SC: August 24, 2017 Decisions of the Supreme Court of Kentucky (Minutes)

Insurance bad faith and experts not needed for emotional distress; widows claim survives final settlement; attorney entitled to quantum meruit so long as not terminated for cause; EUO obligation by passenger for claim for UM and PIP

Here are some of August 2017 published cases:

  • Insurance. Bad Faith. Damages. Emotional Distress. Expert testimony was not necessary to substantiate damages for emotional distress in a bad faith case.
    Indiana Ins. Co. v. Demetre
  • Workers Compensation.  Affirmed widow’s right to benefits under KRS 342.750, following a full and final settlement by the injured worker prior to his death.
    Family Dollar v. Mamie Baytos
  • Auto Accidents. Insurance. MVRA. Examination Under Oath. Injured passenger is obligated to comply with a driver’s insurance policy provision requiring an examination under oath as a prerequisite to receipt of uninsured motorist or basic reparations benefits.
    State Farm v. Adams
  • Attorney Fees. Discharged lawyer is entitled to receive, on a quantum meruit basis, a portion of a contingency fee on a former client’s recovery-so long as the termination was not “for cause.”
    Hughes and Coleman v. Chambers

Attorney Disciplinary Cases:

MNT082017

Here is a link to the indexed minutes for the Supreme Court of Kentucky at their official web site.

Here is link to the Kentucky Court Report’s archived minutes for the Supreme Court.

This month’s minutes of the published and not to be published decisions, disciplinary matters, discretionary reviews granted and denied, petitions for hearing requested and denied, and more are as follows.  Use the scroll arrows at the bottom left of the PDF document to scroll through the pages.

SC: August 2017 Oral Arguments before Ky Supreme Court

Click here for link to table of all monthly oral argument calendars at Kentucky’s Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) from 2005 to date.

Click here for a link to all of the Kentucky Court Report’s postings on Supreme Court argument calendars.

Click here to catch live web streaming oral arguments on the date and time of the argument.  They are not saved for later viewing.

 

SCOAUG17

SC: Attorney Discipline Matters for June 2017

Roger D. Varney, II; David Thomas Sparks: Jamie L. Turner

A. Kentucky Bar Association v. Roger D. Varney, II 

2017-SC-000101-KB June 15, 2017 

Opinion and Order of the Court. Minton, C.J.; Cunningham, Hughes, Keller, VanMeter, and Venters, JJ., sitting. All concur. Wright, J., not sitting. The Inquiry Commission filed twelve charges against Varney stemming from three separate disciplinary files. Although Varney filed answers to the charges, he did not participate in either the prehearing conference or the hearing before the Trial Commissioner. The Trial Commissioner ultimately recommended a finding of guilty on all charges in each of the three consolidated files and recommended suspension for a period of 181 days and payment of restitution to Varney’s clients.

The Board of Governors ultimately adopted the Trial Commissioner’s findings and recommended sanction. Neither Varney nor Bar Counsel filed a notice of review with the Supreme Court under SCR 3.370(8) and the Court declined to review the Board’s decision under SCR 3.370(9). Accordingly, the Court adopted the Board’s recommendations, finding Varney guilty of twelve disciplinary charges, suspending him from the practice of law for 181 days, and ordering payment of restitution to his clients.

B. Kentucky Bar Association v. David Thomas Sparks 

2017-SC-000115-KB June 15, 2017 

Opinion and Order of the Court. All sitting; all concur. Sparks, who was under suspension by three separate orders of the Supreme Court, was charged by the Inquiry Commission with violating several Rules of Professional Conduct. Numerous unsuccessful attempts at service were made by mail and the Warren County Sheriff’s Department. Due to Sparks’ failure to respond to the charge, the Commission submitted the matter to the Board of Governors under SCR 3.210(1). The Board unanimously found Sparks guilty of each alleged violation. After considering Sparks’ prior disciplinary history, the Board unanimously recommended that Sparks be suspended from the practice of law for one year, to run consecutively with the other pending suspensions.

The Supreme Court reviewed the record and agreed that the Board reached the appropriation conclusions as to Sparks’ guilt. Accordingly, the decision of the Board was adopted and Sparks was suspended from the practice of law for one year to run consecutively with the two, 181-day suspensions previously ordered by the Court. Sparks was further referred to the Kentucky Lawyers Assistance Program, directed to attend and successfully complete the KBA’s Ethics and Professional Enhancement Program, and directed to refund any unearned fees to his client. 9

C. Jamie L. Turner v. Kentucky Bar Association 

2017-SC-000117-KB June 15, 2017 

Opinion and Order of the Court. All sitting; all concur. The KBA suspended Turner’s license for failure to comply with CLE requirements. The Supreme Court gave Turner an extension to appeal that suspension. In her appeal, Turner stated she had attended an out-of-state conference and thought her CLE hours had been reported. She also stated that, when she was unaware of the deficiency until she received the notice of suspension. Once she became aware of the suspension, Turner took steps to fulfill her CLE obligations, and she asked to be relieved from going through the restoration process provided in the Supreme Court Rules. Based on the record, the Supreme Court held that Turner had not presented sufficient evidence to justify relieving her from complying with the restoration process.

SC: June 2017 Grants of Discretionary Review by the Supreme Court of Kentucky (MDRs)

COURT ORDERS GRANTING MOTION FOR DISCRETIONARY REVIEW –
JUNE 8, 2017 

COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY V. DONNA MARIE BLAKE
2016-SC-000346-DG MUHLENBERG

COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY V. BRIAN MUCHRISON
2016-SC-000378-DG MASON
VANMETER, J., NOT SITTING.

COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY V. SAMUEL PATTON
2016-SC-000425-DG EDMONSON
VANMETER, J., NOT SITTING.

RAKIM MOBERLY V. COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
2016-SC-000429-DG FAYETTE

MICHAEL DONNELL MAUPIN V. COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY
2016-SC-000448-DG FAYETTE

COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY V. ROBERT SHELBY CAUDILL
2016-SC-000544-DG LETCHER
WRIGHT, J., NOT SITTING.

COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY V. JOHN E. SMITH, JR.
2016-SC-000558-DG FRANKLIN

LAUREL HARPER, ET AL. V. UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE
2016-SC-000632-DG JEFFERSON

COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY V. DAMION MONTRECE LANE
2016-SC-000655-DG CHRISTIAN