Judge Silkworth has rendered his findings of fact and conclusions of law in Bill Erskine's attorney grievance complaint against us. After 16 days of trial, which many of you attended, (and we thank you so much for that), Judge Silkworth found we had not committed any violations of the Maryland Rules of Professional Responsibility. Indeed, he managed to see the reality of what happened in the referendum cases and the huge amount of money at stake to the development community. He trimmed the 17 days of testimony down to only 115 pages. some of you, especially the notorious courtroom bench gang, might well note what judge silkworth said on page 97: So very important, it took all of you as a community to get us to this point. Many of you came each day to our trial. This did not go unnoticed. As Judge Silkworth stated on page 97:
It should also be noted that not a single client of the Respondents came forward to testify or otherwise present evidence that they were dissatisfied with the representation provided by the Respondents. In fact, the Court noted that each and every day of the trial multiple former clients appeared in support of the Respondents.
Judge Silkworth also highlighted the importance of the opinion of our clients on page 93:
[T]he opinion of the Respondents' clients, many of whom are alleged to have been wronged by the Respondents' representation, is summarized best by a quote from Lisa Markovitz during trial:
"It's rare to have attorneys who will represent citizens in land use cases in Howard County, and [the Respondents] did so not only in great controversial issues, but also in a pro bono way. And often in controversial issues like this, people might have different opinions about strategy in a case, but always ended up with a consensus and I'm not displeased with your representation. And I think that the opposing counsel having made the Complaint in this matter would sort of like nothing better than two
fewer attorneys who are going to oppose land use clients in the future."IMarch 15, 2016 Record at 171.
We are so thankful to all of you who supported us with you presence during the trial and to all the petition circulators.
We, the People of Howard County, are a coordinate branch of Howard County government. We have a right of referendum, but we've got to fight to exercise it, preserve it, and defend it against the well-funded forces of oligarchy.
Finally, remember that the Court of Appeals still has to review and render the final decision, but for now, it is time for all of us to congratulate each other on a job well done. Details of the party to follow soon!!
Susan & Allen
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