CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has granted a petition to temporarily suspend the law license of an attorney pending the outcome of disciplinary charges filed against him.

The Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed the petition on Feb. 17 to request that the court temporarily suspend Kevin C. Duffy’s law license, according to the June 2 opinion.

Under West Virginia Rule of Law Disciplinary Procedure 3.27, this measure is available when there is sufficient evidence that a lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct or is under a disability; or if he/she poses a substantial threat of irreparable harm to the public.

Chief Justice Menis Ketchum authored the majority opinion.

The Supreme Court found that there was sufficient evidence to initially demonstrate that Duffy violated the Rules of Professional Conduct and that he poses a substantial threat of irreparable harm to the public.

“Thus, we grant the ODC’s petition to suspend his law license pending the outcome of his formal disciplinary charges,” the opinion states. “The suspension shall take effect immediately.”

Duffy maintains a law practice in Clay County and the ODC claims he has failed to attend any hearings scheduled on his clients’ behalf in their felony matters over an extended period of time; has made false representations to the circuit court in explaining his absence from clients’ hearings; has recently been convicted of multiple misdemeanors; and has failed to attend his court date on the misdemeanor charges.

“Consequently, we are compelled to grant the ODC’s petition to temporarily suspend his law license pending the outcome of the disciplinary charges against him,” the opinion states.

The court found sufficient evidence to initially demonstrate that Duffy violated the Rules of Professional Conduct and that he poses a substantial threat of irreparable harm to the public.

“Likewise, we grant the ODC’s petition to temporarily suspend his law license pending the outcome of his formal disciplinary charges,” the opinion states.

The ODC is represented by Renee N. Frymyer and Rachael L. Fletcher.

Duffy represented himself.

W.Va. Supreme Court of Appeals case number: 16-0156

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