BAR COUNSEL LINDA GOSNELL REORTEDLY FIRED BY KBA BOARD OF GOVERNORS
Monday Nov. 21, 2011
Today it was reported to LawReader that the KBA Bar Counsel, Linda Gosnell, was summarily fired by the Board of Governors. The Bar Counsel is the chief ethics prosecutor of the KBA.
Reports are filtering into LawReader that suggest the accounting of clients funds held by Fen Phen lawyer Angela Ford were unsealed by U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves,
and that there is a connection to the Ford accounting and the firing of Linda Gosnell. We cannot confirm this report, but the source was close to the KBA .
The accounting had been sought by the U.S. Attorney’s office. Judge Reeves approved the accounting request, but Judge Reeves sealed the report until this week. It is not
known if the complete accounting will now be made public.
It is reported that Angela Ford has made at least a partial distribution of funds seized from a charity and from William Gallion and partners. This is almost unbelievable since the summary judgment against Gallion and his partners, was reversed by the Ky. Court of Appeals, and is still on appeal to the Ky. Supreme Court. We know of no legal theory that allows a distribution of funds seized from a defendant without a final judgment.
On Friday of last week, the KBA Board of Governors set aside a cost bill submitted by Bar Counsel Gosnell in the case of No. Ky. attorney Eric Deters. The cost bill included a fee for outside
legal services provided to the Bar Counsel’s office of $44,000. The law firm of Stites and Harbison was also hired by the Bar Counsel, Linda Gosnell, to defend the lawsuit filed by John M. Berry Jr. and the ACLU, which is currently pending in the 6th. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Bar Counsel investigated Berry for writing a letter critical of the legislature. An obscure rule was cited, but legal scholars could not find any relevance of that rule to the facts.
Earlier last week the Ky. Supreme Court repealed the rule that allowed cost bills imposed by the Bar Counsel to disqualify any appeal to the Supreme Court until the “cost” bill was paid by a defendant lawyer. This amendment of the Supreme Court rules occurred at a special session of the Supreme Court. This would appear to indicate that the Supreme Court strongly disapproved of the Bar Counsel’s ability to deny appeals to attorneys charged with ethics violations.
It appears from our viewpoint that the Supreme Court and the Board of Governors has taken appropriate action. They must now ask themselves if they will continue to authorize the Bar Counsel’s office to operate behind a
wall of secrecy.
Further rumors of more sinister conduct are flying throughout the legal community in Kentucky. We will report more as soon as
these rumors can be confirmed or disproven.
We get nervous when we hear words like, “U.S. Attorneys Office’ and “accounting of the handling of client’s funds” in the
Stay tuned….this is getting interesting.