Lawrence v. Bingham Greenebaum Doll, L.L.P., 092421 KYCA, 2019-CA-1125-MR

CourtCourt of Appeals of Kentucky
JudgeBEFORE: MAZE, TAYLOR, AND K. THOMPSON, JUDGES.
Writing for the CourtMAZE, JUDGE:
PartiesMEREDITH L. LAWRENCE APPELLANT v. BINGHAM GREENEBAUM DOLL, L.L.P. APPELLEE
Docket Number2019-CA-1125-MR

MEREDITH L. LAWRENCE APPELLANT

v.

BINGHAM GREENEBAUM DOLL, L.L.P. APPELLEE

No. 2019-CA-1125-MR

Court of Appeals of Kentucky

September 24, 2021

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

APPEAL FROM KENTON CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE KATHLEEN S. LAPE, JUDGE ACTION NO. 13-CI-01620.

BRIEFS FOR APPELLANT: Meredith L. Lawrence, pro se, Katy Lawrence Warsaw, Kentucky.

BRIEF FOR APPELLEE: Aaron A. Vanderlaan Frank K. Tremper Covington, Kentucky.

BEFORE: MAZE, TAYLOR, AND K. THOMPSON, JUDGES.

OPINION

MAZE, JUDGE:

Appellant, Meredith L. Lawrence, appeals from a judgment of the Kenton Circuit Court following the Kentucky Supreme Court's mandate to reinstate a default judgment in favor of Appellee, Bingham Greenebaum Doll, L.L.P., and enter the award, including interest and costs, accordingly. For the following reasons, we affirm.

BACKGROUND

Appellant, Meredith L. Lawrence, was previously represented by Appellee, Bingham Greenebaum Doll, L.L.P. (Bingham), through its attorneys (principally, J. Richard Kiefer) in a federal criminal matter involving tax evasion charges. Bingham's representation of Lawrence began in 2008 after federal authorities raided Lawrence's properties.

Lawrence was indicted in 2011 and fell behind on paying his legal fees by the end of that year. In June 2012, Lawrence agreed to a promissory note for the outstanding legal fees already incurred and to be incurred. A jury subsequently found Lawrence guilty and convicted him on three counts of filing false tax returns. He was sentenced to twenty-seven months in prison and ordered to pay $128, 253 in restitution to the United States Treasury. Lawrence's conviction was affirmed on direct appeal. See United States v. Lawrence, 557 Fed.Appx. 520 (6th Cir. 2014).

In 2013, Lawrence filed suit against Bingham, Mr. Kiefer, and others in Kenton Circuit Court for legal malpractice related to his criminal defense. Bingham filed an answer denying negligence and counterclaimed for its unpaid fees and expenses. A default judgment on Bingham's counterclaim was entered in 2014 after Lawrence failed to respond. This judgment was voided by the circuit court in 2016, and the Court of Appeals affirmed that decision in 2017.

Subsequently, the Kentucky Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case back to the circuit court with the mandate to reinstate the default judgment in Bingham's favor. Bingham Greenebaum Doll, LLP v. Lawrence, 567 S.W.3d 127, 131 (Ky. 2018). The Supreme Court denied Lawrence's petition for rehearing in March 2019.

On remand, pursuant to the Supreme Court's mandate, the circuit court entered judgment in Bingham's favor in April 2019 in the amount of $472, 504.86, with interest accruing at 8% per annum from July 2, 2012 until paid in full. From April through June 2019, Lawrence filed four post-judgment motions challenging the judgment. The circuit court denied all of these motions in July 2019. Lawrence again appeals. With no payments having been made by Lawrence to satisfy the judgment, the amount owed to Bingham as of January 1, 2021 was in excess of $900, 000.

Lawrence has filed a litany of post-conviction appeals and petitions, and "has now exhausted all conventional post-conviction direct and collateral attacks against his conviction." Lawrence v. Bingham, Greenebaum, Doll, L.L.P., 567 S.W.3d 133, 136 (Ky. 2018)....

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