Stuart R. Blatt, a lawyer who was noted for being “respected” and a “leader in the field of creditors rights and debt collection” has been disbarred in the state of Maryland after being found to have mis-managed funds of his law firm’s clients and not remitting money that had been recovered through judgments to his clients.
A copy of the ruling issued by the Maryland Court of Appeals can be accessed by clicking here.
Among the charges that were made against Blatt are: failing to meet basic standards, mishandling money matters, failing to supervise subordinates properly, and dishonesty, along with other “general” violations. The report spells out a number of instances where Blatt or others in his firm recovered funds via judgments, but did not fully remit all the recovered funds to his clients.
At one time, Blatt’s practice had more than 70 employees, but began a decline it could not pull out of when Citibank stopped referring business to the firm in 2014. Citibank had been Blatt’s largest client.
Blatt, who had been a member of the Maryland bar for more than 40 years, argued that there was not a “pattern” of misconduct, but the failed attempts of a desperate lawyer trying to keep his firm from collapsing. The commission was unswayed in determining that Blatt should be disbarred for his actions.
“There is no indication in the record before us that these violations were the product of a grand fraud scheme, as opposed to an effort to find a path out of a confluence of unhappy events, both personal and professional,” the commission wrote. “Nevertheless, in carrying out our charge to protect the public from errant lawyers, we must disbar Mr. Blatt from the practice of law in Maryland.”