OPINION AND ORDER
D. MINTON, JR. CHIEF JUSTICE.
Inquiry Commission issued a four-count charge against Carl
Wayne Gibson on June 12, 2015, alleging he violated
Supreme Court Rules (SCR) 3.130(1.3), 3.130(1.4)(a)(3),
3.130(1.4)(a)(4), and 3.130(8.4)(c). Gibson filed an Answer
admitting to the factual allegations but denying that he
violated any rules of professional conduct. His case was
submitted to a Trial Commissioner, who recommended the
following sanctions: (1) a thirty-day suspension from the
practice of law; (2) refunding fees to his client for failing
to perform the agreed-upon legal services; and (3) payment of
the costs of the disciplinary proceedings.
Trial Commissioner issued his report on April 25, 2017. Under
SCR 3.360(4), either party may file a notice of appeal with
the Disciplinary Clerk. If no notice is timely filed, the
record is forwarded to the Supreme Court for entry of final
order under SCR 3.370(9), which provides that "If no
notice of review is filed by either of the parties, or the
Court...the Court shall enter an order adopting the
decision of the Board or the Trial Commissioner, whichever
the case may be, relating to all matters." Neither
Gibson nor the KBA filed a notice of appeal from the Trial
Commissioner's report, and upon a full examination of the
record, this Court declines to take further review. So, under
the terms of SCR 3.370(9), we now adopt the
Commissioner's findings of fact and recommended sanctions
1. The Respondent, Carl Wayne Gibson, was admitted to the
Kentucky Bar Association on October 11, 2002.
2. Mr. Michael Todd Dove hired the Respondent in March of
2014 and paid the Respondent approximately $680.00 to
represent him in an uncontested divorce action. Such fee paid
by Mr. Dove included $500.00 for legal services and a $176.00
3. Mr. Dove and his now ex-wife finalized and signed all
necessary paperwork pertaining to the divorce by May 5, 2014.
4. The Respondent text messaged with Mr. Dove regarding the
proceedings. On April 11, 2014, the Respondent texted Mr.
Dove and stated that, "Judge has it for review. His
clerk will call if he has questions. If hot, he will have it
wrapped up soon." The Respondent apologized to Mr. Dove
via text message on April 22, 2014 and advised Mr. Dove that
he 'was in Court at the moment and would stop by the
Judge's office that day to check the status of the
matter. Mr. Dove requested status updates via text message on
April 24, May 1, May 6, and May 19, 2014. The only response
to those text messages by the Respondent was on May 19, 2014,
at which time the Respondent stated he would try to get in
and see the Judge and stated, "If not, I will just go on
and put it on the calendar."
5. The Respondent did prepare a Petition for Dissolution of
Marriage, which was signed by Mr. Dove and-his now ex-wife
and an Entry of Appearance and Waiver of Service which was
signed by his now ex-wife which were finally filed with the
Clark Circuit Court on or about June 5, 2014. No documents
were filed in the divorce action prior to June 5, 2014.
6. On June 5, 2014, the Respondent advised Mr. Dove via text
message that he had filed a Motion to be heard oh July 8,
2014. The Respondent has provided no explanation as to what
Motion he filed that was to be heard on July 8th
and the Court record from the divorce action reveals that no
Motion was filed by the Respondent.
7. On July 8, 2014 and July 9, 2014, Mr. Dove and the
Respondent communicated by text message, at which time the
Respondent indicated to Mr. Dove that "everything went
fine, " that the Judge did not "indicate any
issues" and that "I will know for sure in the next
day or so."
8. Mr. Dove attempted further communications with the
Respondent and attempted to get updates and reports regarding
the status of his divorce from the Respondent throughout July
and early August, without any response from the Respondent.
9. Mr. Dove contacted the Clark Circuit Court Clerk several
times on his own and was advised that a couple of additional
items were still needed in order for the divorce to be
finalized. Mr. Dove then retained new counsel to finish his
10.The Court granted Mr. Dove's new counsel's Motion
to Substitute Counsel and signed and entered Findings of
Fact, Conclusions of Law and Decree for ...