ROBERT W. RILEY V. KENTUCKY BAR ASSOCIATIONAnnotate this Case
TO BE PUBLISHED
uprrittr Gurf of 'tbfirnfurku
ROBERT W. RILEY
IN SUPREME COURT
KENTUCKY BAR ASSOCIATION
OPINION AND ORDER
Movant, Robert W. Riley, was admitted to the practice of law in the
Commonwealth of Kentucky on September 1, 1973. His KBA Member No. is
58570, and his current bar roster address is: Riley & Associates, 9400
Williamsburg Plaza, Suite 110, Louisville, Kentucky 40222-5097. Movant is
before this Court with a negotiated sanction under SCR 3.480(2).
The Inquiry Commission charged Movant with a violation of SCR 3.1301.7(b) for engaging a client in sexually explicit telephone conversations, and for
making a sexual advance towards the client while Movant was representing the
client in a class action, sometime in November and December of 2003. The
rule in question deals with conflicts of interest and loyalty to a client. At the
time charged, June 2, 2005, 1 SCR 3.130-1.7(b) read:
A lawyer shall not represent a client if the
representation of that client may be materially limited
by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client or to a
third person, or by the lawyer's own interests, unless:
(1) The lawyer reasonably believes the representation
will not be adversely affected; and (2) The client
consents after consultation. When representation of
multiple clients in a single matter is undertaken, the
consultation shall include explanation of the
implications of the common representation and the
advantages and risks involved.
In this case the client turned down the attorney's advances and notified the
firm that she was going elsewhere for representation. The client stayed with
the firm after a partner in the firm talked to the client and reassigned the claim
to another member of the firm.
Movant and the KBA have negotiated a sanction pursuant to SCR
3.480(2). Accordingly, Movant admits a violation of SCR 3.130-1.7(b) and
requests this Court impose a public reprimand. The Kentucky Bar Association
filed a response agreeing to a public reprimand, with costs.
A review of Movant's record reveals three prior private reprimands for
matters not similar to the facts in this case. In the case before us, the client
turned Movant down and Movant was soon taken off the case. There is no
allegation that other members of the class or the client involved were
prejudiced by a conflict of interest, and Movant admits he erred in his
professional conduct. Case law on SCR 3.130-1.7(b) prior to the 2009
Amended effective July 15, 2009.
amendment supported public reprimands for an attorney who had an affair
with a divorce client (reciprocal discipline); 2 had sexual contact with a
defendant being prosecuted by an associate in his office; 3 and had been
romantically involved with a client in a child custody case. 4 We agree the
negotiated sanction is appropriate in this case.
ACCORDINGLY, IT IS HEREBY ADJUDGED AND ORDERED THAT:
1. Movant, Robert W. Riley, is guilty of professional misconduct for violation
of SCR 3.130-1.7(b), as it existed in November and December of 2003;
2. Movant is hereby issued a public reprimand for violation of SCR 3.1301.7(b); and
3. Movant shall pay the cost in accordance with SCR 3A50, in the amount
of $44.08, for which execution may issue from this Court upon finality of
this Opinion and Order.
All sitting. All concur.
ENTERED: August 25, 2011.
Kentucky Bar Association v. Calloway, 224 S.W.3d 585 (Ky. 2007).
Stevens v. Kentucky Bar Association,
Bezold v. Kentucky Bar Association,
186 S.W.3d 744 (Ky. 2006).
134 S.W.3d 556 (Ky. 2004).