A once prominent Virginia divorce lawyer has been disbarred in Maryland, less than a year after his Virginia law license was revoked based on charges of dishonesty and mismanagement of client funds.
Glenn C. Lewis – the 2007 president of the Virginia Bar Association – abandoned his once-busy law practice in the fall of 2011, according to the findings of the Maryland Court of Appeals, which disbarred Lewis Feb. 27.
The Maryland action was based on a client’s claim that Lewis gave up work on her divorce case within weeks of a scheduled trial amid discussions on terms of a settlement agreement. Lewis also misappropriated her retainer money for his personal benefit, Maryland bar authorities said.
Lewis did not attend the Maryland disciplinary hearing last May and offered no evidence or arguments in opposition to the disciplinary proceedings, according to the Court of Appeals opinion.
“Here, we find Lewis’s conduct to be particularly egregious and deleterious to not only his client, but to the public perception of lawyers at-large,” wrote Judge Sally D. Adkins for the Maryland court.
Before the collapse of his law firm in 2011, Lewis was sought after by both well-heeled clients and media figures. For 14 years, he hosted and produced a Fairfax-based cable television program on the law. He bragged about his $850 hourly fee.
Lewis’s expertise in divorce law and involvement in bar activities brought statewide recognition in Virginia.
Besides his election as VBA president, Lewis received a lifetime achievement award from the VSB’s family law section in 2004. He was a member of the Virginia State Bar Council and the VSB’s Special Committee on Access to Legal Services. He served as president of the Fairfax Bar Association in 1995-96.
Lewis’s disbarment in Virginia last May followed charges that he spent fees paid by two clients without doing any substantive work for either.