Legal Ethics

Lawyer Is Charged in Practice-Related Case Brought by Opposing Candidate's Office

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Attorney John Andrew Mattingly Jr. has been seeking election to the post of St. Mary’s County state’s attorney.

But now it appears that the 40-year-old Leonardtown, Md., lawyer and Democratic candidate could lose not only the race for the prosecutor’s job but his law practice as a result of law practice-related criminal charges issued last week by a county grand jury and unsealed this week, according to the Enterprise.

Most of the charges concern alleged false entries on six deeds, related to claims that notaries public affirmed signatures not written in their presence, the Southern Maryland newspaper explains, relying on information from Mattingly’s lawyer. Additionally, Mattingly is accused of misconduct related to two client matters, including charges that he unlawfully attempted to influence witnesses. Further details are provided in a second article.

Mattingly, who was released on $25,000 cash bond posted by his mother after spending the weekend in jail and appearing in prison stripes at a court hearing Monday, asserts his innocence. He also contends that the state’s attorney, a Republican incumbent, and other authorities have pursued the case in order to discredit his political campaign, the newspaper reports.

“The prosecution is effectively squeezing my client financially so he won’t be able to afford private counsel,” his defense lawyer, Clarke Ahlers of Columbia, told the court Monday. “His business and practice is essentially nil.”

Mattingly has filed suit in federal court seeking to regain the client files seized by police last year in a raid of his mother’s house, the newspaper notes.

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