OPINION AND ORDER
Keith Pruitt, Kentucky Bar Association (KBA) Number 87872,
was admitted to the practice of law in the Commonwealth of
Kentucky on October 29, 1999, and his bar roster address is
listed as 321 Ferry St., Metropolis, IL 62960. The Board of
Governors found Pruitt guilty of violating SCR
3.130-1.4(a)(3) (two counts), -1.4(a)(4), -3.4(c), and
-8.1(b). For these violations, the Board unanimously
recommends Pruitt: 1) be suspended from the practice of law
for 181 days, to run concurrent with any current suspension;
2) be referred to the Kentucky Lawyer Assistance Program
(KYLAP); and 3) pay all associated costs. For the following
reasons, we adopt the Board's recommendation.
case concerns two separate complaints to the KBA. Pruitt
failed to respond to either of the charges, and they reached
the Board as default cases pursuant to SCR 3.210. In addition
to the matters currently before the Court, Pruitt was
privately admonished in 2006 and was suspended for sixty-one
days in 2016.
KBA File 22631
February 20, 2014, Michael Orendoff filed a bar complaint
against Pruitt. Orendoff alleged he hired Pruitt to defend
him in a matter, but Pruitt failed to file an answer in his
case. Pruitt filed a response to Orendoff's complaint,
indicating that he had drafted the answer, and believed he
had mailed it. Pruitt asserted he returned Orendoff's
retainer when he learned the court had not received the
document he thought he had mailed. During that time period,
Pruitt's wife had suffered a stroke and later died.
Pruitt asserted that he suffered from depression.
Inquiry Commission determined a private admonition was the
proper discipline, conditioned upon Pruitt's
participation in KYLAP. As a result, the terms of the
admonition required Pruitt to send Bar Counsel quarterly
updates confirming his participation in the program. Pruitt
did not submit the KYLAP reports, and KYLAP indicated he had
not participated in the program.
Pruitt's failure to follow through with the condition of
his discipline, the Inquiry Commission issued a two-count
charge against him. Count I asserted Pruitt violated SCR
3.130-1.4(a)(3) when he failed to keep Orendoff reasonably
informed concerning the status of his case. Count II asserted
Pruitt violated SCR 3.130-3.4(c) when he "knowingly
disobey[ed] an obligation under the rules of a tribunal. . .
." Pruitt did not answer the charge.
KBA File 16-DIS-24372
Kennedy had hired Pruitt to represent him in a divorce
action. On March 24, 2016, Kennedy filed a bar complaint
against Pruitt, alleging Pruitt had failed to promptly and
adequately communicate with Kennedy during the pendency of
the divorce. Pruitt did not file a response to the complaint.
Inquiry Commission charged Pruitt in a two-count charge.
Count I asserted Pruitt violated SCR 3.130-1.4(a)(3), (4)
when he failed to keep Kennedy, reasonably informed about the
status of his divorce and when he failed to "promptly
comply with reasonable requests for information." Count
II asserted Pruitt violated SCR 3.130-8.1(b) when he failed
"to respond to a lawful demand for information from an
admissions or disciplinary authority . . . ." Pruitt did
not answer the charge.
File 22631, the Board voted 17 to 0 to find Pruitt guilty of
both charges. In KBA File 16-DIS-24372, the Board voted 16 to
1 to find Pruitt guilty of Count I, and voted 17 to 0 to find
him guilty of Count II. Thereafter, the seventeen members of
the Board unanimously recommended that Pruitt: 1) be
suspended from the practice of law for 181 days, to be served
concurrently with any other suspensions; 2) be referred to
KYLAP for evaluation and assistance as necessary; and 3) pay
all costs associated with these disciplinary proceedings.
ADOPTION OF ...