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Baltimore Medical Malpractice Attorney Suspended Following Federal Extortion Charges

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Facing federal charges of attempted extortion and related allegations of ethical misconduct, prominent Baltimore medical malpractice attorney, Stephen L. Snyder, has agreed to the temporary suspension of his law license and to take on no new clients. The Maryland Court of Appeals accepted Snyder’s agreement Friday.

Per the agreement, Snyder will enter into court-ordered monitoring and inform all current clients of the charges against him. In return, the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland has agreed to suspend its disciplinary proceeding against Snyder, pending the resolution of the criminal charges. The suspension will take effect March 31.

Snyder was charged by federal prosecutors earlier this month with trying to extort $25 million from the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS). The Baltimore Sun reported Snyder threatened to conduct an aggressive campaign to embarrass the UMMS over what he called “dangerous organ transplants.” Prosecutors allege that Snyder demanded the hospital system pay him millions of dollars or else he would launch an online and media advertising campaign alleging University of Maryland doctors had knowingly transplanted diseased organs into patients. One aspect of the negative media campaign Snyder intended to wage included a video he produced entitled “Caught Red Handed,” according to the complaint.

“Snyder allegedly demanded that UMMS disguise the $25 million payment as a sham consulting arrangement between Snyder and UMMS,” prosecutors wrote in the eight-count indictment from October 5.

In the indictment, federal prosecutors also allege Snyder was recorded saying, “You’ll use me when you want me, if at all. You know, when you need me, you know, you’ll call me once a month or you’ll have lunch with me once a month, and you’ll get advice from me. Hopefully, nothing will ever surface, no cases or anything. I don’t think they will.”

According to the indictment, Snyder litigated at least two transplant-related malpractice cases against UMMS since 2017. In settlement negotiations with UMMS for one of these cases, Snyder demanded a $25 million deal for his client, but then said the case was not actually worth that much and asked that UMMS pay him directly under a phony “consulting arrangement.”

“When asked what he proposed to do to earn a $25 million consulting fee, [Snyder] said, ‘I could be a janitor,'” the complaint said.

The Baltimore Sun reported that Snyder “has long been considered one of Maryland’s top plaintiff’s attorneys.” His firm, Snyder Litigation Group, has produced well-known television commercials over the years with the slogan: “Don’t just sue them. Snyder them.”

Snyder faces up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted on the federal charges.