Bar Counsel Chided By Kentucky Supreme Court

Bar Counsel Chided By Kentucky Supreme Court
The following article once again demonstrates the opinion of many that the current Ky. Supreme Court continues to send a message to the KBA bar counsel office that their excessive prosecution and arrogance towards the courts will not be tolerated. The Supreme Court is increasing setting aside findings of the Bar Counsel. When will the Board of Governors exercise their power to fire members of the Bar Counsel’s office in order to replace them with lawyers you have respect for other lawyer’s rights, and realize that the Supreme Court in one meeting can disband the entire Bar Counsel’s Office. Apparently the Bar Counsel’s office can’t hear the footsteps.
The new Bar Counsel, hasn’t been in office long enough to demonstrate his administrative policies. We are still hopeful that he will make the reforms from within the Bar Counsel’s Office.
Suggestion to the new Bar Counsel: Your offices continued attempt to punish Eric Deters for minor acts, and to increase his penalty above the sanctions imposed by the Supreme Court are still ongoing! How many times will your office devote hundreds of hours of labor to repunish Deters?
Article on December 3, 2012 in Bar Discipline & Process |
With pointedly admonitory language to Bar Counsel, the Kentucky Supreme Court imposed a suspension of 181 days of an attorney who had failed to appear in courts on behalf of himself and others.
The court’s concerns were procedural in nature and related to Bar Counsel’s approach:
While KBA disciplinary proceedings are frequently treated as prosecutorial in nature, they are not criminal proceedings. Rather, they are civil disciplinary matters carried out by an agency of this Court.
Bar Counsel seems to conflate disciplinary proceedings with criminal plea bargains or guilty pleas, or civil settlement agreements, whereby the judge maintains a role throughout the negotiation process, including approval of the parties’ agreement.
We caution Bar Counsel not to conflate a Trial Commissioner with a trial court, nor Bar Counsel with a prosecutor. While there are some similarities, the rules indicate neither is identical in function or authority.
We need not remind Bar Counsel that it is the province of this Court, not Bar Counsel, to interpret its own rules.
Notwithstanding its procedural concerns, the court found that the disposition was not “patently unfair” and ended three years of ongoing investigations. (Mike Frisch)
December 3, 2012 in Bar Discipline & Process

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