On Thursday, December 8, 2022, the Disciplinary Counsel requested the District of Columbia Court of Appeals Board on Professional Responsibility to assign a Hearing Committee to review the Petition for Negotiated Disposition of Washington attorney Mary Davis for interfering with the administration of justice.

The Case is entitled “In the matter of Mary Davis, Esq.,” brought by the Disciplinary Counsel with case no. 2021-D078.

The Charges cited DC Rules of Professional Conduct 1.7(b)(4) and 8.4(d) which state:

The lawyer’s professional judgment on behalf of the client will be or reasonably may be adversely affected by the lawyer’s responsibilities to or interests in a third party or the lawyer’s own financial, business, property, or personal interests.

Respondent engaged in conduct that seriously interfered with the administration of justice.

The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.

In representing a client’s appeal, the respondent did not discuss with the client that she had or might have a conflict of interest in representing him given the fact on the client’s previous claim that she and her co-counsel had coerced him to plead guilty prior to the initial stage of the case. Moreover, the respondent also failed to discuss that the ineffective assistance of counsel claim was a likely and viable way to challenge the voluntary and intelligent nature of the client’s plea.

The filing states:

“Shortly after Scurry filed his motion, he talked to Respondent who agreed to represent him in his efforts to challenge his conviction. Respondent did not discuss with Scurry his previous claims that she and her co-counsel had provided ineffective assistance of counsel and she had coerced him to plead guilty. Respondent insisted that she did not remember Scurry’s March 2013 motion requesting new counsel or Scurry’s stated reasons for doing so.6. When Seurry talked to Respondent about challenging his conviction, he did not tell Respondent that he wanted to raise ineffective assistance of counsel.”

The filing continues:

“Respondent, however, did not advise Scurry that a likely or viable way to challenge his guilty plea and conviction would be to raise ineffective assistance of counsel, which she could not do so without creating a conflict of interest. On December 19, 2016, Scurry filed a pro se motion asking the district court to re-appoint Respondent and her co-counsel as his counsel. The district court granted the motion and appointed the Respondent under the Criminal Justice Act. 29. On March 23, 2017, Respondent filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. $ 2255 to vacate Scurry’s plea on the ground that it was not voluntarily and intelligently entered because he was “induced” to plead guilty to a conspiracy to distribute more than 280 grams of cocaine based on evidence collected from the wiretaps of his co defendants’ phones which the D.C. Circuit ruled were inadmissible.”

The Respondent and the Disciplinary Counsel have agreed that the sanction for the misconduct and violation of rules is a 30-day suspension. Thus, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel requested that the Executive Attorney assign a Hearing Committee to review the petition for negotiated disposition pursuant to D.C. Bar Rule XI,§ 12. l(c).

As of today, Ms. Davis is listed on the website of the law firm Davis and Davis as a practicing attorney. Her info can be found on Davislawdc.com. She attended Catholic University, Washington, graduating in 1984. Davis practices in Washington, District of Columbia.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.