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Kentucky Bar Ass'n v. McMahon

Supreme Court of Kentucky

April 2, 2015

KENTUCKY BAR ASSOCIATION, MOVANT
v.
MICHAEL R. McMAHON, RESPONDENT

Released for Publication April 14, 2015.

IN SUPREME COURT

OPINION AND ORDER

John D. Minton Jr., CHIEF JUSTICE.

The Board of Governors of the Kentucky Bar Association (KBA) has recommended that Michael R. McMahon be found guilty of three counts of misconduct, and be suspended from the practice of law for 181 days.

McMahon was admitted to the practice of law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky on September 15, 1967; his KBA member number is 46690; his bar roster address is 3300 Ten Broeck Way, Louisville, Kentucky 40241.

The allegations of misconduct in this case, KBA File No. 22121, stem from the fact that McMahon was administratively suspended from the practice of law on January 23, 2013 for non-payment of dues. On July 22, 2013, he filed an application for restoration to membership. Part of that application is Question #10 asking whether the lawyer has complied with Supreme Court Rule 3.390, which requires notice of suspension or withdrawal to be sent to all clients. McMahon, admitted that he had not done so.

It was discovered during the investigation in connection with this application for restoration that McMahon had, in fact, been listed as counsel of record in two cases in Jefferson District Court during the time of his suspension. Because of McMahon's admission of non-compliance, the Board of Governors denied the application for restoration at its July 26, 2013 meeting.

In September 2013, McMahon filed a motion for reconsideration, stating:

I amend my answer to question 10, as follows. I did not send notices of my withdrawal or suspension to any clients because I was not representing any

Page 401

clients in any pending litigation during the relevant time period.

McMahon also submitted video copies of the proceedings in the Jefferson District Court cases in which he was listed as the counsel of record. In at least one of the recordings, from January 28, 2013, McMahon can be clearly seen and identified as counsel for the defendant. This proceeding took place during the period of administrative suspension.

In October 2013, the Inquiry Commission issued a complaint that was served on McMahon personally. He filed no response.

In May 2014, the Inquiry Commission issued a three-count charge, which was served by certified mail and accepted by McMahon himself (his signature appears on the return card). McMahon filed no response to the charge. The charge alleged three violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct: (1) Rule 5.5(a), which states that a lawyer shall not practice law in a jurisdiction in violation of the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction; (2) Rule 3.3(a)(1), which states that a lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement to a tribunal or fail to correct such a statement previously ...


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