OPINION AND ORDER
Joseph Bader was admitted to the practice of law in the
Commonwealth of Kentucky on October 22, 1980. His bar roster
address is 544 Baxter Avenue, Suite 200, Louisville, Kentucky
40204-1154, and his Kentucky Bar Association (KBA) number is
02455. The KBA charged Bader with violations of several of
the Kentucky Rules of Professional Conduct (SCR). Bader has
failed to file responses to any of these charges. Finding
sufficient cause, we adopt the recommendation of the Board of
Governors (Board) and suspend Bader for two (2) years. The
facts of each disciplinary case are summarized below.
File 16-DIS-0304 - Mattingly Representation
Mattingly hired Bader to represent her in a personal injury
case. Bader filed a complaint on Mattingly's behalf in
Jefferson County, but the action was dismissed eight months
later for lack of prosecution. Bader got the dismissal set
aside and the case was ultimately transferred to Nelson
County for further proceedings. The Nelson Circuit Court
filed a Notice to Dismiss for Lack of Prosecution which was
uncontested. The case was dismissed on November 17, 2014, and
Bader failed to inform Mattingly of the dismissal. Mattingly
only learned of the dismissal when she sought representation
by another attorney.
Inquiry Commission issued a three-count charge against Bader
on February 16, 2017, asserting violations of SCR 3.130(1.3)
for failing to perform work in Mattingly's case, SCR
3.130(1.4)(a)(3) for failing to inform Mattingly that her
case was dismissed, and SCR 3.130(8.1)(b) for failing to
respond to the bar complaint. Bader was personally served
with the bar complaint on November 30, 2016, and the charge
on February 16, 2017, by sheriff. He did not file any
File 17-DIS-0018 - Rhea Representation
agreed to represent Michelle Rhea in a legal matter and Rhea
paid Bader a $400 retainer on April 18, 2016. Bader deposited
the check into his law practice's bank account in the
name of Kenneth J. Bader, LLC. Bader then used the bank
account for personal expenses. After being unable to contact
Bader, Rhea went to his office, informed Bader that she
wanted to terminate his services and requested a refund.
Bader told Rhea that his secretary would mail her a check.
Bader did not perform any work on Rhea's behalf nor did
he return the retainer fee.
Inquiry Commission issued a five-count charge against Bader
on August 18, 2017, asserting violations of SCR 3.130(1.3)
for failing to perform any work in Rhea's case, SCR
3.130(1.4)(a)(4) for failing to respond to Rhea's
requests for information, SCR 3.130(1.15)(a) for failing to
keep his client's money in a separate account from his
own property, SCR 3.130(1.16)(d) for failing to return the
unearned fee, and SCR 3.130(8.1)(b) for failing to respond to
the bar complaint.
was personally served with the bar complaint by sheriff on
March 2, 2017. He was served with the charge through the
Executive Director, pursuant to SCR 3.035(2). Bader did not
file a response.
File 17-DIS-0220 - Hall Representation
Hall contacted Bader in May 2017 to represent his son, Ryan
Hall, in a criminal matter. Bader agreed to the
representation and Rex Hall gave him a $500 retainer. Candace
Pollack, Ryan Hall's girlfriend, also gave Bader a $200
retainer. Bader deposited both checks into an account for
Renaissance By Design, LLC (owned by Bader's wife), which
is an antique boutique and estate sales company. This was not
an escrow or trust account maintained for representing
clients. Rex Hall made several attempts to obtain information
from Bader, with little to no response. Bader did not perform
any work in Ryan Hall's criminal case and did not refund
any of the unearned fees to Rex Hall or Pollack.
Inquiry Commission issued a six-count charge against Bader on
December 19, 2017, asserting violations of SCR 3.130(1.3) for
failing to perform work on Hall's case, SCR
3.130(1.4)(a)(4) for failing to return messages from Rex Hall
regarding the representation of his son, SCR 3.130(1.15)(a)
for commingling client funds with his own, SCR 3.130(1.16)(d)
for failing to return the unearned fee to Rex Hall, SCR
3.130(1.16)(d) for failing to return the unearned fee to
Pollack, and SCR 3.130(8.1)(b) for failing to respond to the
was served with the bar complaint by the Executive Director
pursuant to SCR 3.035(2) on August 1, 2017, and served with
the charge by the Executive Director on February 27, 2018.
Bader has not filed any responses.
File 17-DIS-0413 - Glaab Representation
was suspended from the practice of law for thirty days on
September 28, 2017. On October 20, 2017, the Office of Bar
Counsel objected to Bader's automatic reinstatement
because he failed to pay costs, and the charges listed above
in the Mattingly, Rhea, and Hall representations ...