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Legal Ethics

Where are these disbarred lawyers now?

Posted Jan 22, 2014 7:15 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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One disbarred Kentucky lawyer is ghostwriting briefs. Another publishes jury verdict newsletters. Others are simply retired.

They are among several disbarred Kentucky lawyers tracked down by the Louisville Courier-Journal, which wrote about the findings here and here.

Kentucky is one of only five states that impose the disbarment “death penalty,” making disbarment permanent in all cases since 1998. (Eight other states make disbarment permanent only for certain offenses.)

But Kentucky does allow disbarred lawyers to work for other lawyers, the story says, as long as certain guidelines are followed. The ex-lawyers cannot have contact with clients, they can’t work in the office of their lawyer-employer, and they must function as law clerks rather than paralegals.

Among the disbarred lawyers highlighted in the story:

• Robert Treadway, a former lawyer at one of Kentucky’s largest law firms, writes an online history column and runs a consulting firm called Kentucky First Strategies.

• Former tort lawyer Stan Chesley lives in his “27,000-square-foot French chateau in Cincinnati,” the story says, and serves on the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission.

• Former litigator David Friedman, who was volunteer general counsel for the ACLU of Kentucky, has a business ghostwriting legal briefs.

• Former lawyer Shannon Ragland publishes civil-verdict newsletters for six states and the federal courts.

• Former lawyer Perry Noble runs an immigration clinic in Alabama.

See also:

ABA Journal: "Disbarred lawyers who seek reinstatement have a rough road to redemption"

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