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Perkins v. Kentucky Bar Ass'n

Supreme Court of Kentucky

November 21, 2013

Randal Kent PERKINS KBA Member No. 85722, Movant
v.
KENTUCKY BAR ASSOCIATION, Respondent.

Page 878

OPINION AND ORDER

John D. Minton, Jr., Chief Justice.

Movant, Randal Kent Perkins moves this Court, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule (" SCR" ) 3.480(2), to enter an Order resolving three pending disciplinary proceedings against him by imposing a suspension from the practice of law for a period of five. (5) years with several conditions. Movant's Kentucky Bar Association (" KBA" ) member number is 85722, and his bar roster address is 12307 Brightfield Drive, Louisville, Kentucky 40243. Movant was admitted to the practice of law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky on May 1, 1995. The three KBA disciplinary cases against Movant have been consolidated into this single disciplinary action.

KBA File 17288

In late 2007, Brian Hardesty paid Movant $500 to represent him as the plaintiff in a breach of contract and eviction case. The $500 payment included $200 to obtain a judgment against the defendants, and $300 to effectuate eviction proceedings. Accordingly, on January 9, 2008, Movant filed an action in the Jefferson District Court. On several subsequent occasions, Mr. Hardesty contacted Movant and requested information concerning the case. Movant misled Mr. Hardesty into believing that all defendants in the case had been served and that he would soon obtain a default judgment. Six months later, Mr. Hardesty had yet to obtain a default judgment.

On or about May 9, 2008, Mr. Hardesty sought to pick up his file from Movant's office and obtain proof that a motion for default judgment had actually been filed. Movant ignored Mr. Hardesty's request. On May 13, 2008, Movant, for the first time, filed a motion for default judgment. Movant made a copy of the motion and sent the file to Mr. Hardesty. The motion for default judgment was denied on May 16, 2008, with a notation by the judge that one of the defendants had not been served and that the stated damages needed to be more specific. Movant failed to correct these deficiencies. However, Movant led Mr. Hardesty to believe that the delay was due to the judge simply failing to sign the judgment. From all other accounts, it appears the defendants were successfully

Page 879

evicted from Mr. Hardesty's property.[1]

On July 24, 2008, Mr. Hardesty requested that Movant refund the $200 paid to obtain a judgment. Movant failed to reimburse Mr. Hardesty. Consequently, Mr. Hardesty filed a bar complaint against Movant on January 8, 2009. Movant responded to the bar complaint and stated that he had since refunded Mr. Hardesty $500 with an additional $100 payment to cover any incidental costs.

On August 10, 2010, the KBA Inquiry Commission issued a five-count Charge against Movant.[2] The five counts of violations included the following: (Count I) SCR 3.130-1.3 (failure to act with reasonable diligence and promptness); (Count II) SCR 3.130-1.4(a) (failure to keep client reasonably informed); (Count III) SCR 3.130-1.4(b) (failure to explain matters to client); (Count IV) SCR 3.130-1.16(d) (failure to protect client's interest upon termination of representation, including refunding any advanced payment or fee); and (Count V) SCR 3.1308.3(c) (engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation).

KBA File 17599

In October of 2007, Movant was performing independent contract work for the law firm of Travis & Herbert in Louisville, Kentucky. Movant received fifty percent of the fees earned, while the law firm recouped the other fifty percent. As required by SCR 3.130-1.15, all fees Movant collected under the contractual relationship were to be paid into the law firm's escrow account. Movant received numerous payments from clients which he failed to not only report to the law firm, but also failed to deposit into the law firm's escrow account. Instead, Movant retained all proceeds. The payments were received from seven different clients and totaled $4,455.

On October 19, 2011, a three-count Charge was issued against Movant, including the following violations: (Count I) (" SCR" ) 3.130-1.15(a) (failure to keep the property of client or third party separate from lawyer's own property); (Count II) SCR 3.130-1.15(b) (failure to promptly notify third party of receipt of funds); and (Count III) SCR ...


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