Bench & Bar

JUL 2018

The Bench & Bar magazine is published to provide members of the KBA with information that will increase their knowledge of the law, improve the practice of law, and assist in improving the quality of legal services for the citizenry.

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49 BENCH & BAR | COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY JUDICIAL CONDUCT COMMISSION IN RE THE MAT TER OF: CHARLES L. CUNNINGHAM, CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE 30 TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT PUBLIC REPRIMAND Charles L. Cunningham is a Circuit Court Judge for Kentucky's 30 th Judicial Circuit consisting of Jefferson County. Judge Cunningham has waived formal proceedings and has agreed to this disposition. Judge Cunningham self-reported to the Commission potential violations of the Kentucky Code of Judicial Conduct following the Kentucky Court of Appeals' decision in case number 2016-CA-001178-MR, styled, Commonwealth v. Cambron. In the Opinion, the Court of Appeals determined that Judge Cunningham violated Canon 3B(7) of the Kentucky Code of Judicial Conduct on at least twenty-nine occasions. e Court found that Judge Cunningham had entered numerous ex parte orders to produce Mr. Cambron's records to his public defender in the underlying case ( Jefferson Circuit Court, Case No. 14-CR-2628) without notifying the Com- monwealth. It further found that Judge Cunningham conversed with the defendant's public defender on multiple occasions without the Commonwealth's knowledge. e Commission concludes that Judge Cunningham's conduct violated SCR 4.020(1)(b)(i) by engaging in misconduct in office. e Commission further con- cludes that Judge Cunningham violated SCR 4.300 and the relevant portions of the following Canons of the Code of Judicial Conduct: 1 Canon 1 which requires judges to maintain high standards of conduct and uphold the integrity and independence of the Judiciary. Canon 2A which requires judges to respect and comply with the law and act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. Canon 3B(7) which prohibits judges from initiating or considering ex parte communications with parties, except in designated circumstances that do not deal with substantive matters or issues on the merits. Based on the foregoing conduct, Judge Cunningham is hereby publicly reprimanded. In making the disposition in this Order, the Commission duly considered that Judge Cunningham self-reported the violations and fully cooperated in the matter. Date: 5/22/18 /s/ STEPHEN D. WOLNITZEK, CHAIR Judge Glenn E. Acree and Judge Mitch Perry recused from any consideration of this matter. Agreed to: /s/ Hon. Charles L. Cunningham 1. e Canons cited by the Court of Appeals and by the Commission herein were the versions in effect at the time of the violation. e provisions within the cited Canons are now contained in Rules 1.1, 1.2 and 2.9. On June 30 of each year, terms expire for seven (7) of the fourteen (14) Bar Governors on the KBA Board of Governors. SCR 3.080 provides that notice of the expiration of the terms of the Bar Governors shall be carried in the Bench & Bar. SCR 3.080 also provides that a Board member may serve three consec- utive two-year terms. Requirements for being nominated to run for the Board of Gover- nors are contained in Section 4 of the KBA By-Laws and the requirements include filing a written petition signed by not less than twenty (20) KBA members in good standing who are residents of the candidate's Supreme Court District. Board policy provides that "No member of the Board of Governors or Inquiry Commission, nor their respective firms, shall represent an attorney in a dis- cipline matter." In addition any member of the Bar who is considering seeking or plans to seek election to the Board of Governors or to a position as an Officer of the KBA will, if elected, be required to sign a limited waiver of confidentiality regarding any pri- vate discipline he or she may have received. Any such petition must be received by the KBA Executive Director at the Kentucky Bar Center in Frankfort prior to the close of business on the last business day in October. Terms Expire on the KBA Board of Governors The Current Terms of the Following Board Members Will Expire on June 30, 2019: 1 st District Van F. Sims Paducah 2 nd District J. D. Meyer Owensboro 3 rd District Howard O. Mann Corbin 4 th District Amy D. Cubbage Louisville 5 th District Mindy G. Barfield Lexington 6 th District Todd V. McMurtry Ft. Mitchell 7 th District Rhonda Jennings Blackburn Pikeville

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