Attorney Grievance v. Kinnane

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IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF MARYLAND Misc. Docket AG No. 74 September Term, 2004 ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMMISSION OF MARYLAND v. THOMAS W. KINNANE Bell, C.J. Raker Wilner Cathell Harrell Battaglia Greene, JJ. Opinio n by Bell, C .J. __________________________________________ Filed: December 23, 2005 Bar Counsel, with the approval and direction of the Attorney Grievance Commission of Marylan d, the pe titioner, see Rule 16-751,1 filed a Petition For Disciplinary or Remedial 1 Md. Rule 16-751 (a) provides: (a) Commencement of Disciplinary or Remedial Action. (1) U pon A pprov al of C omm ission. Upon approval or direction of the Commission, Bar Counsel shall file a Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action in the Court of Appeals. (2)Conviction of Crime; Reciprocal Action. If authorized by Rule 16-771(b) or 16-773(b), Bar Counsel may file a Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action in the Court of Appeals without prior approval of the Commission. Bar Counsel promptly shall notify the Commission of the filing. The Commission on review may direct the withdrawal of a petition that was filed pursuant to this subsection. Bar Co unsel prev iously had filed a Statem ent of Ch arges aga inst the respo ndent. Adopted November 30, 2000, effective July 1, 2001, Maryland Rule 16-741 governs the filing of statements of charges. It provides: (a) Filing of Statement of Charges. (1) Upo n comple tion of an in vestigation, B ar Coun sel shall file with the Commission a Statement of Charges if Bar Counse l determines that: (A) the attorney either engaged in conduct constituting p rofessiona l miscondu ct or is incapacitated; (B) the professional misconduct or the incapacity doe s not warra nt an imm ediate Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action; (C) a Co nditional D iversion A greemen t is either not appropriate under the circumstances or the parties were unable to agree on one; and (D) a reprimand is either not appropriate under the circumstances or (i) one was offered and rejected by the attorney, or (ii) a proposed reprimand was disapproved by the Commission and Bar Counsel was directed to file a Statem ent of C harges . The fi ling of th e statem ent of c harges trigger ed the p eer revi ew pro cess, see Rules 16741(b), 16-742, and 16-743, which was competed prior to the filing of the Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action. Action against Th omas W . Kinnane , the respond ent, charging him with violations of various of the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct, as adopted by Maryland Rule 16-812. The Petition alleged, specifically, that the respondent violated R ules 1.5 (e) (Fees), 2 and 8.4 (b) and (c) (Miscond uct).3 We referred the case, pursuant to Rules 16-752,4 for hearing to the Hon orable Ro nald A. Silkworth , a judge of the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. Following the hearing, at which the responde nt appeare d and par ticipated, the h earing cou rt made fin dings of f act, 2 Rule 1.5 (e) provides: (e) A division of a fee between lawyers who are not in the same firm may be made only if: (1) the division is in proportion to the services performed by each lawyer or each lawyer assumes joint responsibility for the representation; (2) the client agrees to the joint representation and the agreement is confirmed in writing; and (3) the total fee is reasonable. 3 Rule 8.4 (b) and (c) provides th at [i]t is professional misconduct for a lawyer to: ... commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects [and] engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation 4 Rule 16-752 provides, as relevant: (a) Order. Upon the filing of a Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action, the Court of Appeals 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 attorney, to enter a scheduling order defining the extent of discovery and setting dates for the completion of discovery, filing of motions, and hearing. 2 see Rule 16-757 (c)5 , as follows : Petition er's Exhibit 1 is a Stipulation of F acts prepared by the parties. The C ourt finds that the facts contained therein have been proven by clear and convincing evidence. The Stipulation states: The Responden t, Thomas W . Kinnane, Esquire ( R espondent ) was admitted to the Bar of the Court of Appeals of Maryland on June 5, 1996. He is also adm itted to the V irginia Bar and District of Columbia Bar. Prior to becoming an attorney, Respondent was a uniformed officer in the United States Secret Service for two years then a police officer in the Anne Arundel County Police Department for eight years. While attending law school, Re sponden t began w orking for the law firm of Alexander & Cleaver in Fort Washington, Maryland. Once he was admitted to the Maryland Bar, he became an associate of that firm, where he remained until February 2000. He then practiced w ith another law yer in the firm, Howes & Kinnane, P.C. and la ter becam e a solo practitioner, with his office in Anne Arundel County. Throughout the course of his law 5 Rule 16-757 (c) provides: (c) Findings and conclusions. The judg e shall prepa re and file or dictate into the record a statement of the judge's findin gs of fact, in cluding fin dings 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 written or transcribed statement shall be filed with the clerk responsible for the record no later than 45 days after the conclusion of the hearing. The clerk shall mail a copy of the statement to each party. 3 practice, Responden t has concentrated a significan t portion of his practice representing energy companies in connection with matters pending befo re governmen t regulatory agencies. In or about 1998, while employed by Alexander & Cleaver, Respondent met Andrew N. Chau, Esquire ( Mr. Chau ), the manager of regulatory affairs for Shell Energy Services ( Shell Ene rgy ). Mr. Ch au also held himself ou t to the Responde nt and others as an attorney. Respondent performed legal services for Shell Energy and other s imilar clients while at Alexan der & C leaver. He continued to represen t Shell Ene rgy after leaving th e firm. Respon dent's primary po int of conta ct at Shell Ene rgy continued to be Mr. Chau. Respondent later performed work for Tractebel Power where Mr. Chau accepted employment after leaving Shell Energy. During the c ourse of h is representa tion of Sh ell Ene rgy, Respondent submitted approximately 15 invoices for legal services. It was Responden t s practice to invoice Shell Energy for work after it was performed, rather than to receive a retainer for future work. In or about July 2001, Respondent and Mr. Ch au met in Wash ington, D.C., at Mr. Cha u's request. Mr. Chau informed Respondent that he had been authorized by Judith Burow, vice preside nt of She ll Energy, to pay Responden t a $70,000.00 retainer for f uture work. He instructed Respondent to prepare an invoice for that amount. Respondent prepared an invoice from Howes & Kinn ane, P.C. to S hell Energy dated July 26, 2001. The description of services read, Nevada regulatory and government relations activities, 2001 session and implementation. On August 8, 2001, Shell Energy paid $70,000.00 to 4 Respondent by electronic transfer. Respondent held the $70,000.00 in the firm's escrow account. Respondent had never rece ived a retaine r from Sh ell Energy bef ore this payme nt. On or about August 22, 2001, Mr. Chau called the Respondent. He directed the Respondent to take the entire retainer as a bonus fo r work he had done before at a discounted rate, but to issue a check for $35,000.00 to Mr. Chau. Mr. Chau asked for the $35,000.00 payment to compensate him for referring future business from Shell Energy and its affiliated companies as w ell as Tractebel Powe r. Respondent transferred $70,000.00 to the firm's operating account. Respondent issued a $35,0 00.00 check to Andrew Chau & Associates, P.C. on August 22, 2001. The statement accomp anying the ch eck indicate d that it was for professional fees: con sulting . In fact, M r. Chau provid ed no c onsultin g servic es to Re spond ent or h is firm. Respondent drew a ch eck to him self for $3 5,000.00 f rom the firm 's operating ac count. Howes & Kinnane, P.C. issued an invoice to Shell Energy on August 8, 2001. That invoice identified the $35,000.00 payment to Andrew Chau as a consulting fee . Respondent also issued a form 1099 to Mr. Chau, reporting the payment of the purported consulting fee. Respondent claimed the $35,000.00 on his annual state and federal tax returns. In the fall of 2001, Respondent received a telephone call from Judith Burow and a Mr. Estes of S hell Energy. They informed the Respondent that the $70,000.00 payment had not been a uthoriz ed by Sh ell Energy. Mr. C hau called Respondent shortly afterward and indicated that the invoice m ight not hav e been ap proved . R esponde nt believed this to be an in ternal dis pute amo ng C hau and his superviso rs at S hell E nerg y. 5 Mr. Chau was subsequently discharged b y Shell Energy. Criminal charges w ere brought against both M r. Chau and the Respondent. Respondent was charged with felony theft on April 30, 2003. Harris County (Texas) District Court entered a deferred adjudication of guilt on July 11 , 2003. Re sponden t has paid res titution of $35,000.00, as well as a $2,000.00 fine. Respondent also provided all informa tion he had to assist in the prosecution of Mr. Chau. Respo ndent has also coop erated fully with Bar Cou nsel s investigation of this matter. From the foregoing facts, which it found by clear and convin cing ev idence , Attorney Griev. Comm n v. Culver, 381 Md. 241 , 266, 849 A.2d 4 23, 438 (2004), Rule 16-757 (b),6 the hearing court conclu ded tha t the resp onden t violated Rules 1 .5 (e)7 and 8.4 (b) and (c), as charged. T he Ru le 1.5 (e) violation was established, it stated, by the evidence that the respondent split his fee fro m Shell E nergy with M r. Chau, Sh ell s in-house counsel. Further explaining , the hearing court pointe d out: 6 Maryland Rule 16-757(b) provides: The petitioner has the burden of proving the averments of the petition by clear and convincing evidence. A respondent who asserts an affirmative defense or a matter of mitigation or extenuation has the burden of proving the defense or matter by a preponderance of the evidence. 7 Although the respondent had not been charged with violating Rule 1.8 (e), which proscribes a lawyer s providing financial assistance to a client, only Rule 1.5 (e), the hearing court s conclusion of law referred to Rule 1.8 (e), throughout. That must be, and we so construe it as, a typographical error. 6 Mr. Chau perform ed no services to earn that portion of the fee. Respondent has acknow ledged tha t the paymen t was made at Mr. Chau's direction to pay him to make future referrals of work to Respondent's firm. While Respondent characterizes the payment as the equivalent of purch asing adv ertising with his own funds received from clients' payments, that position is contradicted by Respondent's billing statement submitted to Shell Energy, which disclosed that $35,000.00 was paid to Chau for consulting services. The client never authorized Responden t to share the fee with M r. Chau. In fact, the payment was an incentive fo r Mr. Ch au to refer w ork to Res ponden t also from Tractabel Power, a compa ny unrelated to Shell Energy. Mr. Chau was not a member of Respondent's firm. The division of fees w as not in proportion to the w ork performed since Mr. Chau was bein g compe nsated for making f uture referra ls of work. There was no written agreement between Respondent and Shell Energy for Resp ondent an d Mr. C hau to assume joint responsibility for the work. The fee charged by Respondent was not reasonable because no services were performed for the fee. Rather, it was a bonus not authorized by the client, but only offered by the corrupt employee who was seeking the improper kickback of half of the fee. Respondent's conduct violated Rule 1.8(e) of the Marylan d Rule s of Pro fession al Con duct. As we hav e seen, the re sponden t was cha rged with , and foun d guilty of, felony theft, in respect of which he made restitu tion and pa id a fine. Th at criminal co nduct, the hearing court concluded, reflects adversely on [the respondent s] honesty, trustworthiness and fitness as a lawyer. It also involved, the court noted and determined, dishonesty and misrepresentation, proscribed by Rule 8.4 (c). It elucidated: Responden t s invoice for $70,000.00 retainer made no reference to the fact that it was to be a retainer fo r future serv ices. Nothin g on the bill w ould alert the client to the fact that the payment requested was not for services already performed. In fact, the charging of a reta iner was in consistent w ith Respondent s previous dealings with the client, who had only paid fees after services were rendered. Respondent then accepted that retainer as a bonus for work long since performed and paid for, solely on the authorization of the client s employee w ho was d emandin g that he split th e bonus w ith him pers onally. Particularly in light o f the fact th e client had never paid a bonus to him before, the large amount of the payment, the fact the payment was 7 submitted for other purposes and the client had consistently insisted on paying extremely low fees to the Respo ndent, Respondent could not reasonably have believed that Mr. Chau had authorization from Shell Energy to pay a bonus to Respon dent, to be shared with M r. Chau. R esponde nt s acceptance of the $70,000.00 and his sharing of the unearn ed funds with M r. Chau led to Respondent[ s] entering a p lea of guilty to felony theft and receiving a deferred adjudication by the Texas court. Respondent s invoicing of the $70,000.00 fee and his taking it as a fee at the direction of Mr. Chau to Shell Energy were dishonest acts and crimes adversely reflecting on Respondent s character and fitness as an attorney. His invoices, which did not reflect that the $70,000.00 was unearned and which described the $35,0 00.00 paid to Mr. Chau as a professional fee for co nsulting services, were dishonest misrepresentations. Respondent and Mr. Chau participated in a fraudulent scheme which constitu ted felo ny theft in Texas . Unlike the Petit ioner, w hich took no exceptions to the hearing court s findings or conclusions, the respondent filed Respondent s Exceptions To The Findings Of Fact and Conclusions Of Law. In that pleading, he excepted to the hearing court s conclusion that he could not have believed reasonably that Mr. Chau had been authorized by Shell Energy to pay him a bonus, to be sh ared with Mr. Chau. There is not, he asserts, any evidence in the record to support the conclusion, while, on the other hand, there is evidence to the contrary, his testimony, that [he] had no knowledge upon payment of the bonus that Chau later required [be] split. He also mainta ins that his actio ns, all of them - providing invoices and statements through normal channels; providing a 1099 Form to Chau; depositing and processing the funds appropriately in firm accounts; and reporting the income on respondent s annual state and federal taxes, indicate that he had a good faith belief that the bonus was properly paid. In further support of this exception, the respondent relies on the very fact that he took 8 an Alfo rd plea, 8 proffering that entering such a plea reflects respondent s good faith belief that his conduct was appropriate and ... [his] evaluation of the risks and benefits of proceedin g to trial on the facts of the case, at a particular time, and in a particular distant city. The respondent further finds it note worthy that, n otwithstand ing the leng th of the process and the hearing cou rt s conclusion in this regard and the effects thereof on respondent s honesty, trustworthiness and fitness as an attorney, Bar Counsel took no preliminary action to term inate his prac tice, thereb y evidencing its apparent belief that respondent s actions do n ot, and hav e not, affec ted his ability to hon estly and com petently continu e to repr esent m embe rs of the public. The respondent s second exception relates to the hearing court s refu sal to admit in to evidence the Peer Review Panel s R eport. 9 Characterizing that ruling as erroneous, he notes that the report was offered to clarify the record with respect to how the formal Bar Counsel petition ultimately was arrived at and filed with the Circuit Court and that the filing of them 8 See North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25, 91 S.Ct. 160, 27 L.Ed.2d 162 (1970). 9 The hearing court ruled both that the Peer Review recommendations are irrelevant for any material purpose and that admission of the Panel Report would violate Maryland Rule 16-723 (a), which provides: (a) Confidentiality of Peer Review Meetings. All persons present at a peer review meeting shall maintain the confidentiality of all speech, writing, and conduct made as part of the meeting and may not disclose or be compelled to disclose the speech, writing, or conduct in any judicial, administrative, or other proceeding. Speech, writing, or conduct that is confidential under this Rule is privileged and not subject to discovery, but information otherwise admissible or subject to discovery does not become inadmissible or protected from disclosure solely by reason of its use at the peer review meeting. 9 was not re comme nded to B ar Coun sel. Maryland Rule 16-759 (b) governs review by this Court and, in particular, the disposition of exceptions to the hearing court s findings of fact and conclusions of law . It provides: (1) Conclusions of law. The Court of Appeals shall review de novo the circuit court ju dge's co nclusio ns of la w. (2) Findings of fact. (A) If no exceptions a re filed. If no exceptions are filed, the Court may treat the findings of fact as established for the purpose of determ ining ap propria te sancti ons, if a ny. (B) If exceptions are filed. If exceptions are filed, the Court of Appea ls shall determine whether the findings of fact have been proven by the requisite standard of proof set out in Rule 16757(b). The Court may confine its review to the findings of fact challenged by the exceptions. The Court shall give due regard to the opportunity of the hearing judge to assess the credibility of witnes ses. The responde nt s first excep tion implicate s Rule 16-759 (b) (1), because it involves a conclusion of law drawn by the hearing court. Those conclusions are reviewed de novo. We do not agr ee, at the outs et, that there are no facts to supp ort the hearing court s conclusion of law. Indeed, the hearing court enumerated the facts on whic h it relied: the course of dealings between the client and the respondent, the failure of the bill for the retainer to so characterize it or, at least, alert the client to the fact that the payment requested was not for services already performed, the large amount of the requested payment, and, as indic ated, the resp ondent too k no exce ption to any of these findin gs of facts . See Rule 16-759 (b) (2) (B). Having reviewed the hearing court s detailed and cogent 10 explanation and the facts on the basis of which its challenged legal conclusion was drawn, we have no hesitancy in overruling the exception. We shall also ov errule the resp ondent s e xception to the hearing court s refusal to admit the Peer Review Panel s Report. Rule 16-743, the rule governing the Peer R eview process, m akes clear th e limited off ice that Pan el perform s. It provides, as relevant: (a) Purpose of Peer Review Process. The purpose of the peer review process is for the Peer Review Panel to consider the Statem ent of Ch arges and all relevant information offered by Bar Counsel and the attorney concerning it and to determine (1) whether the Statement of Charges has a substantial ba sis and there is reason to b elieve that the attorney has committed professional misconduct or is incapacitated, and, (2) if so, whether a Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action should be filed or some other disposition is appropriate. The peer review process is not intended to be an adversarial one and it is not the function of Peer Review Panels to hold evidentiary hearings, adjudic ate fact s, or wri te full op inions o r reports . To be sure, although Rule 16-743 (e)10 permits the Peer Review Panel to make recommendations to the petitioner to the same extent as could Bar Counsel, nevertheless, it is the petitioner, as Rule 16-751 (a) makes clear, that determines whether, and what, charges are to be filed; the Rule provides for the filing of charges upon approval or at the direction of the petitio ner. Thus, whether Bar Counsel recommends the filing of charges or another 10 Rule 16-743 (e) provides: (e) Recommendation. The Peer Review Panel may recommend to the Commission that a Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action be filed or make any recommendation to the Commission that Bar Counsel may make under Rule 16-734 (a), (b), or (c). The Panel shall accompany its recommendation with a brief explanatory statement. 11 procedu re is not only no t dispositive, w e agree w ith the hearing court, it is irrelevan t. Moreover, pursuant to Maryland Rule 16-723, certain matters pertaining to the Peer Review process are confidential. Section (b) (2) of that Rule lists the records and proceedings of a Peer Review Panel as among such matters. The Report of the Peer Review Panel qua lifies as reco rds and pro ceedings [ that] are con fidential and not open to public inspection [whose] contents may not be revealed by the Commission, the staff of the Commission, Bar Counsel, the staff and investigators of the O ffice of Bar C ounsel, membe rs of the P eer Re view C omm ittee, or an y attorney in volved in the pr oceed ing. In Attorney Griev. Comm'n v. Lee, 387 Md. 89, 108, 874 A.2d 897, 908 (2005), we addressed an issue akin to, thou gh certainly no t identical to, the iss ue presen ted in this case. There, the Respondent claimed that he had been denied the opportunity to impeach the complainant in his case when the hearing court refused to allow him to cross-examine her by introducing statements she made at the Peer Review Panel proceeding that he alleged were inconsisten t with certain s tatements she made at the evidentiary hearing before the hearing judge. Id. at 102, 874 A.2d at 904. We rejected his argu ment, id. at 113-14, 874 A. 2d at 911-12, in the process delineating the nature and function of the Peer Review process: The Peer Rev iew proc ess features a panel of at least three ind ividuals comprised of a majority of attorneys and at least one member being a nonattorney that makes a preliminary determination as to whether formal charges should be filed ag ainst the respondent attorney. ... [T]he Peer Review Panel proceeding is an informal, nonadversarial meeting designed to allow Bar Counse l, the respondent attorney, the complainant, and other invited persons to meet and discuss the issues presented in the complaint in an environment similar to a mediation process.... The Panel is not governed by any formal rules 12 of evid ence, b ut mus t respec t lawfu l privileg es.... The purpose of the Peer Review Panel is not principally to make recommendations as to the appropriateness of formal charges.... If a Peer Review Panel concludes that the complaint has a substantial basis indicating the need for some remedy, some behavioral or operational changes on the part of the lawyer, or some discipline short of suspension or disbarment, part of the peer review process can be an attempt through both evaluative and facilitative dialogue, (A) to effectuate directly or suggest a mechanism for effecting an amicable resolution of the existing dispute between the lawyer and the complain ant, and (B) to encourage the lawyer to recognize any deficiencies on his or her part that led to the problem a nd take ap propriate rem edial steps to address those deficiencies. The goal, in this setting, is not to punish or stigmatize the lawyer or to create a fear that any admission of deficiency will result in substantial harm, but rather to create an ambience for a constructive solution. The objective views of two fellow lawyers and a lay person, expressed in the form of advice and opinion rather than in the form of adjudication, may assist the lawyer (and the complainant) to retreat from confrontational positions and look at the prob lem m ore realis tically. If, however, after hearing statements, the Panel determines that the Statement of Charges has a substantial basis and that there is reason to believe that the [respond ent] attorney has committed professional misconduct o r is incapacitated, the Panel may ... make an appropriate recommendation to the Commission or ... inform the parties of its determination and allow the attorney an opportun ity to consider a reprimand or a Co ndition al Dive rsion A greem ent. The Panel is auth orized to recommend to the Commission that either a Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action be filed, the Statement of Charges be dismissed, or that a Co nditional D iversion A greemen t or repriman d is appropriate. Although the purpose of the Panel proceeding is not to generate any formal findings of fact, the Panel must accomp any its recomm endation w ith a brief explanatory statement. Id. at 108-09, 874 A.2d at 908-09 (internal citations omitted). We concluded, noting the comprehensive and sweeping language of Md. Rule 16-723(a) : Despite the common sense appeal of permitting use of statements made during the Peer Review process to expose later inconsistencies or intentional misrepresentations, we conclude that the better c ourse is to declaim, borrowing 13 and mutating somewhat a currently popular advertising slogan, what happens in Peer Review stays in Peer Review. Id. at 113, 8 74 A. 2 d at 911 . Where there is no more than a recommendatory function, one that is not binding and certainly not dispositive, the re is even mo re reason to insulate P eer Revie w Pane l Reports from subsequent disclosure at later stages of the attorney discipline process. While not excep ting to the findings or the conclusions, the petitioner filed Petitioner s Recommendation For Sanction. It seeks the respondent s disbarment. Stressing the hearing judge s characterization of the respon dent s con duct as dis honest an d crimes a dversely reflecting on respondent s character and fitness as an attorney, concluding that he participated in a fraudu lent sch eme w hich co nstituted felony th eft in T exas, the petitioner relies on Attorney Griev. Comm n v. Vanderlinde, 364 Md. 376, 418, 773 A. 2d 463, 488 (2001 ) and its p rogeny. The responde nt has not sp ecifically recommended a sanction. It is ob vious from his exceptions and the prayers thereto - requesting the Court to take such actions it deems appropriate with respect to Bar Counsel s petition and the Circuit Court s findings and Conclusions that will allow the re sponden t to continue his honorable service to the public and exemplary representation of the Bar - that he op poses, and is urging som ething sho rt, perhaps q uite a bit short, o f disbarm ent. The purpose o f attorney discip linary proceed ings is well settled: to protect the public and not to punish the erring a ttorney. See Attorney G riev. Com m n v. D avis, 375 Md. 131, 14 167, 825 A. 2d 430, 451 (2003); Bar Ass'n of B altimore City v. Marsh all, 269 Md. 510, 519, 307 A.2d 677, 682 (1973) ( the purpose of disciplinary actions ... is not to punish the offending attorney, as that function is performed in other types of legal p roceeding s, but it is to protect the public from one who has demonstrated his unworthiness to continue the practice of law) In Davis, we elucidated: Our consideration of the appropriate disciplinary measure to be taken in any given case involving violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct is guided by our interest in protecting the public and the public s confidence in the legal profession. Attorney Grievance Comm n v. Pow ell, 369 Md. 462, 474, 800 A.2d 782, 789 (2002). The purpose of such proceedings is not to punish the lawyer, but should deter other la wyers from engaging in similar con duct. [Attorney Grievance Comm n v.] Mooney, 359 M d. [56,] 96, 753 A.2d [ 17,] 38 [2000]. T he public is protected when w e impose sanctions that are comme nsurate with the nature a nd gravity of th e violations a nd the inten t with which they wer e com mitted. Attorney Grievance Comm n v. Awuah, 346 Md. 420, 43 5, 697 A .2d 446 , 454 (1 997). 375 Md. at 166-67, 825 A. 2d at 451. In Vanderlinde, we stated a general rule applicab le to i nten tionally dishonest conduct in the absence of compelling extenuating circumstances, that disbarment is the usual sanction for such misconduct. 369 Md. at 413-415, 773 A.2d at 485. We explained: Unlike matters relating to com petenc y, diligenc e and th e like, intentional dishonest conduct is closely entwined with the m ost importan t matters of b asic character to such a degree a s to make intentional dishonest conduct by a lawyer almost beyond excuse. Honesty and dishonesty are, or are not, present in an attorney s character. Disbarment ordinarily should be the sanction for intentio nal dish onest c onduc t. Id. at 418, 773 A. 2d at 488. In that case, the dishonest cond uct was the respon dent s theft, over a period of time, 15 of $3,880.67 from her employer, a community association, for whom she worked in a nonlegal capac ity. Vanderlinde, 364 Md. at 381, 773 A.2d at 465. In disbarring the respon dent, even though she had repaid the stolen funds , we no ted the a bsence of mitig ation, id. at 419, 773 A. 2d at 488, and concluded that no extenuating circumstances had been established by the respondent s medical evidence. Id. What we said in a similar case, in which the respondent submitted false docu mentation in connec tion with an insurance claim, just as easily could be a pplied to the responde nt in this case: Respon dent s disho nesty was w illful, intentional and for her own perso nal gain.. Responden t s dishonest and criminal conduct was motivated by greed. Attorney Griev. Comm n v. Jordan, 386 Md. 583, 600, 873 A.2d 1161, 1171 (20 05). The respondent s conduct in this case is not mitigated; there are no compelling extenuating circumstances. Accordingly, we adopt the petitioner s recommendation and order the respondent disbarred. IT IS SO ORDERED; RESPONDENT SHALL PAY ALL COSTS AS TAXED BY THE CLERK OF THIS COURT, INCLUDING THE COSTS OF ALL TRANSCRIPTS, PURSUANT TO MARYLAND RULE 16-761, FOR WHICH SUM JUDGMENT IS ENTERED IN FAVOR OF THE ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMMISSION OF MARYLAND AGAINST THOMAS W. KINNANE . 16