OPINION AND ORDER
Ayers was admitted to practice law in Kentucky on October 21,
1994. On January 28, 2010, Ayers was convicted on five felony
counts of failure to file a tax return in violation of
141.990(5). Pursuant to SCR3.166(1), he was
"automatically suspended from the practice of law in
[the] Commonwealth." On May 20, 2010, Ayers was
suspended for thirty days for failing to refund an unearned
The order suspending Ayers stated that Ayers was suspended
for thirty days "from the date of this order."
Ayers returned the unearned fee to the client but has still
failed to pay $1, 385.45 in disciplinary proceedings costs as
required by the order. On March 24, 2011, Ayers received
another thirty-day suspension for practicing law without a
license after he was convicted of the five felonies in
2010. The order states that his suspension was
to "begin on the date of the entry of this order to run
consecutively from any other discipline." Ayers has yet
to pay the disciplinary proceedings costs of $313.98.
further action was taken by the KBA or Ayers. On August 22,
2018, the Sixth Circuit reversed Ayers's 2010 felony
convictions. The United States Supreme Court denied the
Commonwealth's petition for certiorari on March 19, 2019,
making the Sixth Circuit's opinion final. Ayers now
petitions this Court to reinstate him to the Kentucky bar in
accordance with our previous decisions in Kentucky
BarAss'n v. Barger, 98 S.W.3d 861, 862 (Ky. 2003)
and Kentucky BarAss'n v. Hays, 220 S.W.3d 688
(Ky. 2006). Based on the specific facts of this case, and
Ayers's failure to pay costs in two other disciplinary
proceedings, this Court orders that Ayers's automatic
suspension under SCR 3.166(1) be dissolved. However, because
of Ayers's failure to pay costs for his May 2010
suspension, his March 2011 suspension has not begun to run.
The March 2011 suspension will only begin to run upon payment
of his costs with interest from the May 2010 court order.
Additionaly, Ayers must pay his unpaid costs with interest
from his March 2011 disciplinary proceedings before he can
reapply for admission under SCR 3.510(4).
petition, Ayers failed to mention his two thirty-day
suspensions, and merely sought automatic reinstatement under
Barger and Hays. In Hays, this
Court held that when "the underlying basis for the
automatic suspension has been overturned . . . the suspension
should be dissolved." 220 S.W.3d at 688. In Dunn v.
Kentucky Bar Ass'n, 160 S.W.3d 347, 349 (Ky. 2005),
this Court held that "[a]n automatic suspension pursuant
to SCR 3.166 is clearly a disciplinary suspension because it
is based on misconduct of the attorney." However,
because of the Sixth Circuit's reversal, Ayers is
"returned to his pre-suspension status[, ]" is as
if the suspension never existed. Hays, 220 S.W.3d at
689 (quoting Barger, 98 S.W.3d at 862). Therefore,
if Ayers's automatic suspension under SCR 3.166(1) was
the only current disciplinary proceeding against Ayers, his
bar membership would be restored by order of this
Court.However, Ayers has yet to pay costs in
either of his two thirty-day suspension proceedings, and his
March 24, 2011 suspension was set to "run consecutively
from any other discipline."
argues that the March 2011 suspension has not yet run because
the suspension was to "run consecutively from any other
discipline." This argument has merit as this Court in
2011 noted that Ayers had yet to pay the costs of his May
2010 proceedings. Ayers, 336 S.W.3d at 115. In
Dunn, we opined that a suspension can be extended in
perpetuity by an attorney's own actions, including the
failure to pay costs. 160 S.W.3d at 349-50. Dunn
held that "if by delay in paying the bonds or costs of
original proceedings, the lawyer's suspension has
persisted longer than 5 years, SCR 3.510(4) will
control." Id. at 350. Ayers has never paid the
costs of his May 2010 thirty-day suspension, and as a result,
his March 2011 suspension has not yet begun to run. He has
effectively turned his thirty-day suspension into one that
has lasted longer than nine years. Accordingly, Ayers's
only avenue for reinstatement is through SCR 3.510(4)-the
rule dealing with reinstating an attorney after five or more
years of suspension. Therefore, it is hereby ORDERED that:
William O. Ayers's January 29, 2010, automatic suspension
Ayers is directed to pay the costs from his May 20, 2010
Order, with interest in accordance with SCR 3.450 and KRS
360, 040 and must file an application for reinstatement under
costs for the May 20, 2010 Order have been paid with
interest, Ayers's March 24, 2011, thirty-day suspension
will begin to run and will expire on its own terms upon the
filing of an affidavit of compliance with the terms of the
suspension, including the payment of the disciplinary costs
assessed in the March 24, 2011 Order with interest in
accordance with SCR 3.450 and KRS 360.040.
sitting. All concur.
 Kentucky Revised Statutes.
 Rules of the Kentucky Supreme
Kentucky Bar Ass'n v.
311 S.W.3d 722 (Ky. ...