THE KBA ETHICS PROSECUTION AGAINST ERIC DETERS RESULTS IN FIFTEEN COUNTS BEING DISMISSED, AND 4 MINOR CHARGES SUSTAINED.
On Friday Sept. 16, 2011, the KBA Board of Governors heard oral arguments by Eric Deters and his attorney Larry Forgy. The KBA Bar counsel’s office was represented by Sarah Coker.
The KBA was prosecuting Deters for l9 counts, but l5 counts were dismissed by the Board of Governors.
The four remaining charges included a claim that he had called a daughter of a client concerning potential representation. His client had asked him to call her daughter.
Three other charges will be clarified as soon as LawReader receives confirmation.
The KBA sought a 2 year suspension of Deters, but the Board recommended a sanction of a 61 day suspension and remedial education.
Deters notified LawReader that he would exercise his right to appeal the four counts on which the Board upheld the ruling of the Trial Commissioner.
One of the remaining issues is the action of the Board of Governors over Deters motion to send the case back for a new hearing due to the alleged conflict of interest of the Trial Commissioner Frank Doheny. Doheny is a partner ins Dismore and Shohl of Louisville. At the hearing it was disclosed by Doheny that his law partner Ms. Ash from the Cincinnati office of Dinsmore and Shohl was representing the client who filed a complaint against Deters.
Attorney Ash received a fee for completing the case Deters had originally handled. She received $25,000. Deters had allegedly billed the client $1500 and the Trial Commissioner ruled that his fee was exhorbitant.
Deters sought the recusal of the Trial Commissioner, but the Chief Justice refused to consider his motion for recusal. At this point it does not appear that the Board of Governors made a finding on the recusal conflict of the Trial Commissioner.
The Board’s dismissal of most of the charges filed against Deters dealt a serious blow to the Bar Counsel’s office.
Deters posted the following comments on his blog:
A very biased Trial Commissioner had recommended 181 day (6 months) suspension. I was charged with 19 violations of the lawyer ethical code on 6 cases. Yesterday, they found me guilty of only 4 of 19 violations. Rather than 181 days, they recommended the much smaller time of 61. I will appeal these four to the Kentucky Supreme Court. I’m confident of complete exoneration. We have countless winning issues.
This won’t affect me at all in Ohio either.
I violated no ethical rules. The Board found me guilty of the following: improper termination of a client (no idea why); saying something false about a judge (the judge admitted everything I said was true at my hearing) improper contact with a prospective client (this man lied and I proved it) and lack of candor to a tribunal (I’ll have to read the Order when they send it.)
Even the false accusations did not include criminal conduct, theft, morality or other terrible things you have and read about on the news by lawyers. This unethical and lieing Bar Counsel and Trial Commissioner charged and found me guilty of 19 violations. Even the biased Board tossed 15 of them! So I had to defend for over 5 years baseless bar charges. I will appeal these four to the Kentucky Supreme Court.