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Legal Ethics

Fen-Phen Lawyers Blame Cincinnati Class Action Atty for Mistakes

Posted Apr 2, 2009 9:40 AM CDT
By Molly McDonough

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Jurors are expected to begin deliberating today in the second trial against disbarred Kentucky lawyers William Gallion and Shirley Cunningham Jr. on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the fen-phen diet-drug case that was settled for $200 million in 2001.

The two are accused of defrauding their clients of tens of millions of dollars through a series of "false statements, misrepresentations, omissions, deceit, concealment, delay and obstruction," a prosecutor argued in closing Wednesday according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Assistant U.S. Attorney E.J. Walbourn told federal jurors that the defendants "treated their own clients like a gravy train" and "got caught with their hands in the cookie jar."

Last July, their trial ended with a hung jury and a third defendant, Melbourne Mills Jr., was acquitted.

In this trial, lawyers for the defendants reportedly blamed mistakes on others, namely class-action attorney Stan Chesley of Cincinnati, who negotiated the 2001 deal, the Enquirer reports.

Chesley testified per an immunity deal and denied any wrongdoing.

Also See:

Courier-Journal: "Prosecutor says diet-drug attorneys cost their clients millions"

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