Paul W. Gardner II, one of Baltimore’s leading entertainment lawyers, was disbarred Feb. 11 after the state’s court of appeals upheld a ruling that he had overbilled clients and misused money he had received as a retainer.
Gardner, whose clients have included Obama White House party crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi and “The Wire” actress Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, can’t practice law in Maryland until reinstated to the state bar by the Maryland Court of Appeals. He is managing partner of the Gardner Law Group.
Glenn Grossman, bar counsel for the State’s Attorney Grievance Commission, told the AFRO that reinstatement of the privilege to practice law is possible but only after a process that starts with a petition for reinstatement submitted to the court of appeals.
Grossman said 14 disbarred lawyers have been reinstated in the state in the last 10 years. The average interval between disbarment and reinstatement was “nine to 10 years,” he said.
To be reinstated, a disbarred lawyer must list debts and whether restitution, if necessary, has been paid.
The improprieties the court found Gardner guilty of included having paid his office manager for legal work, though the manager is not an attorney; improperly filing a nonimmigrant work visa application; and charging a woman $25,000 to negotiate a contract between the woman’s son and a rapper. The contract was never executed.
Gardner served as a law clerk for Judge Robert Bell and according to his law firm’s web site, he was a member of the Howard Law Review.