KBA DEPUTY BAR COUNSEL DISSES KY. SUPREME COURT RULING – The Bar Counsel Like the Bourbon Kings “learn nothing, and forget nothing.”

KBA DEPUTY BAR COUNSEL DISSES KY. SUPREME COURT RULING – The Bar Counsel Like the Bourbon Kings “learn nothing, and forget nothing.”
Sept. 20, 2012
In a recent argument in an ethics hearing before the KBA Board of Governors, an attorney defending another attorney suggested that the Bar Counsel was excessively prosecuting his client, and that in prior charges the Ky. Supreme Court had rejected the efforts of the Bar Counsel’s office to enhance the period of suspension imposed by the Supreme Court.
The young Deputy Bar Counsel dissed the ruling of the Supreme Court by arguing, that the “Supreme Court spent hardly anytime” on consideration of the Bar Counsel’s motion against reinstatement of the lawyer. The implication of the Deputy Bar Counsel was that the formal ruling of the Ky. Supreme Court need not be respected since they reached their decision “quickly”. This argument presented by a very young Deputy Bar Counsel demonstrates the arrogant attitude of the Bar Counsel’s office towards Kentucky attorneys, and now even to the Supreme Court.
This reasoning of the Deputy Bar Counsel, ignores the fact that several months ago the Supreme Court acted in less than 30 days when they learned that the Bar Counsel was rejecting appeals if the charged attorney did not pay the attorney fees claimed by the Bar Counsel in advance.
One attorney, Stan Chesley, had to pay $88,000 for the right to appeal, the Bar Counsel demanded some $55,000 to be paid by Eric Deters before he could appeal to the Supreme Court…(the bill was for the outside counsel hired by the Board to investigate Deters.) In that case, Deters objected and brought the practice to the attention of the Supreme Court, and the Court took decisive action against this practice of the Bar Counsel’s office. The Supreme Court in about 30 days clearly rejected this tax on the right to appeal.
The Supreme Court originally suspended the attorney for 61 days. The Character and Fitness Committee voted to recommend reinstatement of the lawyer after this 61 day suspension was served. Nevertheless the Bar Counsel opposed the findings of the Supreme Court and the Character and Fitness Committee.
The Bar Counsel appealed the ruling of the Character and Fitness Committee and the Supreme Court, back to the Board of Governors.(?) The Board of Governors ignored the ruling of the Supreme Court and the Character and Fitness Committee, and denied reinstatement of the attorney. That ruling was then required to be appealed to the Supreme Court (for the second time). The Supreme Court almost immediately dismissed the motions of the Bar Counsel’s Office, and following the recommendations of the Character and Fitness Committee, ordered reinstatement of the attorney.
Twice the Supreme Court imposed a 61 day sentence of suspension, and the Court twice rejected the actions of the Bar Counsel’s office in trying to overrule the Supreme Court and extend the suspension to longer period as originally sought by the Bar Counsel’s office. That would alert most attorneys to the fact that the Supreme Court had heard the arguments of the Bar Counsel and had clearly rejected them. TWICE!
The Bar Counsel then pursued prosecution of the same attorney, on additional charges that had lingered without action for years. One charge was ten years old! The Bar Counsels actions in the previous case resulted in the actual period of suspension of the attorney to be some 20 days longer than what the Supreme Court ordered. In the new charge the Bar Counsel refused to grant credit for this 20 days to the new penalty recommendation.
When the prior Bar Counsel, Linda Gosnell was discharged in Nov. of 2011, a press story cited one unnamed source at the KBA as saying Gosnell was discharged for “excessive prosecution”. The KBA has refused to give a formal explanation for Gosnell’s discharge.
This current case seems to demonstrate that the Bar Counsel’s Office is like “the Bourbon Kings, who were said to “learn nothing, and forget nothing!”
Seven members of the Board of Governors are up for election this year. Some of the seven Board members will almost certainly be opposed for re-election. In particular interest is growing in seeking opposition for Board members from Northern Ky., Louisville and Lexington.
LawReader has received requests for info regarding how new candidates for the Board can be nominated. (We posted the answer to this question on Sept. 19, 2010 at Ky. Legal News.) Nominees have until October 31, 2012 to file their petitions to be placed on the ballot for the December Board election.

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