Legal Ethics

Along With 4 Lawyers, Judge Who Oversaw Fen-Phen Settlement Could Be Disbarred


In 2006, a Kentucky judge retired rather than face potential discipline for his role in overseeing a $200 million settlement in controversial diet drug litigation that sent two of the lawyers involved to prison and resulted in the disbarment, or recommended disbarment, of two others.

But now the board of governors of the Kentucky Bar Association is seeking the disbarment of former Boone Circuit Judge Joseph “Jay” Bamberger, too, contending that he had to know lawyers in the case were charging excessive fees, reports the Kentucky Enquirer.

Lawyers Stan Chesley, Shirley Cunningham Jr., William Gallion and Melbourne Mills Jr. reportedly were paid $125 million of the settlement amount in the case, which concerned heart damage suffered by individuals who took the fen-phen diet drug.

Bamberger could not be reached by the newspaper for comment. The Kentucky Supreme Court will make the final determination as to whether or not he will be disbarred.

Hat tip: Associated Press

Related earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Fen-Phen Lawyer Defends Deposit of Settlement Funds Into Personal Accounts”

ABAJournal.com: “Ky. Bar Recommends Disbarment for Mass Tort Lawyer Stan Chesley”

Courier-Journal: “Kentucky Bar votes to disbar Stan Chesley for role in fen-phen case”

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