ATTOREY DISCIPLINE FOR SEPTEMBER 2011 (from SCOKY Monthly Summaries)

VI. ATTORNEY DISCIPLINE

A. Kentucky Bar Association v. David L. Helmers

2011-SC-000106-KB September 22, 2011

All sitting. All concur. The Court permanently disbarred Respondent David L. Helmers from the practice of law in this Commonwealth for violations of SCR 3.130-1.4(b), SCR 3.130-1.8(g), SCR 3.130-2.1, SCR 3.130-5.2(a), SCR 3.130-8.3(a), and SCR 3.130-8.3(c). These ethical violations occurred while Respondent negotiated settlements with clients involved in a class action lawsuit against a drug manufacturer. While Respondent was relatively new to the practice of law and was acting under the direction of senior attorneys when these violations occurred, the Court found that these violations were so basic and egregious that Respondent should have known that his course of conduct was unethical.

B. Kentucky Bar Association v. Fielding E. Ballard III

2011-SC-000213-KB September 22, 2011

Opinion and Order Suspending Respondent from the Practice of Law. All sitting; all concur. Ballard was suspended from the practice of law for a total of 120 days for his conduct in two consolidated KBA case files. At all relevant times, Ballard was the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the 53rd Judicial Circuit. In the first KBA file, Ballard represented a creditor in a civil suit against a debtor. The debtor claimed partial payment of the debt to the creditor’s manager. At the same time, Ballard obtained an indictment against the creditor’s manager for possession of two forged checks on the creditor’s account. The Supreme Court held that a 60-day suspension was warranted for the conflict of interest.

 

In the second KBA file, Ballard mishandled three felony cases – including two murder cases – in which he was appointed special prosecutor by the Attorney General. Ballard missed court appearances and other deadlines, resulting in all three cases being dismissed with prejudice. He also failed to return the case files to the Attorney General after his appointments were rescinded. The Supreme Court held that a 60-day suspension was warranted, with the two suspensions to be served consecutively for a total suspension of 120 days.

C. Kentucky Bar Association v. Ruth Ann Sebastian

2011-SC-000311-KB September 22, 2011

All sitting; all concur. The Court adopted the recommendation of the trial commissioner that Sebastian be suspended from the practice of law for 270 days. The matter stems from three separate case files, which were consolidated. Sebastian violated SCR 3.130-1.3, -16(d), -1.9(a), -8.1(b), and -3.4(c).

D. Kentucky Bar Association v. Terence K. Mulliken

2011-SC-000229-KB September 22, 2011

All sitting; all concur. Respondent was convicted of promoting contraband in the first degree and conspiracy to trafficking in a controlled substance in the second degree in 2004 due to the convictions he was temporarily suspended from the practice of law. The Trial Commissioner concluded that Mulliken had violated the former SCR 3.130-8.3(b) by his conviction in the Pike Circuit Court. The Trial Commissioner concluded that he should remain suspended until he is fully released from probation and parole, and for five years thereafter. Further, it was recommended that Mulliken be evaluated by an appropriate substance abuse professional and also be required to enter into a five-year agreement with the Kentucky Lawyer Assistance Program (KYLAP). Finally, in light of Mulliken's ongoing seven-year suspension and his employment record, the Trial Commissioner recommended the five-year suspension be probated upon his release from probation and parole and on the condition that he follow the requirements set forth in a KYLAP contract.

E. Kentucky Bar Association v. David R. Schott

2011-SC-000261-KB September 22, 2011

All sitting; all concur. The Court ordered Respondent permanently disbarred for multiple ethical violations stemming from real estate transactions with a client. Additionally Respondent has a history of disciplinary action and failed to respond to all attempts to communicate regarding his multiple violations.

F. Kentucky Bar Association v. Michael Ray McDonner

2011-SC-000350-KB September 22, 2011

All sitting; all concur. Respondent was suspended from the practice of law for failure to comply with CLE requirements. Respondent continued to engage clients and failed in two cases to adequately represent said clients. Court adopts the recommendation of the Board to suspend Respondent for 60 days and require him to complete the EPEP offered by the KBA.

G. Kentucky Bar Association v. Donald L. Richardson

2011-SC-000353-KB September 22, 2011

All sitting; all concur. Respondent failed to file a mortgage for three years and when he filed it with the County Clerk it contained a forged notary clause. Court adopted the recommendation of the trial commissioner to suspend Respondent for 5 years

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