The Supreme Court of Kentucky issued an opinion on October 26, 2023, permanently disbarring Attorney Eric Tuley Weiner from practicing law in the state.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Eric Tuley Weiner,” with case number 2023-SC-0290-KB.
According to the filing, Weiner violated the following Kentucky Rules of Professional Conduct:
SCR 3.130(1.15)(a): Requires a lawyer to hold property of clients separate from the lawyer’s own property.
SCR 3.130(1.16)(d): Requires a lawyer to take steps to protect a client’s interests upon termination of representation, such as giving reasonable notice to the client, allowing time for employment of other counsel, surrendering papers and property to which the client is entitled.
SCR 3.130(8.4)(c): Prohibits a lawyer from engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
SCR 3.130(1.4)(a): Requires a lawyer to promptly inform the client of any decision or circumstance with respect to which the client’s informed consent is required.
SCR 3.130(1.4)(b): Requires a lawyer to reasonably consult with the client about the means by which the client’s objectives are to be accomplished.
SCR 3.130(1.4)(c): Requires a lawyer to keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the matter.
SCR 3.130(1.4)(d): Requires a lawyer to promptly comply with reasonable requests for information from the client.
SCR 3.130(8.1)(b): Prohibits a lawyer from knowingly failing to respond to a lawful demand for information from an admissions or disciplinary authority.
SCR 3.035: Requires a lawyer to respond to a disciplinary matter.
Weiner had a history of disciplinary issues that dated back several years. In January 2021, he was administratively suspended from practicing law for failing to pay his bar dues on time. Later that year in September 2021, the Supreme Court suspended Weiner for five years, with the final two years being probated, for neglecting client matters and failing to adequately communicate with clients. As part of his probation, Weiner was ordered to enroll in Kentucky’s KYLAP lawyer assistance program and complete additional education courses.
However, Weiner failed to comply with any of the probation terms from his 2021 suspension. In August 2022, he received another five-year suspension from the high court for similar misconduct. Like the previous suspension, Weiner was required to get help through KYLAP and attend more training. He did not fulfill those probation conditions either.
While Weiner was already suspended, two new bar complaints were filed against him in 2022. One involved a client Brandon Bryant, whose workers compensation settlement money Weiner failed to properly distribute or account for back in 2017. The other complaint was from client Michelle Gilbert, whose long-term disability settlement Weiner mishandled in 2019 by incorrectly advising the insurer and keeping too much of the payment for himself without her consent.
In March 2023, the Kentucky Bar Association’s Board of Governors reviewed the two new cases at once since Weiner did not respond to defend himself. They found him guilty on eight out of ten total charges between the two client matters. Examples of rules violated included failing to properly handle client funds, keeping clients reasonably informed, and not cooperating with the bar’s investigation.
Given Weiner’s extensive past discipline issues along with the new offenses, the Board recommended disbarring him permanently instead of another suspension. On October 26, 2023, the Kentucky Supreme Court accepted the recommendation, citing Weiner’s failure to comply with the terms of his previous probations.
The order states;
“Therefore, the Court adopts the recommendation of the Board of Governors and ORDERS: (1) Eric Tuley Wiener, KBA Member No.95736, is hereby permanently disbarred from the practice of law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
According to Avvo, Mr. Weiner practiced as a car accident attorney in Louisville, Kentucky prior to his disbarment. He graduated from Seattle University School of Law in 2013 and obtained his law license in Kentucky the same year.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.