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Kentucky Bar Ass'n v. Robinson

Supreme Court of Kentucky

November 21, 2013

Joshua Michael ROBINSON KBA Member No. 89189, Respondent.


John D. Minton, Jr., Chief Justice.

Respondent, Joshua Michael Robinson, whose Kentucky Bar Association (" KBA" ) member number is 89189, and whose bar roster address is 635 W. 7th Street, # 401, Cincinnati, Ohio 45203, was admitted to the practice of law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky on October 3, 2002. Once admitted, Robinson began practicing in Lexington, Kentucky. At some point in 2007, Robinson also began practicing in West Virginia. Between 2009 and 2010, Robinson was involved in two separate altercations resulting in criminal convictions. Consequently, the Inquiry Commission issued two disciplinary Charges. Both Charges were consolidated into one disciplinary action and heard before the Trial Commissioner on February 17, 2013. The Trial Commissioner's report was filed on

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April 26, 2013 and contains findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations. Robinson appealed the Trial Commissioner's report to the Board of Governors on May 28, 2013. On September 11, 2013, Robinson moved to withdraw his appeal and the KBA had no objection. Accordingly, on September 13, 2013, the President of the KBA granted Robinson's motion to withdraw his appeal.

This disciplinary action now comes to us pursuant to Supreme Court Rule (" SCR" ) 3.360(4), which states that within thirty days after the Trial Commissioner files his or her report with the Disciplinary Clerk, " either party may file a notice of appeal.... If no notice of appeal is timely filed, the entire record shall be forwarded to the Court for entry of a final order...."


KBA File 17648

On May 12, 2009, Robinson and his wife, Wendy Robinson, had a fight. Wendy placed the couple's four-year-old child in her vehicle and attempted to leave the residence. As she was leaving, Robinson smashed a propane tank into the rear window of the vehicle. There were no resulting injuries. Wendy filed a signed affidavit stating that she struck Robinson with her vehicle before he threw the propane tank through the rear window. Wendy also stated that she " exaggerated" some facts because she was distressed at the time. Robinson was ultimately indicted in the Fayette Circuit Court. Robinson entered a guilty plea to the amended charges of two counts of wanton endangerment in the second degree, Class A misdemeanors. The trial court's judgment on the guilty plea was entered on October 13, 2009.

Robinson failed to notify the KBA of his conviction. As a result, the Inquiry Commission issued a bar complaint against Robinson. The bar complaint requested additional information and stated that failure to respond could result in an additional charge of misconduct. The bar complaint was mailed to Robinson's bar roster address, which at the time was 271 W. Short Street, Suite 512, Lexington, Kentucky 40507. The bar complaint was also mailed to two alternative addresses in Charleston, West Virginia. The complaint sent to the Lexington, Kentucky address was returned to the KBA marked " unclaimed." The complaints sent to the West Virginia addresses were returned to the KBA marked " unable to forward."

Eventually, the complaint was served on the Executive Director of the KBA as agent for service under SCR 3.175(2). Robinson failed to respond to the complaint and the Inquiry Commission's request for additional information. A reminder letter was mailed to Robinson. All three mailings were returned to the KBA as either " unclaimed" or " unable to forward." On June 9, 2010, the Executive Director was served after an attempt at personal service failed.

On October 18, 2010, the Inquiry Commission issued a three-count Charge against Movant. The three counts of violations included the following: (Count I) SCR 3.130-3.4(c) (knowingly or intentionally disobeying an obligation under the rules— specifically, failing to maintain a current bar roster address pursuant to SCR 3.175(1)(a) and failure to provide the KBA with a copy of a Class A misdemeanor judgment pursuant to SCR 3.320); (Count II) 3.130-8.1(b) (failure to respond to a lawful demand for information from disciplinary authority); and (Count III) SCR 3.130-8.3(b) [1](committing a criminal act which reflects adversely on the lawyer's

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honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as ...

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