Attorney Grievance v. Jordan

Annotate this Case
Download PDF
Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland v. Jerry Deneise Jordan No. AG 37, September Term, 2003 ATTORNEY DISCIPLINE Our goal in matters of attorney discipline is to protect the public and the p ublic s confiden ce in the le gal p rofe ssion rather than to pu nish the a ttorn ey. ATTORNEY DISCIPLINE APPROPRIATE SANCTIONS Whether the attorne y s dishonest act is committed in the course of the practice of law or not does not preclude discipline. ATTORNEY DISCIPLINE APPRO PRIATE SANC TIONS The lack of prosecution for the a ttorn ey s d isho nest act is not a nece ssary fact or fo r a fin ding of disho nesty. ATTORNEY DISCIPLINE APPROPRIATE SANC TIONS An attorney s medical conditio n that oc curs su bsequ ent to a d ishone st act w ill not be consid ered as extenu ating. IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF MARYLAND Misc. Docket AG No. 37 September Term, 2003 ______________________________________ ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMMISSION OF MARYLAND v. JERRY DENEISE JORDAN _______________________________________ Bell, C.J. Raker Wilner Cathell Harrell Battaglia Greene, JJ. _______________________________________ Opinion by Greene, J. ______________________________________ Filed: May 10, 2005 Pursuant to Maryland Rule 16-7511 of the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC ), the Attorney Grievance Commission (the Commission), acting through Bar Counse l, filed a petition for disciplinary action or remedial action against Jerry Deneise Jordan (respondent). In that petition, it was alleged that respondent violated Maryland R ule 16-812, Marylan d Rule s of Pro fession al Con duct (M RPC ). With respect to the MRPC, the petition alleged that responden t violated Rules 8.4(b) and 8 .4(c).2 Pursuant to Maryland Rule 16-752(a)3 , we referred the matter to Judge Michael J. Finifter of the Circuit Court for Baltimore County to make findings of fact and conclusions 1 Maryland Rule 16-751, as relevant, provides: (a) Commencement of disciplinary or remedial action. (1) Upon approval of the Commission. Upon approval or direction of the Commission, Bar Counsel shall file a Petition for Disciplinary or Remed ial Action in the Co urt of A ppeals . 2 Rule 8.4. M isconduct. It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to: * * * * (b) commit a criminal act th at reflects adversely o n the lawyer s h onesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects; (c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; * 3 * * * Rule 16-752 (a) provides: (a) Order. Upon the filing of a Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action, the Court of App eals may enter an order designating a judge of any circuit court to hear the action and the clerk responsible for maintaining the record. The order of designation shall require the judge, after consultation with Bar Counsel and the attor ney, to enter a scheduling order defining the extent of discovery and setting dates for the c omple tion of d iscove ry, filing of motion s, and h earing. of law in accordance with Maryland Rule 16-757(c)4 . Following an evidentiary hearing, Judge Finifter found that respondent ha d violated MR PC Rules 8.4(b ) and 8.4(c). Respondent filed exceptions to Judge Finifter's findings. I. The charges in this matter arose out of respondent's alleged willful submission of fraudulent docume nts to her h ome own er's in sura nce c omp any, S t. Pau l Tra vele r's Insurance Com pany. As a result of respondent's action, the insurance company paid her compensation she was not otherwise entitled to receive. After an evidentiary hearing, Judge Finifter made the following factual findings and conclusions of law: FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW This matter came before the court for hearing on September 13, 2004. Petitioner has alleged that the Res ponden t submitted f raudulent d ocumen ts to her homeow ner's insuranc e compa ny that resulted in monetary disbursem ents to Respon dent [to w hich she] w as otherw ise not entitled, an d tha t Res pondent's actions were a violation of the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct. Upon 4 Maryland rule 16-757 (c) provides: (c) Findings and conclusions. The judge shall prepare and file or dictate into the record a statement of the judge's findings of fact, including findings as to any evidence regarding remedial action, and conclusions of law. If dictated into the record, the statement shall be promptly transcribed. Unless the time is extended by the Court of Appeals, the w ritten or transcribed statement shall be filed w ith the clerk responsible for the reco rd no later tha n 45 days af ter the conc lusion of the hearing. The cle rk shall m ail a cop y of the sta temen t to each party. 2 consideration of the evidence presented, including the exhibits, testimony and stipulations, the court finds as follows: FINDINGS OF FACT 1. Respon dent, Jerry D. Jo rdan, is an atto rney licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. 2. Responde nt is the owner of a home that suffered extensive damage resulting from a water leak located at 212 Barron A venue in Balt imore County, Maryland. Respondent learned of the damage to her home on or about November 15, 2000. 3. After discovering the water damage to her home, Respondent contacted her homeow ner's insuranc e compa ny, St. Paul Traveler's Insurance Company ("Traveler's"). 4. Trav eler's assigned Michael McBain, an inside claims representative, to handle Respondent's claim that resulted out of said water leak. 5. Mr. McBain estimated that it would take approximately two to three months to repair Respondent's home. 6. Mr. McBain explained the terms of the Respondent's policy to the Respondent and the options available to h er under the terms of the hom eow ner's insurance p olicy. One of the options a vailable to Respondent under the terms of her homeowner's insurance policy was for reimbursement 3 of monies expended for rent while Respondent was not residing at her water-damaged home. 7. The Re sponden t indicated to Mr. McB ain that she h ad found a place to rent for $2,000.00 per month located at 11 Anchor Way in Berlin, Maryland, during the time that h er home w as not hab itable due to the extensive damage and resulting repairs. 8. In fact, Respondent owned the home located at 11 Anchor Way, Berlin, Md., that she purported to be renting at a cost of $2,000 per month. 9. Respondent never told Mr. McBain that she owned the house for which Trav eler's was supp lying rent mon ey. 10. On January 6, 2001, Mr. McBain ceased working on Respondent's claim file. 11. On January 17, 2001, Respondent's file was transferred to Linda Quinon ez, an emp loyee of Trav eler's, because Mr. M cBain ha d left the un it. 12. Upon receiving Respondent's claim file, Ms. Quinonez observed that Mr. M cBain agreed to pay Respondent $2,000 per month in rental expenses, but that the file lacked docume ntation of th e actual renta l agreeme nt. Instead, the file only contained typed one-line receipts for rent monies received from Jerry Jordan in the amount of $2,000.00 for the months of December and Janu ary. See Pet. Ex 3 pp. 54-55. The "receipts" were signed by Janet L. 4 Coyne [Janet L. Coyne, spouse of V. F. Coyne never received any money from Jerry Jord an for r ental of any prop erty]. 13. Ms. Quinonez was concerned about the lack of information in the claim 's file to suppo rt Respon dent's claim th at she wa s entitled to reimbursement for expending rent money. Ms. Quinonez requested that the Respondent supply additional information in support of the rental agreement so that Trav eler's could co ntinue to pa y monies ou t. 14. On February 5, 2 001, Res ponden t sent a letter to Ms. Quinonez stating that she was not "getting repaid for the rent I [Respondent] am paying on my current lodgings." See Pet. Ex 3, p. 27. In fact, Respondent made specific representations to Trav eler's that indicated that Respondent was renting a home for $2,000 .00 per m onth, an d mad e num erous re quests f or reim bursem ent. See Pet Ex 3, pp. 20-24, 26-28, 29, 34-36, 54, 55, 63 & 89. 15. Respondent provided Ms. Quinonez with a short rental agreement on February 5, 2001 in response to Ms. Quinonez's requests. The Rental Agreement indicated tha t Mr. Coyne agreed to re nt the subjec t property to Respondent for a period not to exceed 5 months at a rate of $2,000.00 per month. See Pet Ex 3, p. 63 16. Ms. Quinonez made attempts to c ontact M r. Coyne, the lan dlord, to verify the term s of the Renta l Agree ment. However, Ms. Quinonez was not 5 able to reach Mr. Coyne and instead found that the telephone number she was given w as for a pu b-restauran t. 17. Ms. Quinonez then contacted an investigator, Gary Dunnigan, to verify ownersh ip of th e pro perty that Respondent claimed to be renting, and Respondent's claim file was transferred to Teresa Albertson, the Custodian of Records, in mid-March, 2004. 18. Trav eler's received an Affidavit from the Resp ondent dated Feb ruary 28, 2001, that indicated that V.F. Coyne owned the property located at 11 Anchor Way Drive, Berlin, Maryland. The Affidavit was notarized by the Respondent, Jerry D. Jordan. The Affidavit indicated that the Respondent agreed to pay Mr. Coyne $2,000.00 per month and that Mr. Coyne had received $6,600.00 thus far in rental payments. The Affidavit was sent by letter to Traveler's, "Attn: Gary Dunnigan." See Pet Ex 5. 19. Traveler's learned that Respondent owned the property she purported to be renting for $2,000.00 per month, and became concerned that Respondent was not payin g rent to Mr. C oyne. Respondent was only entitled to be reimbursed for rent paid under her homeowner's insurance policy if Respondent actually made such rental payments. 20. Due to Traveler's concerns regarding Respondent's requests for reimbursement for rental payments, Traveler's sent Respondent a "general 6 reservation of rights letter" on March 29, 2001. The purpose of that letter was to inform Respondent that Traveler's rese rved the righ t to deny cove rage to investigate the veracity of Respondent's claim. 21. Traveler's also wished to conduct an examination under oath of the Respondent regarding Traveler's concerns. Respo ndent, how ever, refuse d to submit to an examination under oath. After Re sponden t refused to s ubmit to an examination under oath, Traveler's denied Respondent's claim for misrepresentation and for failing to submit to said examination on March 21, 2002. The basis for Traveler's allegations of misrepresentation was that the Respondent sent an Affidavit that stated Mr. Coyne owned and was receiving rent for the "ren tal pr operty" w hen in fa ct Tr avel er's investigation revealed that Respondent owned the property located at 11 Anchor Way. See Pet Ex 1. 22. Trav eler's brought a llegations of insurance f raud again st Respon dent to the Attorney General's Office. 23. The Attorney General's Office assigned David We bb to inves tigate Trav eler's allegations. Specifically, Mr. Webb investigated whether the Respondent had com mitted frau d by misrepre senting that she was renting a house owned by Mr Coyne. 24. Mr. Webb interviewed Respondent on June 26, 2001, and Respondent gave her consent to be interviewed with full knowledge that anything she 7 stated would be presented to a grand jury and that Mr. Webb had no police powers. 25. At the interview with Mr. Webb, Respondent admitted that the docume nts that she submitted to Traveler's . . . were not the truth . . . and that she [R espon dent] w ould pr obably lo se her lic ense as a lawyer . 26. In Respondent's case in chief, Respondent testified on cross-examination that she owned the rental property located at 11 Anchor Way, that she never paid any rent to Mr. Coyne, and that she never had a real rental agre ement w ith Mr. Coyne. 27. The court finds the admissions of the Respondent at the interview and her decision to testify in court to b e know ing, volunta ry and intelligent. 28. Respondent, in her case in chief and through cross-examination of Petitioner's witnesses made several arguments in her defense and the following assertions. a. Respondent argues that Mr. McBain knew that she was in fact the ow ner of th e renta l prope rty. b. Respondent argues that she and Mr. McBain worke d out a deal whereby the rent money that Respondent would receive was really in lieu of other types of expenses such as travel and telephone costs. In addition, Respondent alleges that Mr. McB ain and T raveler's left a tra p for her to fall 8 into so that Traveler's wouldn't have to pay the claim. c. Respondent also argues that her state of mind and physical condition were bo th fragile when she realized the extent o f damag e caused to her home by the water leak. Respondent argues that she was on various medicatio ns and had m any concern s regarding her family and plans for th e holidays when sh e was fo rced to find a place to live after the damage to her home, and that all of these circumstances made her particularly vulnerable. d. Fina lly, Respondent's Mother, Ruth Mitchell, testified that she [Ruth Mitchell] notarized the Affidav it in support o f a rental agr eement w ith Mr. Coyne, and that Ms. Mitchell mailed the Affidavit back to Traveler's. 29. Having considered all of the Respondent's arguments, evidence and testimony in support of her po sition, the court does no t find Respondent's position to be credible. 30. The court does not find that there was ever any agreement between Mr. McBain, Traveler's or Respondent that entailed reimbursement for a rental agreeme nt in lieu of pro viding receipts of actual expenses incurred. Furthermore, the court do es not find Ms. M itchell's testimony to b e credible in this case. M s. Mitchell d id not know to whom she sent the Affidavit of the rental agreement, nor did she understand why she was sending the Affidav it, nor the contents contained in the Affidavit. Finally, the court finds that 9 Respondent understood the consequences of her actions when she submitted false docume nts to Trav eler's for reimbursement for expenses that she was not entitled to receive. Respon dent's capac ity to control her conduct with respect to making f alse represen tations in this ca se was no t inhibited by the medications that she was receiving nor the pressures that she experienced as a result of the circumstances in which she was plac ed by the wa ter damag e to her home. After reviewing the applicab le law and the parties' argu ments, the hearing co urt made C onclusion s of Law as follow s: CONCLUSIONS OF LAW Based upon the findings o f fact set forth above, this cou rt concludes that Respondent violated Rule 8.4(b) (committing a criminal act th at reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects) and Rule 8.4 (c) (e ngaging in co nduct inv olving disho nesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation) of the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct. Respondent committed these violations by submitting fraudulent docume nts to her homeowner's insurance company that asserted that she was renting a home owned by Mr. Coyne at a cost of $2,000.00 per month when no such re nt was paid an d Resp onden t owne d that res idence . 10 II. Exceptions Bar Counsel filed no exceptions to the hearing judge s findings of fact and conclusions of law. Respondent filed exceptions contending that the hearing judge did not take her medical condition seriously (she was on medication for stress and anxiety), that nothing in this case inv olved a clien t or the practice of law, a nd that the hearing judge assigned this matter was biased. Respondent also asserts that because she has not been prosecuted for a crime, her dishonest act has not been proven. At a hearing of a disciplinary or remedial action, the Attorney Grievance Commission must prove by clear and convincing evidence the charges in their petition. Md. Rule 16757(b). Respondent has the burden of proving any affirmative defenses and extenuating or mitigatin g circum stances by a prep ondera nce of the evid ence. We ha ve said that, this Court exercises original jurisdiction over attorney discipline proceedings. We conduct an inde pendent review of th e rec ord, acce pting the hear ing judge's findings of fact unless clearly erroneous. We will not disturb the factual findings of the hearing judge if they are based on clear and convincing evidence. Our review of the hearing judge's conclusions of law is de novo. Attorney Griev. Comm'n v. Gore, 380 Md. 455, 468, 845 A.2d 1204, 1211 (2004) (quoting Attorney G riev. Com m'n v. Da vis, 375 Md. 131, 157-58, 825 A.2d 430, 445-46 (2003 ) (citation s omitte d)). When either pe titioner o r respon dent file s excep tions, 11 the Court of Appeals shall determine whether the findings of fact have been proven by the requisite standard of proof set out in Rule 16-737 (b). The Court may confine its review to the findings of fact challenged by the exceptions. The Court shall give due regard to the oppo rtunity of the he aring judge to assess the credibility of witnesses. Md. Rule 16-759(b)(2)(B). In this instance we cannot say that the hearing judge s findings of fact were clearly erroneous. There was considerable evidence, to a clear and convincing standard, that Ms. Jord an intention ally submitted fa lse docum ents to her insurance company for the purpo se of obtain ing mon etary benefits to w hich she w as not entitled . Eventually, Ms. Jordan ad mitted that sh e was no t entitled to any reim burseme nt for rental p ayments because Mr. Co yne was no t her landlord. We agree with Judge Finifter that Ms. Jordan violated MRPC Rules 8.4(b) an d 8.4 (c). C onse quently, Ms. Jordan s factu al exceptions are overruled. Sanction Next we will discuss the appropriate sanction to impose because of Ms. Jor dan's miscond uct. We have said time and time again that our goal in matters of attorney discipline is to protect the public and the public's co nfidence in the legal pro fession rath er than to punish the attor ney. See Attorney Griev. Comm'n. v. Vanderlinde, 364 Md. 376, 388, 773 A.2d 463, 470 (2001). In Attorney Griev. Comm'n v. Post we noted that, "[d]eterm ining the ap propriate sanction requires the Court to consider the facts and circumstances of each particular case, including consideration of any mitigating factors." Attorney Griev. Comm'n v. Post, 379 12 Md. 60, 71, 839 A.2d 718, 724 (2003). We said in Post "the nature and gravity of the violations and the intent with which they were committed" are relevan t consid erations . Id. quoting Attorn ey Grie v. Com m'n of Maryland v. Awuah, 246 Md. 420, 435, 697 A.2d 446, 454 (1 997). When an attorney is able to prove compelling extenuating circumstan ces, we w ill take that into consideration when deciding the appropriate sanction. Attorney Griev. Comm n v. Christopher, 383 M d. 624, 648 , 861 A.2d 692, 706 . We hav e held that: [W]e will not accept, as compelling extenuating circumstances, anything less than the most serious and utterly debilitating menta l or physical hea lth conditions, arising from any source that is the root cause of the misconduct and that also result in an attorney s utter inability to conform his or her conduct in accordance with the law and with the MRPC. Attorney Griev. Comm n v. Vanderlinde, 364 Md. at 413-14, 773 A.2d at 485 (em phasis in original). In Christopher, there was testimony from tw o doctors regarding C hristopher s depression and alcoholism which had existed over a long period of time. Testimony from one doctor indicated that Christopher s mental conditions were the root cause of his miscon duct. This testimony was not challenged by Bar Counsel and the hearing judge, therefore, found it credib le. Christopher, 383 Md. 624, 646, 861 A.2d 692, 705. In Christopher there was also testimony from the same doctor that Mr. Christoph er was un able to control his conduct. Christopher, 383 Md. 624, 648, 861 A.2d 692, 706. For these reasons, we concluded that the appropriate sanction for Mr. Christopher w as an indef inite 13 suspension with the right to apply for reinstatement. In Christopher facts supported the conclusion that Christopher s mental and physical condition was the root c ause of h is misconduct, i.e., his filing false reports with the Register of Wills. Id. By contrast, in Vanderlinde, Vanderlinde s act of misappropriating money from her employer for her own use resulted in her disbarment. There was conflicting medical testimony in Vanderlinde. The hearing judge credited the Commission s testimony in that regard, finding no exte nuating circum stances . Vanderlinde, 364 Md. at 387, 773 A.2d at 469 n.6. We agree. Further, the Court found it of no consequ ence that V anderlinde s dishones ty took place while working outside the profession of law for a community association. Vanderlinde, 364 Md. at 381, 413-14, 773 A.2d at 486. Judge Cathell, writing for the Court, stated in Vanderlinde that, in cases of intentional dishonesty, misappropriation cases, fraud, stealing serious criminal conduct and the like, we will not accept, as compelling extenuating circumstan ces, anything less than the m ost serious and utterly debilitating mental or physical health conditions, arising from any source that is the root cause of the misconduct and that also result in an attorney's utter inability to conform his or her conduct in accordance with the law and with the MRPC. Only if the circumstances are that compelling, will we even consider imposing less than the most severe sanction of disbarment in cases of stealing, dishonesty, fraudulent conduct, the intentional misappropriation of funds or other serious criminal conduct, whether occurring in the practice of law or otherw ise. Vanderlinde, 364 Md. at 413-14, 773 A.2d 485. In the present case, respondent neither presented sufficient evidence of such extenuating circumstances, nor did she present any supporting testimony from medical 14 professionals. Ms. Jordan testified that in June of 2001 she was still under doctor's (sic) care and [on] extensive medication for stress and injuries. The only evidence respondent submitted to corrobo rate this statement was a computer printout from CVS pharmacy #4371 in Ocean City, Maryland. The printout is for the period from February 10, 2001, to June 27, 2001, and show s one presc ription for W ellbutrin 5 on February 10; two for Alprazolam6 on February 23 and June 27; one for Acetaminophen with Codeine7 on March 16; one for Vicoprofen8 on Ma rch 16; tw o for Erythro mycin 9 on Ma rch 15 an d Marc h 19; two for Oxycodone10 on April 20 and May 26; five for Hydrocodone11 on April 26, May 4, May 17, 5 Trade name for a preparation of bupropion hydrochloride. Antidepressant used for treating major depression and smoking cessation. AHFS DRUG INFORMATION, 2278-89, American Society of Health System Pharmacists, (2005), § 28:16.04.92. 6 Trade name for a preparation of benzodiazepine used in the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression. AHFS DRUG INFORMATION, 2404, American Society of Health System Pharmacists, (2005), § 28:24.08. 7 Used in the treatment of moderately severe to severe pain and fever. AHFS DRUG INFORMATION, 2096-2104, American Society of Health System Pharmacists, (2005), § 28:08.92. 8 A form of hydrocodone used for relief of moderate to moderately severe pain. AHFS DRUG INFORMATION, 2053-55, American Society of Health System Pharmacists, (2005), § 28:08.08. 9 Trade name for macrolide antibiotic. AHFS DRUG INFORMATION, 224-26, American Society of Health System Pharmacists, (2005), § 8:12.12.04. 10 Trade name for a synthetic phenanthrene-derivative opiate agonist used for moderate to moderately severe pain. AHFS DRUG INFORMATION, 2070-72, American Society of Health System Pharmacists, (2005), § 28:08.08. 11 Used for relief of moderate to moderately severe pain. AHFS DRUG INFORMATION, 2053-55, American Society of Health System Pharmacists, (2005), § 28:08.08. 15 May 21, and June 6; three for Flonase12 on February 9, March 26, and May 5; one for Zoloft13 on May 14; and one for Celexa14 on June 27. Aside from the prescription record, resp ondent pr ovided rec eipts for two visits to the Atlantic General Hospital emergency room in Berlin, Maryland, on February 22, 2001, and April 18-19, 2001; office visits to Penin sula Ortho paedic A ssoc., PA, in Salisbury on A pril 2 and M ay 23, 2001; a nd one o ffice visit to Peninsula Cardiology Associates, PA, on April 12, 2001. None of the treating physicians testified in support of respondent's claim of extenuating circumstances. Further, respondent's medical condition and treatment occurred subsequent to her fraudulent behavior. On this record, it is just as possible that resp ond ent's medical condition resulted from the stress of her dishonesty than her dishonesty being a consequence of her medical condition. We concluded in Maryland St. Bar Ass'n v. Callanan, 271 M d. 554, 557 , 318 A.2d 809, 810 (1974) th at when a medical condition developed or occurred subseque nt to . . . criminal ac tivity, it may not be cre dible to mitigate the crim e. See also Bar Ass n of Baltimore City v. Siegel, 275 Md. 521, 340 A.2d 12 Trade name for fluticasone propionate. Nasal spray used for treatment of seasonal or perennial allergies. AHFS DRUG INFORMATION, 2686-90, American Society of Health System Pharmacists, (2005), § 56:08.08. 13 Trade name for sertraline hydrochloride used for treatment of major depression, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, among others. AHFS DRUG INFORMATION, 2232-46, American Society of Health System Pharmacists, (2005), § 28:16.04.20. 14 Trade name for citalopram hydrobromide used the treatment of major depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic, alcohol dependency, among others. AHFS DRUG INFORMATION, 2181-94, American Society of Health System Pharmacists, (2005), § 28:16.04.20. 16 710 (1975). Therefore, we concur with the hearing court that respondent's claim that the stress in her lif e and th e med ications prescrib ed, stan ding alo ne on th is record , are not sufficient to constitute extenuating circumstances. Respondent's second claim is that she believes the trial judge was biased. Respondent suggests that the hearing jud ge permitted petitioner to ad mit into evide nce docu ments which were in contravention to the Rules of Evidence, the law and Respondent s constitutional rights. Further, respondent states that the hearing judge did n ot permit her to cross-examine one of petitioner s witnesses and that [t]he court bent over backwards to accommodate the Petitioner. In Attorney Griev. Comm n v. Shaw, Chief Jud ge Bell, w riting for the C ourt, said that, there is a strong presumption in Maryland, and elsewhere, that judges are impartial participants in the legal process, whose duty to preside when qualified is as strong as their duty to refrain from presiding when not qualified. Shaw, 363 Md. 1, 10, 766 A.2d 1028, 1033 (2001) (quoting Jefferson-El v. State, 330 M d. 99, 10 7, 622 A.2d 737, 741 (1993)). Respondent has failed to point to any specific evidence to support her general allegations or rebut that presumption. Contending that the subject actions were not committed in conjunction with her practice of law, respondent argues that s he should not be sub ject to a sanction as severe as disbarme nt. Ms. Va nderlinde m ade the sam e argume nt and w e said, only if the circumstances are . . . compelling, will we even consider imp osing less than the most sev ere sanction of disbarment in cases of stealing, dishonesty, fraudulent conduct . . . whether 17 occurring in the practice of law, or otherwise. Vanderlinde, 364 Md. at 414, 733 A.2d 463 at 485. A lawyer s conduct shou ld conform to the require ments of th e law, both in professional and personal affairs. MRPC, Preamble. In Vanderlinde, we said: Early in the last half c entury, we no ted our special c oncerns in regard to disciplinary matters involving dishonest conduct not arising out of an attorney s professional conduct, when we rendered a decision in which we disbarre d an atto rney for u sing slu gs in pa rking m eters. Vanderlinde, 364 Md. at 389, 733 A.2d 463 at 470 (citing Fellner v. Bar Ass n of Baltimore City, 213 Md. 24 3, 131 A.2d 72 9 (1957); Attorney G riv. Com m n v. Sh einbein, 372 Md. 224, 812 A.2d 981, 994-95 (2002) (disbarment was the appropriate disciplinary sanction for an attorney s conduct in encouraging and aiding his son in absconding to another country wh ile the son was a m urder su spect). Fina lly, respondent asserts that because the Attorney General de clined to pro secute Trav eler's claim for fraud, a crime h as not been proven. C onviction o f the crime is not a necessary predicate to support a finding of dishonesty. Attorney Griev. Comm n v. Atkinson, 357 Md. 646, 653, 745 A. 2d 1086, 1091 (2000). We said in Attorney Griev. Comm n v. Deutsch, 294 Md. 353, 450 A.2d 1265, 1273 (1982), that it does not matter whether the dishonest act is corroborated by admission or convictio n, it calls for disbarm ent. Responden t s willful submission of false documentation to Traveler s to line her ow n pockets was dishon est. That she w as not con victed of in surance fr aud does not diminish the act. While responde nt acknow ledges her d ishonesty, she b elieves that an appropria te sanction would be a 30-day suspension from the practice of law. 18 III. In our view the evidence supporting Bar Counsel s petition is unassailable. Respondent presented no testimony that would cause us to question the hearin g judge s findings of fact and conclusions of law. Respondent s dishonesty was willful, intentional and for her own personal g ain. Bar C ounsel reco mmend s disbarme nt stating, Respondent s dishonest and criminal conduct, [was] motivated by greed. There are no extenuating or mitigating circumstances as respondent s apparent medical condition occurred subsequent to her acts of dishonesty. Th erefore, w e hold that th e approp riate sanction is disbarme nt. IT IS SO ORDERED; RESPONDENT SHALL PAY ALL COSTS AS TAXED BY T H E C L E R K O F T H I S C O U R T, INCLUDING THE COSTS OF ALL TRANSCRIPTS, PURSUANT TO M ARYLAND RULE 16-515 (C), FOR WHICH SUM JUDGMENT IS ENTERED IN F A V O R O F T H E A T T O R N EY GRIEVANCE COMM ISSION OF MARYLAND AGAINST JERRY DENEISE JORDAN. 19