Hey folks, the Supreme Court of Kentucky has just published a disciplinary matter, the implicatins of which could affect every personal injury settlement in the state of Kentucky by now sanctioning the practice of medical liens or assignments against personal-injury recoveries. Although the disciplinary decision was limited to the particular facts of the case in which the attorney admitted he had actual notice that a chiropractor had a document signed by the client which gave the chiropractor a lien or an assignment against recovery and that he had violated the ethical rules, the published decision rauses many questions in other areas as to the legality of the putative assignment, what constitutes adequate notice and perfection of the assignment or lien, and a multitude of other issues.
What is particularly disconcerting is that the admission of the ethical violation precluded any serious questioning of the underlying facts and circumstances upon which the ethical violation was premised. Thus, I, for one, consider this decision to be reckoned with but with very little legal import since none of the real everyday issues were not addressed.
Since the Supreme Court deemed it important enough to publish this decision even though the attorney's name was redacted who received a private reprimand, then I too deem it important enough to spread the word and the warning to others. I wish to make sure the actual decision was disseminated to the bar in my legal blog.
Without further adieu, here is a link to the decision. Please note that I have a rather lengthy commentary already in draft and will allow it to "season" after some time and reflection. However, I would appreciate it very much that those who have read this decision and are willing to provide their input to please do so. Anonymous works. It's bad enough that I am probably going to come up on the radar for these questions, and there is no need to bring others into the line of fire.
Unfortunately, the underlying document denominated an assignment or lien against recovery was not included with this decision even in a redacted format so as to allow a more detailed legal analysis and scrutiny of the underlying basis for this decision and to conclude whether or not the admission by the attorney of a violation of the rule was a conscious acknowledgment of a violation or simply a tack to conclude the matter as quietly as possible to avoid negative professional exposure.
AN UNNAMED ATTORNEY V. KENTUCKY BAR ASSOCIATION
TO BE PUBLISHED
ORDER PRIVATELY REPRIMANDED MOVANT WITH CONDITIONS.
ALL SITTING. ALL CONCUR.