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End-of-life notice: American Legal Ethics Library

As of March 1, 2013, the Legal Information Institute is no longer maintaining the information in the American Legal Ethics Library. It is no longer possible for us to maintain it at a level of completeness and accuracy given its staffing needs. It is very possible that we will revive it at a future time. At this point, it is in need of a complete technological renovation and reworking of the "correspondent firm" model which successfully sustained it for many years.

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Kentucky Legal Ethics

VIII.  MAINTAINING THE
INTEGRITY OF THE PROFESSION

8.1  Rule 8.1 Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters

8.1:100 Comparative Analysis of Kentucky Rule

  • Primary Kentucky References:  KRPC 8.1
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.1, Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary: 
  • Kentucky Commentary:

8.1:101 Model Rule Comparison

In 1989, the Kentucky Supreme Court adopted as KRPC 8.1 language identical to MR 8.1, including the commentary thereto, which is substantially similar.

8.1:102 Model Code Comparison

DR 1-101(A) provided that a lawyer is "subject to discipline if he has made a materially false statement in, or if he has deliberately failed to disclose a material fact requested in connection with, his application for admission to the bar." DR 1-101(B) provided that a lawyer "shall not further the application for admission to the bar of another person known by him to be unqualified in respect to character, education, or other relevant attribute." With respect to KRPC 8.1(b), DR 1-102(A)(5) provided that a lawyer shall not engage in "conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice."

8.1:200 Bar Admission

  • Primary Kentucky References:  KRPC 8.1
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.1, Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary:  ABA/BNA §§ 21:101, 10l:1, ALI-LGL § 2, Wolfram §§ 15.2, 15.3
  • Kentucky Commentary:

8.1:210 Bar Admission Agency

The Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions is the agency responsible for the admissions of persons to the practice of law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  Its Contact Information is as follows:

1510 Newtown Pike, Suite X
Lexington, KY  40511-1255
Phone:    859-246-2381
FAX:    859-246-2385
www.kyoba.org
General Information: info@kyoba.org<
Webmaster: maryr@kyoba.org 

8.1:220 Bar Admission Requirements

SCR 2.010, Requirements For Admission To The Kentucky Bar, states that "All applicants for admission to the bar of this state must meet certain basic requirements regardless of whether admission is sought by examination (SCR 2.022), without examination (SCR 2.110), for a limited certificate (SCR 2.111) or as an attorney participant in a defender or legal services program (SCR 2.112).  Those requirements are set forth in sections SCR 2.011 through SCR 2.015 and cover topics such as Moral Character and Fitness (SCR 2.011), Oath of Allegiance (SCR 2.012), Intent to Practice Law in Commonwealth (SCR 2.013), Legal Education (SCR 2.014), and a Professional Responsibility Examination (SCR 2.015) .

8.1:230 Admission on Motion

SCR 2.110(1) allows any person who has been admitted to the highest Court of the District of Columbia or some sister state and who has been engaged in the active practice of law, in a state or jurisdiction which has reciprocity or comity with Kentucky, for five of the seven years next preceding the filing of an application to be admitted to the Kentucky Bar without examination provided the applicant meets all requirements for admission to the Bar under these Rules. Active engagement in the teaching of the law shall be considered active engagement in the practice of law.  For further guidelines regarding admission without an examination see SCR 2.110.

8.1:240 Admission Pro Hac Vice [see also 5.5:230]

[See Pro Hac Vice Admission, supra, at 5.5:230.]

8.1:300 False Statements of Material Fact in Connection with Admission or Discipline

  • Primary Kentucky References:  KRPC 8.1(a)
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.1(a), Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary:  ABA/BNA §§  21:301, 101:201, Wolfram § 15.3.1
  • Kentucky Commentary:

An applicant for admission to the bar, or a lawyer in connection with a bar admission application or in connection with a disciplinary matter shall not knowingly make a false statement of material fact.  KRPC 8.1.  Comment [1] notes that if a person makes a material false statement in connection with an application for admission, it may be the basis for subsequent disciplinary action if the person is admitted, or may be relevant in a subsequent admission application.

8.1:400 Duty to Volunteer Information to Correct a Misapprehension

  • Primary Kentucky References:  KRPC 8.1(b)
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.1(b), Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary: 
  • Kentucky Commentary:

An applicant for admission to the bar, or a lawyer in connection with a bar admission application or in connection with a disciplinary matter shall not fail to disclose a fact necessary to correct a misapprehension known by the person to have arisen in the matter, or knowingly fail to respond to a lawful demand for information from an admissions or disciplinary authority. KRPC 8.1.  However, an attorney may not threaten to report another attorney's violation of the disciplinary rules. KBA E-265 (1982). That opinion goes on to note that a lawyer may have legal remedies available such as a Motion to Disqualify Counsel, and that a lawyer is obligated to report a violation of the Disciplinary Rules. However, making threats is considered unprofessional and unethical.

In Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Guidugli, 967 S.W.2d 587 (Ky. 1998), an attorney violated a disciplinary rule requiring him to exercise complete candor on his application for the bar examination when the attorney failed to disclose a prior, unexpunged criminal conviction the record of which had been sealed, notwithstanding the attorney's good faith and diligence in attempting to ascertain whether the sealing relieved him of his disclosure obligation.

8.1:410 Protecting Client Confidential Information

While a lawyer must disclose certain facts, this Rule does not require disclosure of information otherwise protected by KRPC 1.6KRPC 8.1.

8.1:500 Application of Rule 8.1 to Reinstatement Proceedings

  • Primary Kentucky References:  KRPC 8.1(b)
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.1(b), Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary: 
  • Kentucky Commentary:

KRPC 8.1(b) provides that a lawyer in connection with a disciplinary matter shall not fail to disclose a fact necessary to correct a misapprehension known by the person to have arisen in the matter, or knowingly fail to respond to a lawful demand for information from an admissions or disciplinary authority, except as information as protected under Rule 1.6.  Comment [1] notes that it is a separate professional offense for a lawyer to knowingly make a misrepresentation or omission in connection with a disciplinary investigation of the lawyer&'s own conduct or another lawyer&'s conduct. The Rule requires affirmative clarification of any misunderstanding on the part of the admissions or disciplinary authority of which the person involved becomes aware.  In both Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Turnbull, 66 S.W.3d 697 (Ky. 2002) and Allen v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 985 S.W.2d 347 (Ky. 1999), violations of Rule 8.1(b) were addressed in denying motions for reinstatements.

8.2  Rule 8.2 Judicial and Legal Officials

8.2:100 Comparative Analysis of Kentucky Rule

  • Primary Kentucky References:  KRPC 8.2
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.2, Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary: 
  • Kentucky Commentary:

8.2:101 Model Rule Comparison

In 1989, the Kentucky Supreme Court adopted as KRPC 8.2 language identical to MR 8.2, including the commentary thereto.

8.2:102 Model Code Comparison

With regard to KRPC 8.2(a), DR 8-102(A) provided that a lawyer "shall not knowingly make false statements of fact concerning the qualifications of a candidate for election or appointment to a judicial office." DR 8-102(B) provided that a lawyer "shall not knowingly make false accusations against a judge or other adjudicatory officer."

KRPC 8.2(b) is substantially identical to DR 8-103.

8.2:200 False Statements About Judges or Other Legal Officials

  • Primary Kentucky References:  KRPC 8.2(a)
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.2(a), Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary:  ABA/BNA § 101:601, ALI-LGL § 114, Wolfram § 11.3.2
  • Kentucky Commentary:

KRPC 8.2(a) provides that a lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge, adjudicatory officer or public legal officer, or of a candidate for election or appointment to judicial or legal office.  For example, in Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Waller, 929 S.W.2d 181 (Ky. 1996), an attorney's statement in court papers that a particular judge was a "lying incompetent asshole" was not protected by the First Amendment and could be basis for disciplinary suspension from practice of law.  Similarly, an attorney&'s  dissemination of a press release, accusing a circuit judge, who entered a summary judgment against him in his personal lawsuit against electric utility, and two Court of Appeals judges, who affirmed that judgment, of accepting bribes from the utility warranted a two-year suspension, where the attorney produced no evidence to prove his allegations against the judges.  Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Prewitt, 4 S.W.3d 142 (Ky. 1999).  An attorney may be found guilty of contempt and fined for signing a brief that included intemperate remarks clearly indicative of a lack of respect for the court and the office of judge.  Roark v. King, 696 S.W.2d 787 (Ky. 1985). Although attorneys have the right to criticize the courts and their decisions, an attorney who publishes false and scurrilous matters is subject to disciplinary action.  Kentucky State Bar Ass&'n v. Lewis, 282 S.W.2d 321 (Ky. 1955).  Bar associations and attorneys may conduct judicial competency polls, since such polls help ensure that qualified candidates are elected.  KBA E-278 (1984)See also Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Jernigan, 737 S.W.2d 693 (Ky. 1987); Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Heleringer, 602 S.W.2d 165 (Ky. 1980); KBA E-277 (1984).

8.2:300 Lawyer Candidates for Judicial Office

  • Primary Kentucky References:  KRPC 8.2(b)
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.2(b), Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary:  ABA/BNA § 101:601, ALI-LGL § 114, Wolfram § 17.2
  • Kentucky Commentary:

KRPC 8.2(b) dictates that a lawyer who is a candidate for judicial office must comply with the applicable provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct. 

8.3  Rule 8.3 Reporting Professional Misconduct

8.3:100 Comparative Analysis of Kentucky Rule

  • Primary Kentucky References: 
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.3, Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary: 
  • Kentucky Commentary:

Kentucky did not adopt MR 8.3.

8.3:101 Model Rule Comparison

The Kentucky Supreme Court did not adopt Model Rule 8.3. As a result, MR 8.4 and 8.5 appear as KRPC 8.3 and 8.4, respectively.

8.3:102 Model Code Comparison

The Kentucky Supreme Court did not adopt Model Rule 8.3.As a result, MR 8.4 and 8.5 appear as KRPC 8.3 and 8.4, respectively.

8.3:200 Mandatory Duty to Report Serious Misconduct

  • Primary Kentucky References:  
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.3(a), Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary:  ABA/BNA § 101:201, ALI-LGL § 5, Wolfram § 12.10
  • Kentucky Commentary:

Kentucky did not adopt MR 8.3.

8.3:300 Reporting the Serious Misconduct of a Judge

  • Primary Kentucky References:
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.3(b), Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary:  ABA/BNA § 101:201, ALI-LGL § 5, Wolfram § 12.10
  • Kentucky Commentary:

Kentucky did not adopt MR 8.3.

8.3:400 Exception Protecting Confidential Information

  • Primary Kentucky References: 
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.3(c), Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary:  ABA/BNA § 101:201, ALI-LGL §§ 61-66, Wolfram § 12.10
  • Kentucky Commentary:

Kentucky did not adopt MR 8.3.

8.4  Rule 8.4 Misconduct

8.4:100 Comparative Analysis of Kentucky Rule

  • Primary Kentucky References:  KRPC 8.3
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.4, Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary: 
  • Kentucky Commentary:

8.4:101 Model Rule Comparison

In 1989, the Kentucky Supreme Court adopted as KRPC 8.3 language substantially similar to MR 8.4, with the exception that Kentucky did not adopt paragraph MR 8.4(d): "engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice." As a result, MR 8.4(e) and (f) appear as KRPC 8.3(d) and (e).  In addition, KRPC 8.3(d) does not contain the phrase "to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law" that appears in MR 8.4(e).

KRPC 8.3 contains the same comments as MR 8.4 with the exception of Comments [1] and [3]{MR 8.4, Comment [1] and [3]}, which have not been adopted in Kentucky.

8.4:102 Model Code Comparison

With regard to paragraphs (a) {KRPC 8.4(a)} through (c) {KRPC 8.4(c)}, DR 1-102(A) provided that a lawyer shall not:

"(1)   Violate a Disciplinary Rule.

"(2)   Circumvent a Disciplinary Rule through actions of another.

"(3)   Engage in illegal conduct involving moral turpitude.

"(4)   Engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.

"(5)   Engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.

"(6)   Engage in any other conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law."

KRPC 8.4(d) is substantially similar to DR 9-101(C).

There was no direct counterpart to KRPC 8.4(e) in the Disciplinary Rules of the Model Code. EC 7-34 stated in part that "[a] lawyer…is never justified in making a gift or a loan to a [judicial officer] except as permitted by…the Code of Judicial Conduct." EC 9-1 stated that a lawyer "should promote public  confidence in our [legal] system and in the legal profession."

8.4:200 Violation of a Rule of Professional Conduct

  • Primary Kentucky References:  KRPC 8.3(a)
  •  Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.4(a), Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary:  ABA/BNA § 101:101, ALI-LGL § 2, Wolfram § 3.3
  •  Kentucky Commentary:

It is a violation for a Kentucky attorney who actively participates in the negotiation of a civil case to attempt to use the promise of probation in the criminal case as leverage to obtain a personal contribution from the defendant in a civil case. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Lovelace, 778 S.W.2d 651 (Ky. 1989). An attorney's professional conduct violations in 18 cases, including misappropriating unearned fees of several clients, forging client's signature on insurance checks in personal injury case, failing to return client calls and to keep clients informed, approving a settlement without consulting with the client, failing to file a complaint in a land dispute case, failing to file bankruptcy petitions after being paid to do so, and failing to certify appeal and respond to a show cause order in a criminal case, warranted granting his motion for resignation under terms of disbarment.  Scalf v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 11 S.W.3d 34 (Ky. 2000). See also Broadway v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 997 S.W.2d 467 (Ky. 1999);  Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Wells, 986 S.W.2d 450 (Ky. 1999); Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Schaefer, 769 S.W.2d 760 (Ky. 1989).

8.4:300 Commission of a Crime

  • Primary Kentucky References:  KRPC 8.3(b)
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.4(b), Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary:  ABA/BNA § 101:301, ALI-LGL § 8, Wolfram § 3.3.2
  • Kentucky Commentary:

A felony conviction for income tax evasion will warrant suspension from the practice of law.  Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Hickey, 31 S.W.3d 434 (Ky. 2000).  Multiple federal felony convictions of bank fraud and bank bribery will also warrant disbarment. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Traylor, 993 S.W.2d 950 (Ky. 1999).  In Marsh v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 28 S.W.3d 859 (Ky. 2000), an attorney's criminal conviction for tampering with physical evidence was conclusive proof of his guilt, for purposes of a proceeding in which the attorney sought an order permitting him to resign his membership in the Kentucky Bar and to surrender his license to practice law under terms of permanent disbarment. 

Similarly, in Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Thomas, 999 S.W.2d 712 (Ky. 1999), an attorney's convictions for attempted murder and first-degree manslaughter warranted permanent disbarment as recommended by Kentucky Bar Association Board, where an attorney failed to seek review of Board's recommendation.  In Bowling v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 971 S.W.2d 294 (Ky. 1998), a nine-month suspension from practice of law was an appropriate sanction for an attorney who had pleaded guilty to fourth-degree assault, terroristic threatening, unlawful imprisonment, and second-degree wanton endangerment.  A guilty plea of these and similar crimes reflected adversely on the attorney&'s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects and generally warranted suspension. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. McKinney, 900 S.W.2d 605 (Ky. 1995).

Conviction for second-degree assault, which arose from a motor vehicle accident in which the attorney was driving while intoxicated, constituted a violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility, warranting suspension for a period of time in which the attorney remained on probation for the conviction in Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Stephen Ray Dunn, KBA Member No. 19615, 2002 WL 31887057 (Ky. 2002).  Similarly in Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Dunn, 965 S.W.2d 158 (Ky. 1998), a six-month suspension from practice of law, with a period of suspension probated for two years, was an appropriate sanction for an attorney who pled guilty to four misdemeanor counts of wanton endangerment and one count of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), first offense, arising from an incident when an attorney, while driving drunk in the wrong lane of traffic, caused four other drivers to run their vehicles off the road, and one count of DUI, second offense, arising from an accident in which another driver was injured, even though the attorney attributed alcohol problems to his divorce, financial difficulties, and overwork.  For further cases involving attorney crimes related to drug and alcohol abuse see Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. White, 865 S.W.2d 302 (Ky. 1993);  Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Prichard, 862 S.W.2d 896 (Ky. 1993); Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Rankin, 862 S.W.2d 894 (Ky. 1993);  Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Patrick, 842 S.W.2d 868 (Ky. 1992), reinstatement granted 855 S.W.2d 339; Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Jones, 759 S.W.2d 61 (Ky. 1988).

See also Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Colston, 54 S.W.3d 158 (Ky. 2001); Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Horn, 4 S.W.3d 135 (Ky. 1999); Thomas v. Kentucky Bar Association, 997 S.W.2d 462 (Ky. 1999); Craft v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 969 S.W.2d 211 (Ky. 1998); Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Wells, 967 S.W.2d 585 (Ky. 1998);  Pansiera v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 959 S.W.2d 96 (Ky. 1998); Wagers v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 973 S.W.2d 845 (Ky. 1998); LeMaster v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 956 S.W.2d 208 (Ky. 1997); Huffman v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 954 S.W.2d 321 (Ky. 1997);  Heist v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 951 S.W.2d 326 (Ky. 1997); Futrell v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 950 S.W.2d 480 (Ky. 1997); Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Kirk, 942 S.W.2d 908 (Ky. 1997);  Turner v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 937 S.W.2d 190 (Ky. 1997); Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Watson, 935 S.W.2d 610 (Ky. 1996);  Ragland v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 900 S.W.2d 614 (Ky. 1995); Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Patrick, 822 S.W.2d 421 (Ky. 1992);  Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Roney, 822 S.W.2d 416 (Ky. 1992); Baker v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 821 S.W.2d 493 (Ky. 1992); Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Evans, 843 S.W.2d 320 (Ky. 1992); Barrett v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 819 S.W.2d 316 (Ky. 1991); Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Davis, 819 S.W.2d 317 (Ky. 1991); Zalman v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 769 S.W.2d 41 (Ky. 1989); Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Wessell, 766 S.W.2d 628 (Ky. 1989).

8.4:400 Dishonesty, Fraud, Deceit and Misrepresentation

  • Primary Kentucky References:  KRPC 8.3(c)
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.4(c), Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary:  ABA/BNA § 101:401, ALI-LGL § 2, Wolfram § 3.3.3
  • Kentucky Commentary:

Pleading guilty to a conspiracy to make false statements to a federal agency, bank fraud, and causing the filing of a false financial disclosure statement with Congress warranted the granting of a motion to resign under terms of disbarment.  Perkins v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 895 S.W.2d 1 (Ky. 1995).  Similarly, a motion to surrender his license to practice law under terms of disbarment was warranted upon admission of a scheme to fraudulently apply for, receive and use credit cards and permitting nonlawyer staff to engage in conduct concerning a criminal case to gain advantage in a civil case. Kelley v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 883 S.W.2d 492 (Ky. 1994). In Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Nienaber, 878 S.W.2d 795 (Ky. 1994), a reciprocal disciplinary action of suspension from practice of law for period of six months and until further order of Supreme Court was warranted due to lawyer&'s misconduct in another state involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, and involving knowing submission of false expense vouchers to the county court. 

An attorney's conduct in forging a judge's signature to a custody order purportedly giving his client full custody of his son after divorce was a criminal act reflecting adversely on the attorney's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer, and thus, permanent disbarment was warranted. Broadway v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 8 S.W.3d 572 (Ky. 2000).  Misconduct including forging another attorney's signature on legal documents, misappropriating employer funds, and conversion of employer funds also warranted permanent disbarment.  Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Allen, 32 S.W.3d 765 (Ky. 2000).

In Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Huffman, 908 SW2d 347 (Ky. 1995), an attorney&'s involvement in a conspiracy to reduce a candidate's campaign debt through a kickback scheme constituted illegal conduct involving moral turpitude, dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation and reflecting adversely on fitness to practice law, and warranted four-year suspension.  Furthermore, a lawyer&'s unlawful solicitation of receipts and receipt of client's check for patent maintenance fee without forwarding the check to United States Patent Office constituted conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation in violation of the disciplinary rule.  Steutermann v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n. Solicitation, 889 S.W.2d 778 (Ky. 1994).

See also Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Cartee, 39 S.W.3d 28 (Ky. 2001); Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Losey, 24 S.W.3d 660 (Ky. 2000); Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Stevenson, 19 S.W.3d 112 (Ky. 2000); Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Trumbo, 17 S.W.3d 856 (Ky. 2000); Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Clay, 932 S.W.2d 369 (Ky. 1996); Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Watson, 935 S.W.2d 610 (Ky. 1996); Hubbard v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 878 S.W.2d 13 (Ky. 1994); Fisler v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 875 S.W.2d 872 (Ky. 1994); Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Siegwald, 864 S.W.2d 300 (Ky. 1993); Brown v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 834 S.W.2d 684 (Ky. 1992); Barr v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 819 S.W.2d 318 (Ky. 1991); Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. Reed, 819 S.W.2d 314 (Ky. 1991).

8.4:500 Conduct Prejudicial to the Administration of Justice

  • Primary Kentucky References:  KRPC 8.3(d)
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.4(d), Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary:  ABA/BNA § 101:501, ALI-LGL § 2, Wolfram § 3.3.2
  • Kentucky Commentary:

Kentucky did not explicitly adopt MR 8.4(d), but such conduct could be prohibited under KRPC 8.3(d) as conduct involving dishonest, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.

8.4:600 Implying Ability to Influence Public Officials

  • Primary Kentucky References:  KRPC 8.3(d)
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.4(e), Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary:  ABA/BNA § 101:701, ALI-LGL § 113
  • Kentucky Commentary:

Bribing a public servant violates the rule prohibiting lawyers from committing criminal acts that reflect adversely on that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as lawyer.   Warren v. Kentucky Bar Ass&'n, 870 S.W.2d 219 (Ky. 1994). An attorney&'s conduct will warrant disbarment where the attorney even implies to his or her clients that he or she is able to improperly influence a judge.  See Kentucky Bar Ass&'n v. White, 783 S.W.2d 883 (Ky. 1990).

8.4:700 Assisting Judge or Official in Violation of Duty

  • Primary Kentucky References:  KRPC 8.3(e)
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.4(f), Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary:  ABA/BNA § , ALI-LGL § 113
  • Kentucky Commentary:

A lawyer is guilty of professional misconduct if he or she knowingly assists a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable Rules of Judicial Conduct or other law. KRPC 8.3(e).

8.4:800 Discrimination in the Practice of Law

  • Primary Kentucky References:
  • Background References:  Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary:  ABA/BNA § 91:301
  • Kentucky Commentary:

There is no Kentucky authority on this subject.

8.4:900 Threatening Prosecution

  • Primary Kentucky References:
  • Background References:  Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary:  ABA/BNAf § 1:801, 61:601
  • Kentucky Commentary:

[See Threatening Prosecution, supra, at 4.4:220.]

8.5  Rule 8.5 Disciplinary Authority; Choice of Law

8.5:100 Comparative Analysis of Kentucky Rule

  • Primary Kentucky References:  KRPC 8.4
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.5, Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary: 
  • Kentucky Commentary:

8.5:101 Model Rule Comparison

In 1989, the Kentucky Supreme Court adopted as KRPC 8.4 part of the language of MR 8.5.  KRPC 8.4 deals only with jurisdiction, not choice of law.  KRPC 8.4 substitutes the phrase "although engaged in practice elsewhere" for the phrase "regardless of where the lawyer&'s conduct occurs" and the sentence, "[a] lawyer may be subject to the disciplinary authority of both this jurisdiction and another jurisdiction where the lawyer is admitted for the same conduct" contained in MR 8.5. Further, MR 8.5(b), governing choice of law, does not appear in KRPC 8.4.  The commentary to KRPC 8.4 is wholly different from that of MR 8.5.

8.5:102 Model Code Comparison

There was no counterpart to this Rule in the Model Code.

8.5:200 Disciplinary Authority

  • Primary Kentucky References:  KRPC 8.4
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.5, Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary:  ABA/BNA § 101:2001, ALI-LGL § 5, Wolfram § 3.2
  • Kentucky Commentary:

Rule 8.4 states that a lawyer admitted to practice in Kentucky is subject to the disciplinary authority of Kentucky although the lawyer may be in practice elsewhere.

8.5:300 Choice of Law

  • Primary Kentucky References:  KRPC 8.4
  • Background References:  ABA Model Rule 8.5, Other Jurisdictions
  • Commentary:  ABA/BNA § 101:2101, ALI-LGL § 2, Wolfram § 2.6.1
  • Kentucky Commentary:

If  the rules of professional conduct in the two jurisdictions differ, principles of conflict of laws may apply.  Similar problems also can arise when a lawyer is licensed to practice in more than one jurisdiction.  Rule 8.4, Comment [2].  When such conflicts of law arise, the lawyer must look to applicable rules of choice of law to govern the situation.  Rule 8.4, Comment [3]

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