The Kentucky Supreme Court issued an opinion on August 24, 2023, suspending Lexington attorney David Alan Cohen from the practice of law for three years. The suspension stems from misconduct that occurred from 2014 to 2020 while Cohen was employed as a senior associate at the law firm Miller Edwards Rambicure, PLLC.
The case is entitled “Kentucky Bar Association v. David Alan Cohen,” with case no. 2023-SC-0203-KB.
It was discovered in mid-January 2020 that Cohen had accepted a $450 cash fee from a client several months prior without informing the firm or depositing the money into his escrow account, as required. At a meeting, Cohen admitted to the violation and returned the funds. His employment was terminated effective January 31, 2020.
In the following weeks, another attorney, Scott White, met with firm partners and revealed that Cohen had been performing undisclosed legal work and accepting payments from clients “off the books” for years. White delivered over $53,000 in cash and checks to reimburse the firm for fees Cohen had collected and deposited in his personal account rather than the firm or escrow accounts.
The firm’s investigation found that Cohen had received payments from multiple clients without the firm’s knowledge and had submitted false expense reimbursement requests. It was also discovered that Cohen had taken blank checks from the firm account, forged the managing partner’s signature, and concealed records of fraudulent checks written to himself totaling over $44,000.
On January 26, 2021, the Inquiry Commission filed a complaint against Cohen setting forth these facts. Cohen admitted the allegations in March 2021. In October 2021, he was formally charged with violating rules regarding escrow accounts and engaging in dishonest conduct.
While Cohen admitted the charges, he failed to participate fully in the disciplinary proceedings. The Kentucky Bar Association had argued for a five-year suspension. Ultimately, on August 24, 2023, the Kentucky Supreme Court suspended Cohen for three years followed by two years of probation for his violations of trust that cost his former firm over $44,000.
The Disposition states:
“ACCORDINGLY, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: Respondent, David Alan Cohen, is found guilty of violating one count of SCR and one count of SCR 3.130(8.4)(c). Cohen is hereby suspended from the practice of law for three years, followed by a two-year probationary period contingent upon monthly reporting to a KY LAP mentor to determine Cohen’s commitment to the Rules of Professional Conduct, clients, and colleagues, and attendance at the KBA’s EPEP.”
According to avvo.com, Mr. Cohen is an attorney in Lexington, Kentucky. He acquired his law license in Kentucky in 1999.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.