In the Matter of Gregory V. Blume, Respondent.
proceeding in discipline. Indefinite suspension.
R. Moylan, Deputy Disciplinary Administrator, argued the
cause, and Stanton A. Hazlett, Disciplinary Administrator,
was with her on the brief for the petitioner.
Gregory V. Blume, respondent, argued the cause and was on the
briefs pro se.
an original proceeding in discipline filed by the office of
the Disciplinary Administrator against the respondent,
Gregory V. Blume, an Overland Park attorney admitted to the
practice of law in Kansas in 1977.
September 8, 2017, the office of the Disciplinary
Administrator filed a formal complaint against the respondent
alleging violations of the Kansas Rules of Professional
Conduct (KRPC). The respondent timely filed an answer to the
complaint on October 2, 2017. A hearing was held on the
complaint before a panel of the Kansas Board for Discipline
of Attorneys on November 21, 2017, where the respondent was
personally present and was represented by counsel, Jonathan
C. Becker. The hearing panel determined that respondent
violated KRPC 3.1 (2019 Kan. S.Ct. R. 349) (meritorious
claims and contentions); 3.3(a)(1) (2019 Kan. S.Ct. R. 350)
(candor toward tribunal); 3.4(d) (2019 Kan. S.Ct. R. 353)
(compliance with discovery request); 4.4(a) (2019 Kan. S.Ct.
R. 363) (respect for rights of third persons); 8.4(c) (2019
Kan. S.Ct. R. 387) (conduct involving dishonesty, fraud,
deceit, or misrepresentation); and 8.4(d) (conduct
prejudicial to the administration of justice).
hearing focused on whether the respondent's behavior with
respect to four issues should lead to disciplinary sanction
under the rules cited in the complaint. The first issue arose
out of the inadequacy of his response to a discovery request.
The second and third arose out of two incidents that occurred
during a deposition, when he called the videographer a Nazi
and, in common parlance, flipped off a representative of an
opposing party. The fourth issue arose out of his motion to
set aside an earlier agreed judgment.
the hearing, the panel made findings of fact and arrived at
conclusions of law and a disciplinary recommendation for this
court. They read in pertinent part:
"Findings of Fact
. . . .
"8. L.O., a co-owner of Superior Acquisition Group, Inc.
(hereinafter 'Superior') was married to G.O. G.O. did
not have an individual ownership interest in Superior.
"9. In May, 2011, First National Bank of Omaha
(hereinafter 'FNBO') loaned $1, 900, 000 to Superior
in three separate financing agreements: a $300, 000 line of
credit and two $800, 000 term loans. The loans were
cross-collateralized and secured by various properties,
including a certificate of deposit owned by L.O. and G.O.,
with a value of $100, 282.
"10. Both L.O. and G.O. signed an agreement pledging the
certificate of deposit as security for the three loans.
According to the pledge agreement, FNBO could take possession
of the certificate of deposit upon default of any of the
"11. In June, 2011, L.O. and G.O. opened a money market
account at FNBO and transferred the balance of the pledged
certificate of deposit to the money market account.
"12. FNBO required L.O. and G.O. to execute another
agreement, pledging the money market account as security for
the three financing agreements because that account now
contained the proceeds of the previously pledged certificate
"13. On March 27, 2012, J.S. of FNBO sent L.O. an email
message [that] stated, 'Please sign this and get back to
me ASAP sir, for some reason this slipped through the cracks
or we misplaced it?'
"14. According to L.O., he explained to J.S. that G.O.
was not available to sign the agreement. Also according to
L.O., J.S. instructed L.O. to sign G.O.'s name because
[J.S.] needed the pledge agreement signed that day. L.O. did
not have authorization from G.O. to sign her name. L.O.
signed his name and G.O.'s name to the money market
"15. In May 2012, the $300, 000 line of credit matured
and Superior defaulted on the loan. Superior's default on
the $300, 000 line of credit triggered a default on the other
"16. On June 8, 2012, pursuant to the money market
pledge agreement, FNBO seized $186, 000 from the money market
"17. In September 2012, FNBO filed suit against L.O.,
Superior, and the other owner of Superior, in Johnson County
District Court, case number 12-CV-7213. On February 11, 2013,
the parties entered into a stipulated journal entry granting
summary judgment and foreclosure on Superior's property.
[District Judge David W. Hauber] entered judgment against all
three defendants for $1, 555, 142.66.
"18. On June 6, 2014, the respondent filed suit against
FNBO on behalf of G.O., regarding its seizure of the money
market account. The petition alleged:
. . . .
'38. On March 27, 2012, Defendant Bank represented to
[L.O.] that it needed his signature and [G.O.]'s
signature on a document that it had misplaced or that had
fallen through the cracks.
'39. On March 12, [sic] 2012, Defendant Bank
represented to [L.O.] that it needed the signatures that day.
'40. Upon being informed that [G.O.] was unavailable,
Defendant Bank instructed [L.O.] to sign [G.O.'s] name.
'41. Defendant Bank then faxed the signature page only to
'42. [L.O.] signed his name and [G.O.]'s name to the
signature page and returned it to the Defendant Bank, as
"19. On May 7, 2015, FNBO served its first request for
production of documents on G.O. FNBO requested that G.O.,
'[p]roduce each and every document evidencing,
concerning, or memorializing any and all communications
between [J.S.] and [L.O.].' FNBO clearly requested
J.S.'s March 27, 2012, email message in the first request
"20. On June 3, 2015, L.O. filed a chapter 7 voluntary
petition in bankruptcy.
"21. On June 9, 2015, the respondent filed G.O.'s
responses to FNBO's first request for production of
documents, and identified '[o]ne email from [J.S.] to
Defendant [sic] will be produced at the Law Offices
of Gregory V. Blume, 7199 West 98th Terrace, Suite 130,
Overland Park, Kansas 66212' as a document to be
"22. Subsequently, on July 24, 2015, FNBO's counsel
emailed the respondent, confirming the parties' agreement
that FNBO would inspect and copy responsive documents at
respondent's office on July 28, 2015. On July 27, 2015,
respondent sent an email message to FNBO's counsel, as
'. . . As you know, [L.O.] filed bankruptcy in May.
Because of the bankruptcy stay, [L.O.] did not respond to his
set of RPDs. When we were last in Court on June 15th, you
told Judge [James F.] Vano that you planned to seek relief
from the automatic stay. We have not received anything to
that effect and we have no documents from [L.O.]. He wants to
hire his own counsel now and I have recommended a competent
young woman. Many of your document request [sic] for
[G.O.] relate to [L.O.]'s documents. [G.O.] herself does
not have many documents of her own. We have scanned in what
she has. We understand that she has a continuing duty to
supplement these. This may save you some time and gas. Please
let me know if you plan to come out and review the hard
copies of the attached. GVB'
The respondent attached an 80-page document to the email
message. The respondent did not include J.S.'s March 27,
2012[, ] email within these documents. FNBO's counsel
replied to the respondent on July 27, 2012, stating,
'[i]f the PDF contains a copy of all documents currently
in your possession, then I see no reason to come out to your
office tomorrow and review the hard copies at this time.'
"23. The respondent did not reply to this email message
or otherwise indicate that he had any other additional
documents in his possession that were not contained within
the 80-page attachment.
"24. The respondent did not produce the March 27, 2012,
email until J.S.'s deposition on August 18, 2015. After
FNBO's counsel completed his direct examination of J.S.,
the respondent offered the March 27, 2012, email as Exhibit
26 to the deposition. FNBO's counsel objected to the
introduction of [the] March 27, 2012, email message because
it had not been previously produced to FNBO in response to
its request for production of documents. The respondent
indicated that he did not provide the email message during
discovery because '[i]t's a document produced by
[L.O.]. His document requests are not due yet' [due to
the bankruptcy filing].
"25. On September 4, 2015, FNBO filed an adversary
proceeding in L.O.'s bankruptcy, seeking to have its
judgment declared to be nondischargeable, claiming that L.O.
forged G.O.'s signature on several loan documents and
overstated real property values on two personal financial
"26. On September 10, 2015, FNBO filed a motion for
sanctions based on the respondent's failure to timely
produce the March 27, 2012, email message. The respondent
filed a memorandum in opposition to the motion for sanctions
on September 28, 2015, arguing that (1) the email message was
FNBO's document and G.O. was not obligated to produce a
copy of a document which FNBO had in its possession, (2) FNBO
failed to produce this document to the respondent, (3) the
respondent's failure to produce the email message was
inadvertent, and (4) counsel for FNBO neglected to contact
the respondent about the omission.
"27. That same day, on September 10, 2015, [District
Judge James F. Vano] held a status conference. During the
status conference, the respondent stated that he did not
produce the email message during discovery because
'it's an impeachment document.'
"28. On November 13, 2015, [Judge Vano] held a hearing
on the motion for sanctions. Regarding the March 27, 2012,
email message, the respondent stated, 'Judge, we
didn't withhold it. I considered it an impeachment
document.' But, yet, still later in that same hearing,
the respondent stated, '[i]t was [L.O.]'s document.
When he took bankruptcy, I couldn't go near him.'
Ultimately, the following exchange between the respondent and
the court occurred:
'THE COURT: You're admitting you did not include that
in your responses to the request for production of documents.
'MR. BLUME: Not at that time.
'THE COURT: Because you were holding it back-
'MR. BLUME: No. I didn't have it.
'THE COURT: -for impeachment?
'MR. BLUME: No.
'THE COURT: You had it when the deposition started;
'MR. BLUME: Yes, [L.O.] gave it to me.
'THE COURT: Was he present for [J.S.]'s deposition?
'MR. BLUME: Of course not. That's why-it was up in
'THE COURT: You had it before the deposition started?
'MR. BLUME: Yes, sir.
'THE COURT: And you knew at that point in time you had
not produced it in response to the request for production of
documents. Is that what you are saying?
'MR. BLUME: No, sir. I am saying I considered it an
impeachment document at that time that I probably
wouldn't need, because I couldn't believe they would
submit perjurious testimony.
'THE COURT: Did you produce it in response to the request
for production of documents?
'MR. BLUME: I did-as a supplement response? I did not
produce it at the time, because I didn't ...