Kentucky Bar Association v. Glidewell, ___S.W.3d___(Ky. 2007)
Two bar complaints were filed against Attorney. The first complaint arose because, in the course of a divorce action, Attorney failed to respond to motions, attend hearings, or communicate with her client. She failed to respond to a motion requesting that her client pay arrearages on and then keep his mortgage payments current. She also failed to attend the hearing and the court entered an order granting the motion. When her client failed to abide by the order her client’s wife filed a motion for contempt. Attorney did not respond to this motion, inform her client about the motion, or attend the hearing. As he had no knowledge of the hearing, her client also failed to attend the hearing. The court found him in contempt and issued an arrest warrant. Subsequently, the client hired new counsel and attempted to have the unused portion of his retainer refunded. However, counsel did not return his phone calls. Attorney responded to the bar complaint but did not file an Answer to the Charge when it was issued. The Board of Governors by a unanimous vote found her guilty of lack of diligence, failure to keep client informed, failure to adequately explain matter to client, improper termination, and failure to respond to an inquiry from a disciplinary authority. Attorney was suspended from the practice of law for a period of forty-five days and was ordered to pay restitution and cost.
The second complaint against the Attorney also arose out of a divorce action. At the conclusion of this divorce action the client still owed Attorney money. Therefore, she filed a Notice of Attorney’s Lien on her client’s marital residence. However, she failed to do a title search and discover that title to the home had been conveyed to her client’s parents. She had never represented his parents and they owed her no money. Client’s parents informed Attorney that they now owned the home and Attorney filed a lien release. However, she did not properly identify the property and the lien was not removed. Attorney was informed of the mistake but took no action until after the bar complaint was filed. Attorney responded to the bar complaint but did not file an Answer to the Charge when it was issued. On this Charge the Commission found her not guilty, by unanimous vote, of using means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person, and committing a criminal act.
Digested by Linda Dixon Bullock, Diana L. Skaggs + Associates