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KY Supreme Court, KBA request that American Bar Association review state’s lawyer disciplinary system

The Kentucky Supreme Court and the Kentucky Bar Association (KBA) have jointly requested that the American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on Professional Regulation conduct a review of Kentucky’s lawyer disciplinary system.

According to the two entities, the request is being made in the interest of creating efficiencies within the system, protecting the public, ensuring due process, and safeguarding the integrity of the legal profession.

The KBA’s Chief Bar Counsel Jane H. Herrick said, “The last significant structural changes to the lawyer disciplinary system were enacted in the late 1990s. The KBA’s Office of Bar Counsel welcomes a review of Kentucky’s system and looks forward to supporting and participating in this important process.”

The ABA review will evaluate the structure, operations, and procedures of the lawyer disciplinary system and provide recommendations to the Supreme Court. The Committee will conduct interviews with interested parties, including the justices of the Kentucky Supreme Court, Chief Bar Counsel and Office of Bar Counsel staff, the KBA Board of Governors, complainants, respondents, respondents’ counsel, and various volunteers within the system.

Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. said the KBA originally proposed the ABA review this past May. After reviewing the ABA’s proposal, the Supreme Court and the KBA sent a joint letter inviting the ABA to review Kentucky’s lawyer disciplinary system.

“The Supreme Court is committed to ensuring the highest ethical standards for Kentucky lawyers,” Minton said. “This review by an outside group will ensure Kentucky’s processes and procedures relating to lawyer discipline align with national standards and best practices.”

Amy Cubbage, president of the Kentucky Bar Association, said, “We are excited to have the opportunity to work with the ABA’s Standing Committee on Professional Regulation to obtain an evaluation of the health of our discipline system. I’ve been participating in the disciplinary system through the board for nine years, and it’s apparent that while we do a lot right, we could use some procedural updates.”

The review will take place onsite at the Kentucky Bar Center in Frankfort during the first week of December, with a final report being submitted to the Kentucky Supreme Court in the spring of 2023.

Kentucky Supreme Court 

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