Former UK student body president denied reinstatment to practice law

Former University of Kentucky Student Body President, Tim Futrell, was denied readmission to the bar by the Kentucky Supreme Court on April 20, 2006.

Futrell was convicted of felonies related to misappropriation of client’s funds.  He vigorously fought the charges and appealed his conviction.

After graduating from UK School of Law Futrell returned to his home town of Cadiz, Kentucky.  He was disbarred in the l980′s.

The full text of the courts ruling denying readmission may be accessed at 2002-SC-000745-KB.pdf .

The ruling states in part: 

“As part of the factual discussion in its report, the Committee spent considerable time recounting the events that led to Futrell’s suspension . In all, the Committee 

detailed Futrell’s relationships with eighteen of his clients, all of whom eventually sued him for malpractice. The conduct underlying several of these suits was the basis for the 

KBA inquiries that had resulted in his motion to resign and for the criminal charges in Christian County and Trigg County. 

Most of these allegations involved claims that Futrell misinformed his clients about the amounts of settlements in personal injury cases and workers’ compensation claims. Specifically, he understated the amounts recovered . This, in turn, allowed Futrell to keep a larger portion of those settlements for himself. 

In several of the cases, Futrell claimed that he kept such large portions of the 

settlements because the clients had agreed to high contingent fees-as much as 60%. In some cases, he even produced documents purporting to evidence such agreements, 

though his clients claimed not to have seen the documents before or to have entered into the agreements .? 

Ultimately, the malpractice lawsuits against Futrell were settled . Of the eighteen 

cases it described in detail, the Committee found that seventeen were “substantially  similar to each other.” 

“Futrell claimed that much of his unethical and illegal behavior was due to mental and emotional difficulties he suffered during and immediately following his marriage to 

Penny Futrell . The marriage lasted from 1986 to 1988. Futrell claimed to suffer from “workaholism,” which, in turn, led in part to problems in his marriage . He also claimed 

that his mental and emotional difficulties put him in a “fog” from which he did not awake until 1990 or 1991 . “ 

“Futrell claimed that it was only at the conclusion of this difficult period that he noticed his escrow account contained a large amount of money for which he could not account, and only then did he realize that he had engaged in unprofessional and negligent conduct. In his appearances before the Committee, however, Futrell claimed that he had no criminal intent during that time, though he did admit to having been “grossly negligent.” “ 

“Futrell repeatedly blamed other persons and entities for his behavior. Such responses, while hinting at the possibility that the prior conduct was, in fact, misconduct, simply do not constitute an acceptance of that fact.? 

“Simply put, Futrell’s lack of candor, the inconsistencies and omissions in his sworn statements, and his unwillingness to concede that he engaged in wrongdoing or even to show any remorse for his actions all point to a lack of rehabilitation . Admittedly, Futrell has not returned to the depths of the wrongdoing that plagued him in the 1980s, and there is some, one might even say substantial, evidence that he has taken steps toward rehabilitation . But Futrell bears the burden of “demonstrate[ing] by clear and convincing evidence his 0 suitability for reinstatement.” SCR 3.330 ; see also SCR3 .505(4)

(“The burden of proof of one’s good character and fitness to practice law shall be on the 

Applicant .”). Given this high burden of proof, and the facts discussed herein, we conclude that Futrell has failed to demonstrate that his “conduct and character since 

disbarment . . . show that he is worthy to have public confidence and trust placed in 

him.” In re Cohen , 706 S .W .2d 832, 834 (Ky. 1986) .

 For the foregoing reasons, the recommendation of the Board of Governors is 

 accepted and Futrell’s application for reinstatement is DENIED .  Lambert, C.J . ; Cooper, Roach, Scott and Wintersheimer, JJ. ; and Marvin Lee. ? 


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