Michael B. Mitchell Jr., whose father was a city councilman and state Senator before going to prison for trying to obstruct a federal investigation into what became known as "The Wedtech Scandal," has been quietly disbarred.
The move came in an unusual Maryland Court of Special Appeals opinion published on Sept. 29: "For reasons to be stated in an opinion later to be filed, it is ORDERED, by the Court of Appeals of Maryland, that the Respondent, Michael B. Mitchell, Jr., be, and he is hereby, disbarred, effective immediately, from the further practice of law in the State of Maryland."
The state's online listing of lawyers shows Mitchell disbarred.
[UPDATE] Thanks to the intrepid Justin Fenton, we now have the relevant Attorney Grievance Commission docs:
They say Mitchell failed to do what a client asked him to do in a pair of civil cases against a nursing home and a health insurer. Michell then failed to communicate with the client about what he actually did do—which was stipulate one of the case's dismissal. (The other was filed after the statute of limitations had expired).
Mitchell then did not respond to the Grievance Commission. He did not show for his hearing in the Court of Appeals, either—here's that 48-second video.
The order had the Mitchell Courthouse—named for Michael's grandfather, Clarence M. Mitchell Jr.—buzzing this week. One lawyer told City Paper that Mitchell is well-liked and competent.
A message left at Mitchell's law office on St. Paul Street was not immediately returned. The voicemail box on his cellphone was full.
Mitchell ran a solo practice handling criminal and motor-vehicle matters, state court records indicate.
Mitchell's father, Michael B. Mitchell Sr., was disbarred decades ago after being convicted in state court of stealing $77,000 from the 3-year-old son of a murder victim whose estate he was managing. In 2002, The Sun wrote about his handling of his uncle Parren Mitchell's finances. Former Congressman Parren Mitchell, then in a nursing home, had given Michael Sr. power of attorney. Michael Mitchell Sr., who in the 1970s was touted as a potential mayor, had not paid the nursing home, and had bought a car with Parren Mitchell's income, which included his $60,000 congressional pension.
Parren sued The Sun for violating his privacy—by going to the nursing home to interview him. He did not prevail.
The Mitchell family is political royalty in Maryland. Keiffer Mitchell, a former state delegate and city councilman, now serves in Gov. Larry Hogan's administration. Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. was the NAACP's chief lobbyist for 30 years and one of the main architects of the civil rights movement.