By Stan Billingsley    Oct. 5, 2011

    We recently read a discipline ruling that referred to a program operated by the KBA for attorneys who are in the discipline process.    We asked the Bar Counsel to educate us on this program.  Bar Counsel Linda Gosnell was kind enough to answer our inquiry and explain the program to us in a recent letter.

She explained:

“The EPEP is a one day program offered by the KBA and the Office of the Bar Counsel specifically for lawyer Respondents in Discipline cases.”

“…the chief objective of the program, which is similar to that in other states, is to enhance available options for disciplining lawyers who are having difficulty complying with their responsibilities to their clients as set forth by the Ky. Supreme Court.”

“In some instances, particularly those involving multiple rule violations or repeat low level offenders, requirements of attending EPEP are extremely helpful in helping these lawyers in their practices to improve the service they can render to their clients. The goal of attorney discipline is protection of the public. The program is designed to assist both the lawyers and their future clients.”

“Individual lawyers can be ordered to attend this program by the Supreme Court, or required to attend as part of conditional resolution by the Inquiry Commission.  In some instances lawyers can be referred by the Office of Bar Counsel, with the agreement of the lawyer, in connection with matter disposed of under SCR 3.160(3).”

“Lawyers who attend, pay for it, as this program is financially self-supporting. Accordingly, both because the lawyers are paying to attend, and because a test is included which is administered at the end of the program, the materials are not available for distribution.”

   Those attorneys who practice discipline cases should be aware of this program and might consider this option in negotiations with the Bar Counsel.

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