OPINION AND ORDER
Fred Garland Greene, was admitted to the practice of law in
the Commonwealth of Kentucky on September 1, 1972. His
Kentucky Bar Association ("KBA") member number is
26890, and his bar roster address is P.O. Box 490,
Russellville, KY 42276. Pursuant to SCR 3.480(2), he moves
this Court to enter a negotiated sanction imposing a
three-year suspension. The KBA has no objection. Finding this
sanction to be the appropriate discipline for his misconduct,
we grant Greene's motion.
has a history of prior discipline. He received private
admonitions July 22, 1985, August 11, 2004, May 7, 2007,
September 20, 2012, March 20, 2013, July 17, 2013, and July
17, 2017. He received a public reprimand and thirty-day
suspension with conditions on November 21, 2012. Most
recently, Greene received a one hundred and eighty-one-day
suspension with sixty-one-days probated for one year upon
conditions on October 20, 2016.
current case spans three consolidated KBA files which arise
from a period when Greene was suspended from the practice of
law. We will address each in turn.
represented Mr. and Mrs. Damon Green in a property action
during his suspension from the practice of law. Throughout
this representation, Greene sent letters regarding the case
to the clients, advising them on legal matters. He also sent
a letter to counsel for the opposing party in a case in which
he stated he had advised the clients.
Inquiry Commission issued a two-count charge against Greene
alleging violations of SCR 3.130(5.5)(a)(1) and SCR
3.130(3.4)(c). SCR 3.130(5)(a) reads: "A lawyer shall
not practice law in a jurisdiction in violation of the
regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction, or
assist another in doing so." SCR 3.130(3.4) reads:
"A lawyer shall not: (c) knowingly disobey an obligation
under the rules of a tribunal except for an open refusal
based on an assertion that no valid obligation exists."
admits that he violated SCR 3.130(3.4)(c) by engaging in the
practice of law in violation of his suspension order. He
requests dismissal of the SCR 3.130(5.5)(a)(1) count. The KBA
has no objection.
son, Jim Greene, and daughter-in-law, Lara Hunt, are
attorneys licensed in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In early
2017, Greene requested Jim and Lara to come to Russellville
and discuss an opinion letter (dated in 2015) regarding one
of his clients, Peggy Violett.
Lara, their child, and his friend met in Greene's law
office with Violett, her two daughters and two sons-in-law on
February 17, 2017. At the time of the meeting, Jim, Lara, and
Violett were unaware that Greene was suspended from the
practice of law.
asked Lara to prepare an estate plan for Violett. After some
correspondence regarding the matter, Lara learned that Greene
was suspended from practice. Lara advised Greene she would no
longer assist him in Violett's estate plan matter.
met with Greene at his residence regarding the estate plan.
Greene reviewed and discussed draft documents with Violett
and told her to take the drafts with her, make changes, and
return the drafts to him. Violett returned the documents to
Greene with her changes.
26, 2017, Violett visited Greene's law office where he
and his administrative assistant were present. During this
visit, four documents were executed: a will, a power of
attorney, a trust, and a health care surrogate. One of the
witnesses to the will was listed as William Sandlin. However,
it was not William who signed the will but his wife, Joyce,
Greene's assistant. Greene notarized William's
purported signature on the will.
Greene dated the will, power of attorney, trust, and health
care surrogate as if executed on December 1, 2015. Per
Greene's request, Violett wrote him a check for $2, 500
after the documents were executed. Greene took the check to
the bank and cashed it that day. On or about July 19, 2017,