JOSEPH DELANO WIBBELS, JR. MOVANT
KENTUCKY BAR ASSOCIATION RESPONDENT
OPINION AND ORDER
D.MINTON, JR., CHIEF JUSTICE
Delano Wibbels, Jr.,  moves this court for suspension from the
practice of law under Supreme Court Rule (SCR) 3.480(2). The
parties have agreed to a negotiated sanction to resolve this
disciplinary action. An agreement between the parties sets
forth a suspension from the practice of law for 181 days,
with 30 days to serve, and the remainder probated for a
period of 5 years, subject to the conditions set forth below,
with Wibbels paying all costs.
KBA INFRACTION FILES.
KBA File No. 18808.
Scott hired Wibbels on February 24, 2010, paying a $500.00
retainer for assistance with an employment matter. Wibbels
ended up writing a single letter on behalf of Scott. It is
undisputed that Scott had significant trouble reaching
Wibbels, including missing an appointment that had been
scheduled, for which Scott traveled from Owensboro to
Louisville to attend.
sent an e-mail to Scott explaining he had missed the meeting
because of health issues and offered to return Scott's
documents. Scott requested that Wibbels return all of the
case files and a refund of the $500.00 payment. Wibbels did
not return the money.
initially told Office of Bar Counsel (OBC) that the $500.00
was a flat fee to write the single letter and that he had a
non-refundable fee agreement to corroborate this. He failed
to provide any evidence of this letter and later
re-characterized the fee as a flat fee and offered to create
a time log, which he failed to do. Wibbels was served with a
Bar Complaint and a reminder letter; he failed to respond to
Inquiry Commission charged Wibbels with violating SCR
3.130(1.3) (lack of diligence), (1.4)(a)(3) (failure to keep
client reasonably informed), (1.4)(a)(4) (failure to promptly
comply with reasonable requests for information), (1.16)(d)
(failure to return client's documents and refund any
unearned fee on termination of representation), and (8.1)(b)
(failure to respond to lawful demand for information from a
disciplinary authority). Wibbels concedes he failed to comply
with these rules.
KBA File No. 18813
Hunter hired Wibbels on or about February 1, 2010, with
regard to a complaint against her employer. Hunter paid
Wibbels $100.00 to write a letter to her employer, which was
to go out within a week, with a copy sent to her. Hunter
never received a copy of the letter.
then hired Wibbels to appear for her at an unemployment
hearing. Wibbels accepted the case and said it would be a
total $500.00, applying her previous $100.00 payment to the
total. Wibbels failed to submit a representation letter on
Hunter's behalf and further failed to return her file and
unearned fee. Wibbels failed to provide the OBC any documents
in response to allegations of the Complaint. As further
conceded by Wibbels, he failed to respond to the Bar
Complaint levied against him.
Inquiry Commission issued a 4-count Charge, asserting
violations of SCR 3.130(1.2) (scope of representation); (1.3)
(lack of diligence), (1.16)(d) (failure to return a
client's documents and refund unearned fee on termination
of representation), and (8. l)(b) (failure to respond to
lawful demand for information from a disciplinary authority).
Wibbels concedes he failed to comply with these rules.
KBA FUe No. 19052
about January 16, 2010, Stacey Russell sought Wibbels's
assistance in an employment matter. Wibbels informed Russell
that he would reach out to her if he needed further
information, and took no further action on the case. Russell
left her name at Wibbels's office while he was out sick
in the hospital, and he never returned her call. Wibbels
admits he never spoke ...