Legal Ethics

Kentucky Bar Investigates Ohio Plaintiffs Lawyer Stan Chesley

Ohio tort lawyer Stan Chesley is facing an ethics investigation by the Kentucky Bar Association for his conduct in litigation involving fen-phen and priest abuse.

The investigations were revealed in legal documents in the separate cases, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. The Louisville Courier-Journal reported last week on one of the revelations, made in a trial commissioner’s suspension recommendation for a different lawyer convicted of fraud in the fen-phen settlement. Chesley helped negotiate the $200 million settlement in the diet drug case and was paid about $20 million for his work.

Chesley has testified his only role was in negotiating the settlement, and he wasn’t aware of how the fees were distributed. Two lawyers, William Gallion and Shirley Cunningham, were convicted of cheating their clients out of almost $95 million in the settlement funds. Their defense had blamed Chesley for their fee mistakes.

The revelation about the Chesley fen-phen ethics probe came in a suspension recommendation for another lawyer who worked for Gallion.

The second ethics investigation was revealed in a lawsuit filed against Chesley and his firm over their representation of sex-abuse victims, according to the Enquirer. The pro se plaintiff included a protective order shielding the names of sex-abuse victims testifying in a disciplinary probe against Chesley.

Chesley’s lawyer told the Enquirer that ethics probes are confidential and he could not comment.

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