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Ky. Bar Association Ordered to Pay $191.5K Legal Bill for Lawyer Whose Free Speech Was Chilled

Posted Aug 22, 2012 4:42 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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The Kentucky Bar Association has been ordered by a federal judge to pay a little over $190,000 in attorney's fees to a lawyer whose free speech rights were chilled.

The order follows a 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision last month that the KBA should not have warned attorney John M. Berry Jr. he could be sanctioned for criticizing the state Legislative Ethics Commission, since everything Berry said was either true or protected opinion.

In addition to the $191,588 legal bill for Berry's counsel, the bar association likely has had to pay a similar amount to its own counsel, Stites & Harbison, reports the Courier-Journal.

The bar association's president, Doug Myers, told the newspaper in an email that he expects insurance to cover the legal bills.

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