JAMES GREGORY TROUTMAN V. KENTUCKY BAR ASSOCIATIONAnnotate this Case
TO BE PUBLISHED
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JAMES GREGORY TROUTMAN
IN SUPREME COURT
KENTUCKY BAR ASSOCIATION
OPINION AND ORDER
Pursuant to SCR 3 .480(2), James Gregory Troutman, KBA Number
84473 (suspended), moves this Court to impose on him a thirty-day
suspension from the practice of law to resolve the charges contained in KBA
File 17078 . Troutman was admitted to practice law in Kentucky on October
16, 1992, and his last known bar roster address is 4000 Abbeywood Village
Drive, Louisville, KY 40241 .
KBA File 17078 charges Troutman with violating SCR 3 .130-3 .4(c) and
SCR 3 .130-5 .5(a) by practicing law while suspended by Order of this Court.
On January 25, 2007, Troutman entered an Alford plea to two counts of first
degree wanton endangerment, one count of first-degree criminal mischief, and
one count of criminal littering.' See Troutman v. KBA, 275 S.W.3d 175 (Ky.
2008) . Although the charges were ultimately dismissed - diverted pursuant to
KRS 533 .258, with prejudice - Troutman moved this Court to be suspended for
two years. admitting that "his entry of an Alford plea [was] proof that he
engaged in conduct that violated SCR 3 .130-8 .3(b) ('It is professional
misconduct for a lawyer to . . . [c]ommit a criminal act that reflects adversely
on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other
respects .') ." Id. at 176 . We granted Troutman's motion and suspended him for
two years, retroactive to January 25, 2007 .
The current charges against Troutman stem from work he performed in
2008, while he was suspended . Mary Padden, an attorney in Louisville, hired
Troutman to do research, prepare drafts of documents, and review certain
documents she drafted for use in a Nevada court case involving a private
construction equipment company (hereinafter "Company") . Prior to his
suspension Troutman represented one of the Company's owners . Troutman
apparently had been told by this owner that he planned to make him a
minority owner of the Company, and thus Troutman believed he had a
personal interest in the Nevada court case . Padden supervised Troutman and
reviewed all of the documents he drafted . Troutman participated in
conversations with the Company's Nevada counsel and with the other owners
of the Company. He also attended one of the Nevada court proceedings,
' The charges relate to conduct which occurred in and around Troutman's
neighborhood late one evening. Troutman asserts that his conduct was caused by
taking a large amount of over-the-counter drugs to control his severe allergies.
though he was not recognized as counsel and states he provided no legal
assistance during the proceeding .
Troutman now acknowledges that his participation in the Nevada lawsuit
preparing documents, conferring with one or more of the owners of the
Company, not expressly informing the parties that he was unlicensed, and
attending the Nevada court proceeding - crossed the line from non-lawyer
support services to the practice of law. Troutman states that he did not intend
to engage in the practice of law, but admits that objectively his actions could be
viewed as engaging in the practice of law. Troutman admits that his contact
with one or more of the principals of the construction equipment company
violated KBA Ethics Opinion E-255 .
Thus, Troutman admits that his conduct violated SCR 3 .130-3 .4(c) and
SCR 3 .130-55(a) as charged in KBA File 17078. In light of this admitted
misconduct, Troutman moves for a punishment of a thirty-day suspension
from the practice of law.
The KBA has no objection to Troutman's motion. The KBA cites to
several cases in which similar misconduct led to similar sanctions . See Smith
v. KBA, 250 S.W .3d 601 (Ky. 2008) (granting motion for a public reprimand for
violating SCR 3.130-4 .1 and SCR 3 .130-5 .5 due to practicing law while
suspended because of a mistaken belief suspension had ended) ; Morton v. KBA,
230 S .W.3d 328 (Ky. 2007) (suspending an attorney for thirty days due to
representing herself as an attorney and accepting money from a client without
informing him of her suspension) ; Wright v. KBA, 169 S.W .3d 858 (Ky. 2005)
(publically reprimanding an attorney for not informing the circuit court whom
she appeared before that she had been suspended from the practice of law for
failure to comply with CLE requirements) . We accordingly agree with the KBA
and GRANT the motion .
Thus it is ORDERED that :
1 . Movant, James Gregory Troutman, KBA Member No . 84473, is
adjudged guilty of the charges made in KBA File 17078 ;
2 . Troutman shall therefore be suspended from the practice of law for
thirty (30) days, effective as of the date hereof;
3 . In accordance with SCR 3 .450, Troutman is directed to pay all costs
associated with these disciplinary proceedings in the amount of $53 .20 for
which execution may issue from this Court upon finality of this Order.
All sitting . All concur.
ENTERED: January 20, 2011 .