OPINION AND ORDER
D. MINTON JUDGE
Kentucky Bar Association moves this Court, pursuant to
SCR3.380(2),  to suspend indefinitely
Respondent, Christy Hanley Shircliff,  for failure to
answer the charge in KBA file 18-DIS-0059. The charge
concerns Shircliff s failure to answer a Bar Complaint filed
by her former client, Cameron Rowe, with respect to her
mishandling of his child custody case.
hired Shircliff on December 18, 2017, to represent him in a
child custody case, which included filing a petition to
register foreign judgment, and paid Shircliff a $1, 800.00
retainer fee. On January 29, 2018, in response to Rowe's
inquiry, Shircliff explained that she had not filed the
petition to register foreign judgment and she only needed
Rowe's ex-wife's address to serve her with the
January 31, 2018, Rowe sent Shircliff an email and terminated
her representation. Shircliff did not reply to that email. On
February 5, 2018, and February 9, 2018, Rowe attempted to
reach Shircliff by phone and left messages on both dates when
he was unable to reach her. Shircliff did not return his
calls. On February 20, 2018, and March 20, 2018, Rowe sent
letters to Shircliff asking for an accounting, a refund of
his prepaid $1, 800.00 fee, and any documents in his client
file. Shircliff also failed to respond to those letters.
Jefferson County Sheriffs Department personally served
Shircliff with the Bar Complaint on April 25, 2018. Together
with the Bar Complaint, Shircliff received a letter advising
her that the Inquiry Commission ("the Commission"),
through the Office of Bar Counsel, required additional
information from her regarding the Bar Complaint and that her
failure to respond to the Bar Complaint could result in an
additional charge of misconduct pursuant to SCR 3.130(8.1).
Shircliff did not file a response to the Bar Complaint. On
May 22, 2018, the Office of Bar Counsel sent her a separate
letter requesting a response to the Bar Complaint by June 5,
2018. The letter was sent by U.S. Mail and was not returned.
Shircliff also failed to respond to this letter.
Commission issued a four-count charge against Shircliff. The
Commission alleges a violation of SCR 3.130(8.1)(b), which
provides that a lawyer shall not "knowingly fail to
respond to a lawful demand for information from an admissions
or disciplinary authority." Shircliff violated this rule
when she failed to respond to the Bar Complaint. The
Commission alleges a violation of SCR 3.130(1.3), which
provides that "[a] lawyer shall act with reasonable
diligence and promptness in representing a client."
Shircliff violated this rule when she failed to file the
petition to register foreign judgment in Rowe's case as
she was hired. The Commission alleges that Shircliff violated
SCR 3.130(1.4)(a)(4), which provides that "[a] lawyer
shall . . . promptly comply with reasonable requests for
information." Shircliff violated this rule when she
failed to respond to Rowe's phone calls, his January 31,
2018, email, and his February 20, 2018 and March 20, 2018,
letters. Finally, the Commission alleges a violation of SCR
3.130(1.16)(d), which provides that "[u]pon termination
of representation, a lawyer shall take steps to the extent
reasonably practicable to protect a client's interests,
such as . . . surrendering papers and property to which the
client is entitled and refunding any advance payment of fee
or expense that has not been earned or incurred."
Shircliff violated this rule when she failed to return
Rowe's file and refund the unearned portion of his
Jefferson County Sheriffs Department personally served
Shircliff with the four-count Charge on October 5, 2018.
Shircliff failed to file an Answer to the Charge, has failed
to participate in any proceedings before the Commission, and
has defaulted at every level of this disciplinary process.
Kentucky Bar Assoc, v. Bader, 531 S.W.3d 20, 21 (Ky.
2017), this Court exercised its discretion, pursuant to SCR
3.380(2), to suspend Bader indefinitely until he appeared and
accounted for his failure to answer the disciplinary charges.
Likewise, here we believe that suspension of Shircliffs
license to practice law is warranted until she appears and
accounts for her behavior.
the Court ORDERS:
1. Christy Hanley Shircliff is found guilty of violating SCR
3.130(8. l)(b), SCR 3.130(1.3), SCR3.130(1.4)(a)(4), and SCR
2. Shircliff is suspended from the practice of law
3. If she has not already done so, Shircliff must promptly
provide to Rowe an accounting, must immediately refund any
portion of the $1, 800.00 fee that has not been earned (plus
interest at the legal interest rate stated in KRS 360.010,
calculated from the date the bar complaint was filed), and
must promptly return any files belonging to Rowe in her
4. As required by SCR 3.390, Shircliff must, if she has not
already done so, within 10 days after issuance of this order
of suspension from the practice of law for more than 60 days,
notify, by letter duly placed with the United States Postal
Service, all courts or other tribunals in which she has
matters pending, and all clients of her inability to
represent them and of the necessity and urgency to promptly
obtain new counsel. Shircliff must simultaneously provide a
copy of all such letters of notification to the Office of Bar
Counsel. Shircliff must immediately cancel any pending
advertisements, to the extent possible, and must terminate
any advertising activity for the duration of the term of
5. Shircliff is instructed to promptly take all reasonable
steps to protect the interests of her clients. She must not,
during the term of suspension, accept new clients or collect
unearned fees, and she shall ...