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West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland Rules

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 16. Court Administration
Chapter 800. Miscellaneous Court Administration Matters
MD Rules, Rule 16-804
(a) Responsibilities of Attorneys.
(1) Ascertaining Potential Conflict. When consulted as to the availability of dates or times for a trial or other proceeding, an attorney shall check his or her calendar to determine whether the attorney has a conflicting assignment before agreeing to a particular date and time.
(2) When Conflict Exists. If an attorney accepts employment in a case in which a date or time for trial or other proceeding has already been set, the attorney shall:
(A) advise the client that the attorney has a conflicting assignment, that the attorney will promptly attempt to resolve the conflict, and that, after consulting with the client, the attorney will attempt to make suitable arrangements in the event the attorney is unsuccessful in obtaining a continuance or postponement in the client's case;
(B) unless impracticable, within five business days, contact the other parties in either or both cases to attempt to obtain (i) consent to a postponement or continuance and (ii) at least three alternative dates for which no conflict exists for any party; and
(C) unless impracticable, no later than 30 days prior to scheduled argument in an appellate court or 15 days prior to the scheduled proceeding in a circuit court or in the District Court, request a postponement or continuance in one or more of the conflicting cases, advise the court whether the other parties consent to the request, and provide to the court the alternative dates obtained in accordance with subsection (a)(2)(B)(ii) of this Rule.
(b) Grant of Postponement or Continuance. Courts shall liberally exercise their discretion to grant a postponement or continuance if (1) the conditions set forth in Code, Courts Article, § 6-409 are satisfied, (2) no party or witness will be substantially prejudiced, and (3) the court will not be unduly inconvenienced.
Committee note: Courts should be particularly lenient when the request can be accommodated without undue inconvenience by moving the case to a different position on the docket or on another docket scheduled for the same day or when the defendant otherwise may have been entitled to a postponement to obtain an attorney.
(c) Where Conflict Develops After Representation Accepted. If a conflict in assignment dates or times develops after representation has been accepted, the attorney shall (1) notify the court having a lesser priority under section (d) of this Rule as soon as practicable upon becoming aware of the conflict, (2) make a prompt and good faith effort to resolve the conflict informally, including where practicable, by obtaining another qualified attorney acceptable to the client to act in one of the cases before a continuance or postponement is requested, subject to any specific obligation that the attorney has to the client, and (3) if a change in an existing scheduling order is required, immediately file a motion for such a change.
(d) Priorities Where Conflicting Assignments Exist.
(1) Publicly-Employed Attorneys. Except for good cause, an attorney who (A) holds public office or employment as an attorney, (B) is permitted to engage also in the private practice of law, and (C) faces an assignment conflict between an action in which the attorney appears in a public capacity and an action in which the attorney appears in a private capacity, may not be granted a continuance or postponement in the action in which the attorney appears in a public capacity if the attorney knew of the conflict prior to accepting employment in the private action.
(2) Conflicts in Trial Court Assignments. In the event of a conflict in a hearing or trial date or time between a Maryland circuit court, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, or the District Court of Maryland, priority shall be given in accordance with the earliest date on which an assignment for hearing or trial was made, except that:
(A) if the Federal Speedy Trial Act so requires, first priority shall be given to a criminal proceeding in the United States District Court; and
(B) subject to subsection (d)(2)(A) of this Rule, if the provisions of Rule 4-271 so require, first priority shall be given to a criminal proceeding in a Maryland circuit court.
(3) Conflicts Between Appellate and Trial Court Proceedings. In the event of a conflict in a hearing or trial date or time between an action or proceeding pending in (A) the Court of Appeals of Maryland, the Court of Special Appeals, or the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and (B) a Federal or State trial court, the appellate proceeding shall be given priority over the trial court proceeding unless otherwise agreed by the respective appellate and trial courts.
(4) Conflicts Between Judicial and Administrative Proceedings. In the event of a conflict between a judicial proceeding and an administrative proceeding, even where the attorney in the judicial proceeding is a member of the administrative agency, the judicial proceeding ordinarily will have priority.
(e) Attorneys Who are Members or Desk Officers of the General Assembly. A proceeding shall be continued or postponed in conformance with Code, Courts Article, § 6-402 upon request by an attorney of record in the action who is a member or desk officer of the General Assembly. In accepting employment in the action, however, the attorney should consider the inconvenience to the public, the bar, and the judicial system produced by excessive continuances or postponements.
(f) Resolution of Conflict by Courts. Nothing in this Rule precludes the affected courts, when apprised of a conflict, from attempting to resolve the conflict informally in a manner other than in accordance with the priorities established in section (d) of this Rule.
Source: This Rule is new.


[Adopted Dec. 13, 2016, eff. Apr. 1, 2017.]
MD Rules, Rule 16-804, MD R CTS J AND ATTYS Rule 16-804
Current with amendments received through August 1, 2021. Some sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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