Is Disbarred; Pledges His Gubernatorial Bid Will Continue