On Thursday, December 14, 2023, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued an opinion accepting a negotiated sanction for attorney Mary Ann Miranda that includes an 181-day suspension probated for two years.

The case is entitled “Mary Ann Miranda v. Kentucky Bar Association,” with case no. 2023-SC-0480-KB.

The charges cited Kentucky Rules of Professional Conduct 3.130(1.3), .130(1.4)(a)(3)(4),3.130(1.16)(d), 3.130(8.1)(b) which states:

Act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.

Promptly comply with reasonable requests for information.

Return documentation and any unearned portion of her prepaid fee.

Respond to a lawful demand for information from an admissions or disciplinary authority.

The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.

The first case involved Miranda’s representation of a client in a 2020 federal disability discrimination case against the University of Kentucky. Miranda failed to diligently pursue the case, keep her client reasonably informed, return case files when asked, and respond to disciplinary authorities investigating a complaint, the court found.

In the second case beginning on September 2, 2021, Miranda was hired to probate a will and failed to communicate with the client, cashing a $1,000 retainer without completing any work. She also missed court hearings and failed to file an affidavit as ordered by the judge. Miranda further admitted to not responding to the client’s complaint or returning any unearned fees.

In agreeing to the negotiated sanction, the court noted Miranda has legitimate mitigating factors – namely, that she was experiencing severe depression and generalized anxiety disorder at the time of the misconduct. Miranda entered into a KYLAP agreement on July 21, 2023, to ensure consistent treatment of her mental health issues going forward.

As part of the probation approved, Miranda must abide by her KYLAP supervision, provide quarterly compliance reports, and refund the $1,000 in unearned fees from the second case. If Miranda receives any new disciplinary charges or violates the terms, the 181-day suspension could be imposed.

The court found the sanction comparable to prior cases and appropriate given Miranda’s admissions, previous disciplinary record, and commitment to addressing the underlying issues. The negotiated probation provides oversight while allowing Miranda to continue practicing law, as long as she remains compliant with mental health treatment and poses no further risks.

The Disposition states:

“Miranda is hereby suspended from the practice of law in Kentucky for 181 days, probated for a period of two years beginning from the commencement of her KYLAP agreement on July 21, 2023.”

According to martindale.com, Ms. Miranda attended the Vanderbilt University, graduating in 2002. She acquired her license in Kentucky in 2003.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.