I can see a reasonably quick pipeline to MDL format with Maya(although I can't test the maya half as I don't have a copy myself)
and download the correct version of the plugin there. It allows for export to MD3 format. Then you use the qexpo tutorial I posted for converting MD3s to MDLs with quark. It's quite possible that quark will refuse to open the MD3 this plugin creates. Read the last day of the tutorials for what to do to minimize the chances of this happening(TGA skins with indexed palette for instance).
If it still won't load them, post the MD3 here and I'll take a look. If you can import it into gmax but not quark, try importing it into gmax and then exporting it again to MD3. This seemly pointless maneuver has been know to fix the problem of quark loading a file. I think the plugin also offers MD2 export, so try that as an alternative.