Kentucky Bar Association

514 West Main Street
Frankfort, KY 40601-1883
Phone: (502) 564-3795
Fax: (502) 564-3225

Overview

Established: 1934 as Unified Bar
Total Number of Members: 16,028
Annual Meeting: June alternating between Lexington, Louisville and Covington
Membership in Other Bar Associations: American Bar Association

Bar Profile:
The Kentucky Bar Association (Bar) is an agency of the Supreme Court of Kentucky (Court) which is the judicial branch of the government of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Because of the status that the Bar enjoys as an agency of the Court, all lawyers admitted to practice in Kentucky must also be members of the Bar. Thirty-two of the fifty-one State Bar Associations in the United States (including the District of Columbia) are agencies of their respective state's highest court and have compulsory bar membership.

The Constitution of the Commonwealth gives the Court the authority to regulate the legal profession. Section 116 of the Kentucky Constitution reads as follows:

"The Supreme Court shall have the power to prescribe rules governing its appellate jurisdiction, rules for the appointment of commissioners and other court personnel and the rules of practice and procedure for the Court of Justice. The Supreme Court shall by rule, govern admission to the bar and the discipline of members of the bar."

The Bar has been a unified organization since 1934 when the General Assembly passed an act creating an all inclusive bar association which authorized the Court of Appeals (now Supreme Court) to adopt and promulgate rules and regulations defining the practice of law and to establish a code of professional responsibility to govern the discipline of members of the Bar. The early history of the Bar dates back to 1871 when the first meeting of lawyers from across Kentucky was held in Louisville and a voluntary association was created.

An extensive Rule of the court, known as Supreme Court Rule 3 (SCR), governs the operations of the Bar. SCR 3.025 defines the mission and purpose of the Bar:

"The mission and purpose of the Association is to maintain a proper discipline of the members of the bar in accordance with these Rules and with the principles of the legal profession as a public calling, to initiate and supervise, with the approval of the Court, appropriate means to insure a continuing high standard of professional competence on the part of the members of the bar, and to bear a substantial and continuing responsibility for promoting the efficiency and improvement of the judicial system."

The governing body of the Bar is known as the Board of Governors (Board). The Board is the agent of the Court for the purpose of administering and enforcing the Rules. The President of the Bar is the Chief Executive Officer who is charged with the responsibility of presiding at all meetings of the Board and the Association. The President is a member of the Board with full power to vote on all matters that come before it. The term of office of the President is one year and it commences each July 1. Any of the over 16,000 members of the Bar are eligible to run for the office of President-Elect, by filing a nominating petition signed by 100 or more members in good standing.

Other members of the Board include the President-Elect, Vice President, Immediate Past President, the Chair of the Young Lawyers Section, and two lawyers from each Supreme Court District. Board members from each of the seven Supreme Court Districts are elected from their respective Districts for two-year terms with a limitation of three consecutive two-year terms. Any member in good standing is eligible to run for the Board of Governors from his or her respective District.

The Board meets at least six times each year and, in addition, Board members serve on the various committees, commissions and task forces of the Bar.

The investigation and processing of complaints of unethical conduct against lawyers is one of the major missions of the Bar. An Inquiry Commission, composed of six lawyers and three non-lawyers appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, has the responsibility of reviewing complaints of lawyer misconduct. The Commission determines whether a complaint should be dismissed or the lawyer should be charged. If a lawyer is charged with unethical conduct and there is any factual dispute to resolve, the case is referred to a Trial Commissioner for an evidentiary hearing. The Trial Commissioner issues an advisory report containing findings of fact, conclusions of law and the recommended sanction, if any. If no appeal is taken from the Trial Commissioner's report, the case goes directly to the Supreme Court of Kentucky for the entry of an order consistent with the Trial Commissioner's recommendation. If an appeal is taken, the case is submitted to the Board of Governors of the Kentucky Bar Association, which includes four non-lawyers when it hears disciplinary cases. After receiving briefs and hearing oral arguments, the Board will consider the case in closed session and issue an advisory decision, after which the case will proceed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court makes the ultimate determination of all charges. A disciplinary case is confidential until sixty days after a finding by a Trial Commission that the attorney is guilty of misconduct that warrants public discipline, at which point the case becomes public.

The Bar has a mandatory continuing legal education (CLE) program for all members who are not specifically exempted from compliance. Each member must obtain a minimum of 12.5 CLE credits per year or risk suspension of the privilege to practice law. At least two of the 12.5 credit hours required shall be devoted to continuing legal education specifically addressing the topics of legal ethics, professional responsibility or professionalism. Operation of the program is funded from a portion of each lawyer's annual dues. CLE seminars are presented across the state by the Bar, the state law schools, various local bar associations and other associations of attorneys such as the Kentucky Justice Association, the Kentucky Defense Counsel, the Commonwealth Attorneys Association, the County Attorneys Association, the Municipal Attorneys Association and the School Board Attorneys Association

A seven-member CLE Commission is charged with the responsibility of overseeing the operation of the continuing legal education program. There is one member of the Commission from each Supreme Court District. Commission members serve terms of three years with a limitation of two consecutive terms and are appointed by the Court upon recommendation of the Board.

An Attorneys Advertising Commission, consisting of nine members appointed for terms of three years by the Board, has the responsibility of assisting lawyers in ethically advertising and to protect the public from false, misleading or deceptive lawyer advertisements. During the past several years, the United States Supreme Court has consistently held that lawyers have a constitutional right to advertise their availability for legal services. The Commission may disapprove advertisements that do not meet the guidelines of the Kentucky Supreme Court Advertising Rule.

In 1986, the Kentucky IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts) Fund was established by Kentucky Supreme Court Rule 3.830. The IOLTA program uses the interest from funds held in trust by attorneys to provide grants to programs that serve the public. Attorneys who voluntarily participate in the IOLTA program designate small or short-time trust accounts as IOLTA accounts with participating banks, and after converting the accounts to interest-bearing status, the interest is paid by the banks to the IOLTA Fund, which is a special fund of the Kentucky Bar Foundation. The IOLTA Fund Board of Trustees, with the approval of the Kentucky Supreme Court, decides on grant disbursements for the following purposes: legal aid to the poor; projects to improve the administration of justice; and other special law-related projects approved by the Court. As of June, 2009, total grants of over $12.2 million have been awarded by IOLTA since the inception of the program. The Kentucky Bar Foundation through the support of its Bar Foundation Fellows program, has made grants separate from the IOLTA Fund which total in excess of $1,358,000 since 1988.

Another service of the Bar designed to protect the public is the authority of the Board to proceed against a person who is practicing law without the proper qualifications. The Board may direct that a motion be filed with the Supreme Court to request that a person be held in contempt of court for the unauthorized practice of law.

The Bar has a Client Security Fund that is funded by lawyers and administered by five Trustees who are appointed for terms of three years by the Board of Governors. The purpose of the fund is to protect the public and provide indemnification to clients who may suffer monetary loss by reason of fraudulent or dishonest acts on the part of a member of the Bar. The fraudulent or dishonest act must occur in the context of the lawyer-client relationship.

The KBA Client Assistance Program complements the current disciplinary procedures by assisting clients and their Kentucky attorneys in resolving problems which do not rise to the level of professional misconduct and to facilitate greater use of the KBA's client/attorney dispute resolution services. The program is designed to serve the needs of the membership and public alike.

The Kentucky Lawyer Assistance Program (KYLAP) is a program whose mission is to assist members of the legal community who may be impaired by reason of chemical dependency or mental disease or defect, and whose impairment is adversely affecting, or has the potential to affect, their ability to effectively practice law. The assistance offered to self referrals and third party referrals is confidential (pursuant to Kentucky Supreme Court rule). This confidentiality extends to the names of anyone who communicates with KYLAP and all information gathered, records maintained and actions taken by KYLAP. There is a specific prohibition against disclosing such information to any agency of the Court and any department of the KBA.

The Bar has a Fee Arbitration Plan that may be used by clients and lawyers where there is a disagreement over the amount of a legal fee. All parties must agree to arbitrate and the decision of the Trial Commissioner is binding. One Trial Commissioner is appointed to conduct hearings in fee disputes of $10,000 or less and three Trial Commissioners are appointed where the controversy exceeds $2,500. If the controversy exceeds $10,000, one of the three Trial Commissioners will be a non-lawyer.

There is also a Legal Negligence Arbitration Plan that is established to resolve claims of legal negligence involving $10,000 or less. Like fee arbitration, all parties must agree to arbitrate and the decision is binding on the parties.

There are currently 23 sections of the Bar that have been established to address the issues and needs of the various areas of the practice of law. Section membership is voluntary and is open to all members of the Bar. Each section has dues and elects officers during the annual section meetings held during the Bar's Annual Convention. One of the primary responsibilities of each section is to assist sponsors of continuing legal education seminars in obtaining the best speakers available for the subject matter to be presented.

Members of the Board, the various commissions, committees, task forces and sections of the Bar serve without pay and only receive travel expenses. The volunteer leadership is supported by a full-time paid staff of 48 people, including 13 lawyers who work out of the Kentucky Bar Center in Frankfort. The Bar Center is located in the historic district of downtown Frankfort and is a beautiful Federalist Georgian style structure that is a source of pride for every Kentucky lawyer.

Just as the Bar Center is a source of pride for each lawyer, so is the fact that a lawyer is an officer of the Court and, as such, has the responsibility to carry out the administration of justice and to both serve and protect the public.

(Revised 06/01/09)

Annual Meetings:
June 10-12, 2009
Covington, KY

Current Officers & Leadership

President
Barbara D. Bonar
3611 Decoursey Avenue
Covington, KY 41015

Presiden-Elect
Charles E. English, Jr.
P.O. Box 770
Bowling Green, KY 42102-0770

Vice President
Bruce K. Davis
2208 Mangrove Drive
Lexington, KY 40513-1339

Immediate Past President
Jane Winkler Dyche
P.O. Box 5156
London, KY 40745

Chair, Young Lawyers Section
Scott D. Laufenberg
P.O. Box 9547
Bowling Green, KY 42102-9547

Contacts

Interim Executive Director
John D. Meyers

Director of Accounting/Membership
Nicole A. Key

Director of Administration
Melissa Blackwell

Bar Counsel
Linda Gosnell

Director of Communications
Amy Carman

Director of Continuing Legal Education
John D. Meyers

Director of IOLTA/Kentucky Bar Foundation
Todd S. Horstmeyer

Director of Kentucky Lawyer Assistance Program (KYLAP)
Randy Ratliff

Sections

2008-2009 SECTION CHAIRS

ADR SECTION
Hiram Ely III
101 South 5th Street, Suite 3500
Louisville, KY 40212-3197
(502) 587-3562
Email: he@gdm.com

BANKRUPTCY LAW SECTION
Charles Keeton
Frost Brown & Todd
400 West Market Street
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 568-0257
Email: ckeeton@fbtlaw.com

BUSINESS LAW SECTION
Brian C. Dunham
250 Grandview Drive, Suite 200
Ft. Mitchell, KY 41017
(859) 344-1188
Email: bdunham@hemmerlaw.com

CIVIL LITIGATION SECTION
Scott Laufenberg
P.O. Box 9547
Bowling Green, KY 42102-9547
(270) 782-8160
Email: slaufenberg@kscvlaw.com

CONSTRUCTION & PUBLIC CONTRACT LAW
Julie Neuroth
2615 Legacy Ridge
Florence, KY 41042-8402
(859) 653-1387
Email: jneuroth@byhlaw.com

CORPORATE HOUSE COUNSEL SECTION
M. Dianne Mason
2252 Dogwood Trace
Lexington, KY 40514-2416
(513) 305-2361

CRIMINAL LAW SECTION
Jeff Sherr
100 Fair Oaks Lane, Suite 302
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-8006
Email: Jeff.Sherr@ky.gov

EDUCATION LAW SECTION
Mickey McGuire
132 S. Lake Drive, Suite 202
P.O. Box 1746
Prestonsburg, KY 41653

EQUINE LAW SECTION
David Longenecker
250 W. Main Street, Suite 2300
Lexington, KY 40507
(859) 226-2400

FAMILY LAW SECTION
Lauren Ogden
500 West Jefferson, Suite 1610
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 583-4455

HEALTH CARE LAW SECTION
Richard Setterberg
9872 Fawnrun Court
Cincinnati, OH 45241-3849
(513) 733-1759
Email: rascolpa@cinci.rr.com

LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW SECTION
Walter Hawkins
(270) 745-1933
Email: hawkinslaw@insightbb.com

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW SECTION
Wade Helm
1012 South 4th Street
Louisville, KY 40203
Email: w.helm@insightbb.org

ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY AND RESOURCES LAW SECTION
Carolyn M. Brown
300 West Vine Street, Suite 1100
Lexington, KY 40507
(859) 231-8500

PROBATE & TRUST LAW SECTION
Edward J. Buechel
6900 Houston Road
Florence, KY 41042
(859) 578-6603
Email: ejbuechel@rbcdlw.com

PUBLIC INTEREST LAW SECTION
Glenda Harrison
104 East 7th Street
Covington, KY 41011
(859) 431-8200
Email: gharrison@lablaw.org

REAL PROPERTY LAW SECTION
Nicole Jackson
P.O. Box 22100
Louisville, KY 40252
Email: nicolee.jackson@ky.gov

SENIOR LAWYERS' SECTION
Chester P. Care
3170 Mapleleaf Drive, Apt 208
Lexington, KY 40509
Email: carechet@aol.com

SMALL FIRM PRACTICE SECTION
L.W. Myers
1500 Leestown Road, Suite 180
Lexington, KY 40511
(859) 492-9945
Email: larryw@insightbb.com

TAXATION LAW SECTION
Mark A. Loyd, Jr.
3500 National City Tower
101 South Fifth Street
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 587-3552
Email: mal@gdm.com

WORKERS' COMPENSATION SECTION
Michael ‚??Drew‚?Ě Richardson
1605 Shady Lane
Louisville, KY 40205
Email: richardson.michael@dudoramail.com

YOUNG LAWYERS SECTION
Scott D. Laufenberg
P.O. Box 9547
Bowling Green, KY 42102-9547
(270) 782-8160
Email: slaufenberg@kscvlaw.com

2008-2009 COMMITTEE CHAIRS

2009 ANNUAL CONVENTION CHAIR
Harry D. Rankin
130 Dudley Road, Suite 250
Edgewood, KY 41017
(859) 331-8883

ATTORNEYS' ADVERTISING COMMISSION - BY RULE
Michael J. O'Hara
P.O. Box 17411
Covington, KY 41017-0411
(859) 331-2000

BAR CENTER TRUSTEES - BY RULE
Judge William Graham
79 River Bluf
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 223-5628

BAR LITIGATION
Joseph L. White
1469 South 4th Street
Louisville, KY 40208-2118
(502) 634-4454

BUDGET - BY RULE
Charles E. English, Jr.
P.O. Box 770
Bowling Green, KY 42102-0770
(270) 781-6500

COMMITTEE ON CHILD PROTECTION & DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Contact Person: Rebecca B. Diloreto
835 Della Drive
Lexington, KY 40505
Email: rbdiloreto@aol.com

CLIENTS' SECURITY FUND TRUSTEES - BY RULE
Mark Howard
1005 Madison Avenue
Covington, KY 41011
(859) 292-3212

COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
Frances E. Catron
260 West Vine Street, Suite 300
Lexington, KY 40507-1612
(859) 685-4848

CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION COMMISSION - BY RULE
Kimberly Scott McCann
1544 Winchester Avenue, Fifth Floor
P.O. Box 1111
Ashland, KY 41105
(606) 329-2929

DONATED LEGAL SERVICES
Jacqueline S. Duncan
535 West 2nd Street, Suite 101
Lexington, KY 40508-1284
(606) 886-8851

ELDER LAW
Bernard M. Faller
3630 Dutchman‚??s Lane, Suite 1
Louisville, KY 40205-3216
(502) 581-1111

ETHICS
Linda S. Ewald
Brandeis School of Law
University of Louisville
Belknap Campus
Louisville, KY 40292
(502) 852-7362

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Barbara D. Bonar
3611 Decoursey Avenue
Covington, KY 41015
(859) 431-3333

INVESTMENT
Whitney T. Greer-Stokes
Cumberland Valley National
Post Office Box 709
London, KY 40743
(606) 878-7010

JOINT LOCAL FEDERAL RULES COMMISSION - BY RULE
Douglas L. McSwain
Coordinator
155 East Main Street
Lexington, KY 40507-0491
(859) 255-8581

JOINT STUDY COMMITTEE ON JUDICIAL CONCERNS
William M. Nixon
P.O. Box 688
Richmond, KY 40476
(859) 623-1236

KYLAP COMMISSION
Pete Gullett
323 West Main Street, Suite 600
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 568-6100

LEGISLATIVE
Jane Winkler Dyche
P.O. Box 5156
London, KY 40745
(606) 877-2991

MEMBER SERVICES
Sheryl Egli Heeter
421 Madison Avenue
Covington, KY 41011
(859) 491-5297

MENTORING
R. Kent Westberry
220 West Main Street, Suite 1900
Louisville, KY 40202-1395
(502) 589-7616

RULES
Douglass Farnsley
400 West Market Street, Suite 1800
Louisville, KY 40202-3352
(502) 681-0426

UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE
Jerry Cox
P.O. Box 1350
Mt Vernon, KY 40456-1350
(606) 256-5111