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Kentucky Bar Ass'n v. Pridemore

Supreme Court of Kentucky

April 17, 2014

KENTUCKY BAR ASSOCIATION, MOVANT
v.
DANIEL EDWARD PRIDEMORE, RESPONDENT

Released for Publication April 29, 2014.

OPINION

Page 527

IN SUPREME COURT

OPINION AND ORDER

John D. Minton Jr., CHIEF JUSTICE.

Daniel Edward Pridemore, KBA No. 93508, was admitted to the practice of law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky on April 30, 2010, and his bar roster address is listed as 3565 Lone Oak Road, Suite 3A, Paducah, Kentucky, 42003. The Board of Governors (Board) unanimously found Pridemore guilty of violating SCR 3.130-1.3,[1] SCR 3.130-1.4(a)(3),[2] SCR 3.130-8.4(c),[3] and SCR 3.130-8.1(b).[4] For these violations, the Board recommends that Pridemore be suspended from the practice of law for thirty days, with the suspension probated for two years on the condition of timely compliance with the following: 1) an evaluation from the Kentucky Lawyers Assistance Program (KYLAP), 2) attendance of the Ethics and Professionalism Enhancement Program (EPEP), and 3) payment of costs associated with this proceeding, totaling $595.86.

I. BACKGROUND

The charge against Pridemore was made in connection with a verified Bar Complaint filed by Josh and Tabitha Miller. The Millers hired Pridemore in September or October of 2012 to represent them as substitute counsel in a child visitation dispute in the McCracken Family Court. The Bar Complaint states that the Millers paid Pridemore $1,000.00 to represent them in Family Court and, accordingly, Pridemore entered an appearance for the Millers on October 3, 2012. The Millers claim they later paid Pridemore an additional $1,000.00 for the express purpose of appealing the order of the Family Court.

Page 528

No such appeal was ever filed although the Millers' Bar Complaint states that Pridemore advised the couple on multiple occasions that he had, in fact, filed the appeal. After receipt of the second $1,000.00 payment, Pridemore did, however, file a separate motion for the Millers related to their child visitation dispute. He did so in order to combat contempt proceedings instituted against the Millers as well as to cite newly discovered evidence related to the couple's case. Nonetheless, upon learning that Pridemore had never appealed the order of the Family Court, the Millers filed a verified Bar Complaint. Consequently, the Inquiry Commission issued a four-count charge against Pridemore.

After the issuance of the charge against him, Pridemore communicated to the Office of the Bar Counsel that he has been receiving mentorship from a representative of KYLAP. The Board received no other information relating to Pridemore's possible impairment or his involvement with KYLAP, if any. Pridemore has had several phone conferences with the Office of Bar Counsel (OBC), followed by an exchange of emails, all relating to the charge against him, but Pridemore has never filed an answer to either the Bar Complaint or the Inquiry Commission's Charge.

As of the time of the Board's vote, Pridemore had no history of prior discipline to consider. However, after its vote, Pridemore's name appeared on the lists of impending suspensions of Kentucky attorneys for noncompliance with CLE requirements and for nonpayment of Bar dues.[5]

II. CHARGE

The Inquiry Commission issued a charge against Pridemore alleging four counts: 1) Count I charges Pridemore with violating SCR 3.130-1.3,[6] 2) Count II charges Pridemore with violating SCR 3.130-1.4(a)(3),[7] 3) Count III charges Pridemore with violating SCR ...


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