On September 28, 2023, the Supreme Court of Kentucky issued an order suspending attorney Philip R. Price for a period of 30 days, with the suspension to be probated for one year, due to misconduct in his handling of a client’s settlement.
The case is entitled “Philip R. Price v. Kentucky Bar Association” with case no. 2023-SC-0327-KB.
The case stemmed when Price failed to properly manage settlement funds belonging to his client, misrepresented facts about the settlement to the client, and did not diligently work to resolve a lien on the settlement.
Price represented James Applewhite in a personal injury case stemming from a motor vehicle accident. After Applewhite passed away in 2016, his wife continued the lawsuit as administratrix of his estate. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs asserted a lien of $65,377.90 against any settlement proceeds for medical treatment provided to Applewhite.
In 2018, Price settled Applewhite’s claim for $245,000. Although aware of the VA lien amount, Price placed $100,000 of the settlement into his law firm’s escrow account to purportedly negotiate a reduction of the lien. Over the next three years, Price misled his client into believing she would receive leftover escrow funds after the lien was paid. Price did not pay off the lien until 2021.
The Kentucky Bar Association charged Price with lacking diligence, failing to reasonably communicate with his client, and engaging in misrepresentation. Price admitted to the charges.
The Kentucky Supreme Court ordered the agreed 30-day suspension, which is probated for one year on the condition that Price receive no further disciplinary charges. He must also pay $82.81 in costs.
Mr. Price practices in Louisville, Kentucky. He is licensed in Kentucky. His info can be found on lawyers.justia.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.