Retired Judge Stan Billlingsley and former Legislator Larry Forgy Call on Supreme Court to Appoint Independent Investigator


LETTER TO:  The Kentucky Bar Association Board of Governors / Supreme Court from Retired Judge Stan Billingsley and former legislator Larry Forgy

RE:  CALL FOR AN OUTSIDE INVESTIGATION OF THE BAR COUNSEL’S OFFICE AND SUGGESTIONS
FOR RULES CHANGES IN THE ATTORNEY DISCIPLINE PROCESS

Date: Nov. 29, 2011

The events of the last two weeks, which ended in the KBA Board of Governors firing Bar Counsel Linda Gosnell, raises numerous issues of great concern to the 16,700 attorneys whose dues pay for the
operation of the Kentucky Bar Association.

As  members of the Kentucky Bar Association we can only speak for ourselves.  Nevertheless, we believe that many lawyers across the Commonwealth are deeply troubled by the mounting allegations
concerning the conduct of the Bar Counsel’s Office since 2003.

We recognize and praise the recent action of the Kentucky Supreme Court in amending SCR 3.370(8) to repeal the right of the Bar Counsel to impose cost bills on an attorney as a precondition of the attorneys right to appeal ethics charges to the Supreme Court.

We recognize and praise the Board of Governors of the Ky. Bar Association for summarily discharging Linda Gosnell.   We are troubled however by the fact that the President of the Bar Association has not
disclosed the reason(s) that Linda Gosnell was discharged.  Why is the Bar President being secretive on this issue?  This does not build confidence.

We have received reports from several sources of the existence of the so-called “Houlihan  Report”.  It is reported that in 2010 the KBA itself appointed an outside investigator, Robert Houlihan, to investigate the operation of the KBA regarding their conduct in acting on claims against a KBA officer. This report is said to be highly critical of the conduct of the KBA.  This report has been suppressed by the KBA.  This suppression of a report by the
KBA’s own outside investigator suggests that the KBA should not have a part in the selection of the outside investigator requested by this letter. Further, the full and complete “Houlihan Report” should be released to the
public.

We respectfully request that the Board of Governors review all of the allegations relating to alleged abuses of the Bar Counsel’s Office, and by fully and completely disclosing the facts known or discovered
by the KBA, which may have influenced the discharge of  Linda Gosnell or which disclose other wrongs of the KBA or Bar Counsel’s office.

The Board of Governors cannot protect the reputation of the KBA by failing to fully disclose the facts behind the discharge of the Bar Counsel.  It is not in the best interest of the KBA ,or
the Board of Governors, for the Board to hide behind a claim of “confidentiality”.

The public has the right to have the problems associated with the structure and operation of the Bar Counsel’s office closely examined.  Merely firing one person does
not put to rest claims of other alleged wrongs, and does not correct the structure which may have allowed other wrongs to occur.  The actions of the Board of Governors are
encouraging, but as we see it, the work on their desk has not been finished.  It is hoped that the KBA does not fall into the trap of institutional self-protection that hides embarrassing deeds.  This defensive posture always fails.
We believe the interest of the Board of Governors would be best served by their hiring a totally fulltime in-house legal advisor who reports only to the Board. This appointment would be separate from the outside
independent investigator this letter requests to review the conduct of the Bar Counsel’s office.

The in-house legal advisor to the Board, should  be free to monitor the conduct of the Bar Counsel’s office.  This legal advisor to the Board of Governors should be totally independent of the Bar Counsel’s office. An existing  rule, SCR 3.155,
authorizes this action by the Board.

The Trial Commissioner’s assigned in ethics prosecutions should be able to call on the Legal Counsel for legal advice.  Attorneys who allege abuse of their rights by the Bar Counsel’s office, should be able to present their claims to this
in-house Legal Advisor.

No longer should the Board of Governors, when acting in a judicial function when hearing ethics appeals, be advised by the Chief Ethics Prosecutor.  No longer should the Trial Commissioners
assigned to conduct hearings of ethics complaints be advised by the Bar Counsel’s office. It should be clearly established by a new SCR that any ex parte communications between the Bar Counsel’s office and the Trial
Commissioner or Board of Governors should be prohibited, and any violations immediately shared with the defendant attorney and reported to the Judicial Conduct Commission.

The Supreme Court Rules which forbid prosecutors from assisting or encouraging a judicial officer to violate the Judicial Code of Conduct, particularly those forbidding  Ex Parte communications, should be strictly
enforced. See: SCR 3.130(8.4) . It is our opinion that all KBA Trial Commissioners are subject to the Judicial Conduct Code.  If a Trial Commissioner violates the JCC, they should be reported to the JCC.

There are several steps which should in our opinion be taken to assure the 16,700  members of the Ky. Bar Association, and the public, that the Board of Governors is diligently seeking to fully inform
itself as to the growing list of allegations which are being discussed in the legal community in Kentucky.  The public wants to be reassured that the Board intends to fix any problems which may have
allowed an abuse of attorneys rights by the Bar Counsel’s office.

REQUESTED ACTIONS OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS
1. The Board of Governors should immediately make a full and complete report of  all their reasons for discharging Linda Gosnell as Bar Counsel.  Any knowledge they may have regarding
wrongdoing or suspected wrongdoing by Linda Gosnell or the Bar Counsel’s office, should be disclosed.  Also the KBA should immediately release the complete “Houlihan Report.”

2. The Kentucky Supreme Court should appoint an outside independent investigator (with the assistance of the Attorney General) to fully investigate the many allegations concerning the past operation of the Bar
Counsel’s Office. This outside investigator should have access to all records of the Bar Counsel’s Office.  It would be prudent for the Board of Governors to request that the Supreme Court appoint this
independent investigator. This would assure the public that the Board of Governors’ is committed to cooperate fully in the investigation.
The main issues that should be reviewed by the independent investigator include:

a. Disclosure of all instances where the Bar Counsel included attorney fees as part of the “cost and expense” bills imposed on attorneys convicted by the Board of Governors.  This investigation  should identify the outside lawyers hired by
the Bar Counsel, the amount of all outside legal fees charged, and should seek a proper accounting of the basis for each legal fee imposed on attorneys.

If any attorneys were improperly charged for attorney fees by the Bar Counsel’s office, those fees should be refunded to the attorney’s that paid them.

If the rights of any attorney to file an appeal  were infringed upon, due to the improper demand by the Bar Counsel that inappropriate “costs” were required to
be paid in advance of the attorneys right to appeal to the Supreme Court, or due to denial of due process rights, then this information should be revealed
to the offended attorney, and he/she should be allowed to receive a hearing to determine if his/her due process rights were violated.

b. The investigation should examine the relationship of  Linda Gosnell to anyone who may have improperly benefited financially from the Bar Counsel’s selection of outside counsel.

c. The investigation should review the Accounting of Angela Ford sought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. This report is now in the possession of the U.S. Attorney’s office.
This accounting should be made public.  In particular the names, dates, and amounts of any payment made by Angela Ford to any other attorney should be made public.

The investigation should study any efforts by the Bar Counsel’s office to inform themselves about handling of the escrowed funds  seized by Angela Ford, and determine the legal authorization for Ford to have
distributed any of said funds in the absence of a final judgment.

In 2009 Angela Ford was interviewed by the Courier Journal, and she stated she had been paid “$7,500,000″  due to the summary judgment she obtained in the Abbott v. Gallion case in Boone Circuit
Court. In that news story she is quoted as saying that some of that money went to “other attorneys.”   Who are those “other attorneys” cited by Angela Ford?   The investigator should take the advice of
Deep Throat in the Watergate scandal who said, “Follow the money.”

The investigation should examine the handling of funds seized from the Kentucky Fund for Healthy Living.  The Boone Circuit Court ordered that the Trust should be dissolved. The funds in the Charitable Trust were seized by Ford, and
at the time of the 2009 news story in the Courier Journal, this $23,000,000 seized from the Charitable Trust were the only funds in her possession.

Ford reportedly made a distribution of those trust funds to her clients (some 300 of the 440 Fen Phen plaintiffs), and it is possible that many Fen Phen plaintiffs not represented by Ford were not included in this distribution. She
paid herself, “and other attorneys”, $7,500,000 out of the funds seized from the Charitable Trust. (See the Courier Journal article of 2009 written by Andrew Wolfson.)

Pleadings filed by the U.S. Attorney seeking an accounting of Angela Ford, and newspaper reports,  suggests that to date  Ford has been paid in excess of $13,000,000 out of the funds she seized.  We cannot
ignore that there is no final judgment upon which Ford may justify any disbursement to her clients or to herself.
There is a possibility that the civil case awarding Ford’s clients $43,000,000 could still be retried and there is a chance that a jury might rule against Ford’s clients, and then the court will be presented with the problem
of trying to recover the $43 million handled by Ford, but which has been distributed to the four corners of the world.  That is why proper legal procedure mandates that seized funds not be distributed until the judgment is final.
This is known as “the finality rule”.

The issue that should be reviewed by the outside investigator is, what has the Bar Counsel’s office done to protect these funds?   Did the Bar Counsel’s office
know about and ignore the disbursement of $43 million dollars?  If an improper disbursement has occurred , the public is entitled to known why has the Bar Counsel failed to timely
protect these funds?

The Accounting ordered by Federal Judge Reeves, will answer some of these  question.  Since at least December of 2010 the U.S. Attorney’s office was taken positive steps to protect the interests of clients
who had claims.  The U.S. Attorney’s office filed a motion in Jessamine Circuit Court in 2010 to set aside the judicial sale of Bill Gallion’s home in which Ford is alleged by the U.S. Attorneys office to have spent funds from clients escrow accounts to fund the purchase of the Gallion home.  The U.S. Attorney pleadings alleged that Ford did not represent all of the Fen Phen plaintiffs, that she was holding funds for their interest, but that she used
these escrow funds belonging to clients she did not represent.  The Jessamine Circuit Court set aside that sale.

Where was the Bar Counsel’s office when the U.S. Attorney intervened to protect escrowed funds?   The U.S Attorney later sought an accounting from Ford, and Federal District Judge Reeves ordered the accounting.
Ford appealed to the 6th.  Circuit to stay or prevent the accounting but the 6th. Circuit denied her motion.   Again the investigation should review why the Bar Counsel’s office was absent from the efforts to protect clients funds
held by Ford.

Were the rights of the Fen Phen plaintiffs who were not represented by Angela Ford, but who were members of the class, violated when they did not share in that distribution?  What did the Bar Counsel know about this
allegation and what action did they take? What did the Bar Counsel know about a distribution of any funds which were based only on the reversed ruling of the Boone Circuit Court?

Further, the investigation should examine why the attorney for the Charitable Trust was informed by the trial court that his future legal fees for his defense of the Charitable Trust would not be paid, thus denying an appeal regarding dissolution of the Charitable Trust.  Why was a formally registered Trust denied the right to defend itself by the filling of an appeal?

The Kentucky Court of Appeals in  Case NO. 2007-CA-001971-MR,  dated February 4, 2011, reversed the ruling of the Boone Circuit Court granting judgment to Ford’s clients.  This
reversal and remand for a new trial ruling by the Court of Appeals, reversed the entire award of $43 million (which included $23 million in the Kentucky Fund for Healthy Living). That matter is on appeal to the Kentucky supreme
Court.

d. The investigation should seek to explain the long history of dilatory actions of the Bar Counsel’s Office in many cases, in not promptly investigating and concluding ethics prosecutions.  Many ethics cases have been open for years,
in some cases as long as eight or nine years.  In particular, the investigation should review any financial links between persons associated with the ethics prosecution procedures and Angela Ford.  These lengthy investigations have
placed a great emotional and financial hardship on some, and is believed by some to have been used as a ploy to protect others.  We note that in Kentucky and Federal criminal prosecutions , any delay of a year or more is “presumptively
prejudicial” to the defendant.
e. The investigation should examine allegations that Linda Gosnell threatened opposing legal counsel with ethics sanctions if they proceeded with their legal arguments in defense of their client. It is reported
that in several instances the Bar Counsel’s office began investigations against attorneys who representing clients she was prosecuting.  This surely worked a chilling effect on the
ability of lawyers to represent their clients.  Was there any basis for these ethics investigations and threats of investigations other than an attempt to intimidate trial counsel?

f. The investigation should examine allegations that Gosnell may have violated the Rules of Professional Courtesy by being hostile and disrespectful of witnesses called in the behalf of a defendant.

g. The investigation should examine claims of favoritism by the Bar Counsel’s office in favor of  past officers of the KBA.

h.  The investigation should determine if the rules regarding procedures for the selection of Board of Inquiry members and Trial Commissioner’s, were conducted in a
manner other than random selection.  The investigator should ask whether or not the powers of the Kentucky Supreme Court were infringed upon by the Bar Counsel’s interference with the selection of
Trial Commissioners and Board of Inquiry members.  One allegation claims that when the name of one Trial Commissioner was submitted to hear a pending case, that the Bar
Counsel “vetoed” this appointment and explained that he was not qualified to deal with “such complex issues”.  The Supreme Court had approved this
name.  What rule allows the prosecutor to select the judge?

i.  The Board of Governors should disclose information about all instances since 2003 where they may have authorized the hiring of outside counsel to assist the Bar Counsel. The Rules clearly permit the Board to hire outside counsel, but the members of the Bar should be informed why outside counsel are being hired, how much has been paid to outside counsel, particularly when the Bar Counsel’s office already employs nine full time lawyers?

j. The investigator should review any potential expenditure of  KBA funds made without the express authorization of the Board of Governors.  Supreme Court Rules require that all expenditure of KBA funds be in compliance with the
budget authorized by the Supreme Court.  Did the Supreme Court authorize in their budget approval, the payment of large fees to outside counsel hired by the Bar Counsel?

k. The investigator should examine claims of favoritism in the appointment of outside counsel. The investigation of the actual work done by outside counsel should be studied.  Was the assigned work of outside counsel
actually done?  Were the outside legal fees fairly earned?

l. The investigator should examine whether outside counsel hired by the Bar Counsel, were properly assigned to do work in cases within the jurisdiction of the Bar Counsel’s office, and whether or not their legal work was properly billed to the case they worked on, and whether  some outside counsel fees billed to defendant attorneys for work done in other cases?

m.  The investigation should evaluate the use of “confidentiality” and secrecy procedures of the Bar Counsel’s Office.  Were such rules properly followed? Are such rules in the best interest
of the Kentucky Bar Association?

Did the Bar Counsel’s office use threats of investigations and the filing of ethics charges in cases, in an attempt to coerce action in other cases?  Has the Bar Counsel’s office filed charges against attorneys who chose not to agree to
a lesser charge and asserted their right to offer a defense?

Has the Bar Counsel improperly filed ethics charges solely for the purpose of denying readmission of attorneys who have served their period of suspension from the practice of law?

n.  The investigator should examine the handling of all files and records of the Bar Counsel’s Office to assure that none of these files are missing.  The investigation should review the length of
time that Bar Counsel investigations were conducted and to determine if there were any violations of the Supreme Court’s “promptness” rule. See: SCR 3.180 Investigations and trials to be prompt. Investigations
and prosecutions that take eight years are not “prompt.”

o.  The investigator should review whether or not Bar appointments  have been excessively given to lawyers affiliated with large defense law firms. Have personal injury lawyers and small
firm lawyers been unfairly subjected to ethics prosecution, while violations by large civil defense firms and prosecutors been ignored by the Bar Counsel’s office?

p. The investigation should determine whether or not the Board of Governors authorized the hiring of outside counsel in the John M. Berry Jr. case, which has placed the KBA in jeopardy of a federal award under
the Civil Rights Act Section 1983, in the form of a sanction for attorney fees.

The ACLU, who is representing Berry, is almost certainly seeking an award of attorney fees as authorized by the Federal Civil Rights Act.  The investigator should review whether or not
the Bar Counsel acted appropriately in committing the assets of the KBA to the defense of an investigation which failed to be supported by a finding of the
Inquiry Commission.  The investigator should advise the Board as to whether or not this first amendment case could have been dismissed with an apology by the Bar Counsel.  The Investigation should look closely for any
possible instances of the inappropriate use of Bar assets.

q. The investigation should study the recommendations of the American Bar Association Center for Professional Responsibility on how state bar associations should  “build walls” between the Ethics
Prosecutors and the Trial Commissioners and Board of Governors when acting in their judicial capacity.  The vast majority of states  have an independent Board of Ethics Commissioners to review the conduct of the ethics
prosecutors.  The investigation should examine the possibility that an ethics discipline structure similar to Ohio’s might provide a template for Kentucky to follow.  The KBA could well
serve the Bar by requesting that the Supreme Court consider reforms to allow the imposition of checks and balances in the ethics process in Kentucky.

3. Once the outside independent investigator has completed, his/her report, it should be disclosed to the  Board of Governors, the Kentucky Supreme Court, to the public, posted on the KBA web site, and delivered to the U.S.
Attorney’s Office and the Franklin County Commonwealth Attorney.

RULES CHANGES THAT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED BY THE SUPREME COURT

We respectfully request that the Kentucky Supreme Court review the entire ethics prosecution mechanism.  The recent amendment of SCR 3.370(6) and (8) demonstrates that the Kentucky Supreme Court
is capable of quickly amending rules when they discover the existing rule is inappropriate or flawed in its application.

The Court should begin their review of the current ethics rules with an examination of  ”SCR 3.505 Character and Fitness Committee; reinstatements” which was last amended in 2004 . The rule as currently written allows the Bar Counsel to ignore the sanction imposed by the Supreme Court by objecting to an attorneys reinstatement after they have served the period of suspension ordered by the Supreme Court.
This rule allows the Bar Counsel to add at least four months to any period of suspension from the practice of law, since all suspended lawyers must apply for reinstatement, and if the Bar Counsel
objects to the reinstatement, a review process and final ruling can take 120 days.  This rule means that if the Supreme Court orders a 30 or 60 day suspension, the Bar Counsel may override
the judgment of the Supreme Court and add at least an additional four months of suspension.

Further this rule, at Section (4), places the burden of proof  on the attorney seeking reinstatement. “Section(4) The burden of proof of one’s good character and fitness to practice
law shall be on the Applicant.

Supreme Court members in 2004 have in effect delegated the final authority over the sanctioning of lawyers to the discretion of the Bar Counsel, even in cases where the period of suspension  adjudged by the Supreme Court was less than 180 days.  In criminal law the prosecutor is not allowed to increase the penalty of the trial court.

We would request that the Supreme Court review the changes in the 1990 version of the Supreme Court ethics rules, which reduced the standard of proof required to sanction an attorney from the previous “clear and convincing’ evidence standard, to a “preponderance of the evidence” standard.  The attorney discipline process has been described in an appellate decision as being “quasi-criminal” in nature.  The “beyond a reasonable
doubt” evidence standard which applies to criminal cases is not applied in attorney discipline matters. Instead the civil standard of “a preponderance of the evidence” is applied in ethics prosecutions of
lawyers.  Other states require that the standard of proof must be “clear and convincing”. While the burden of proof is placed on the Bar Counsel, in the reinstatement application process,
the burden of proof is shifted to the defendant attorney.  We know of no other state that gives more power to the ethics prosecutor than does Kentucky.  We note that in prison inmate prosecutions
for violation of prison discipline rules, the standard of proof is “some evidence”.  If appears that this “some evidence” rule is sufficient to sanction a Kentucky lawyer.  Many times the Trial Commissioner is
presented with “he said /she said” factual situations, and most of the time the lawyer loses.

The court should examine rules of confidentiality that are interpreted by the Bar Counsel to deny access to information by the public and to refuse discovery requests of defendant lawyers.

When a lawyer’s conduct places the risk of great financial harm to his clients, public disclosure of allegations would be in the public’s interest.  The confidentiality rules should not be
applied to keep potential victims of a lawyers conduct in the dark. When there is a chance that public disclosure of pending ethics charges would prevent harm
to clients, the Bar should make the protection of  the client the primary consideration.  We note that Great Britain and New Zealand have taken the attorney discipline process away from their Bar Associations and
placed said duties in a Consumer Protection Office.  The entire ethics process should be focused first on the protection of the consumers of legal services.

The Supreme Court should review suggestions by the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility to “build walls” between the judicial body and the prosecutorial officials in ethics prosecution cases.   (We have read one report where the State of Montana concluded that it was necessary to totally remove the ethics prosecution office from the same building in which the Bar administrators were housed, in order to limit the appearance of ex parte communications.)

If any review of the current rules regarding the discipline of attorneys is conducted, it should consider that attorneys should not be sanctioned for merely defending themselves.  Attorneys should not be
threatened with ethics prosecutions by the Bar Counsel, for arguments they made in court. The Supreme Court rule which grants “absolute immunity” to the Bar Counsel’s office, if amended to provide the same level of immunity
granted to criminal prosecutors, i.e. “qualified immunity”, would better serve the interests of justice. The “qualified immunity” burden is no higher a burden than the burden currently placed upon the shoulders of criminal prosecutors.

It would be in the best interest of the Bar and the public, if the Supreme Court would clarify the rules to recognize that any attorney has the right to seek review of his/her claims of constitutional rights violations by the Bar Counsel by filing their claims in Federal Court.  It would be in the best interest of the Bar for every attorney to have the right to pursue all remedies in behalf of his defense, without fear of retaliation.  Surely, defending one’s self is not an ethical violation.

The interest of justice would be well served if the Supreme Court rules allowed Civil Rule 11 sanctions to be imposed against the KBA, when their employee the Bar Counsel, violates the Supreme Court Rules or the Civil Rules by bringing
frivolous charges or by conducting improper investigations of lawyers.

The Supreme Court should examine the rules with consideration that the rules which express the levels of punishments that can be applied to a convicted attorney, should be weighted, in such a way that a minor procedural error by a lawyer would not result in the death penalty of permanent disbarment.  The classification of criminal laws allows a  range of penalties for “felonies, misdemeanors and violations,” but the current Supreme Court Rule allows the maximum penalty to be imposed for the most minor offense. Such a classification of penalties exists in criminal cases, and the  interest of justice, would be better served  if a classification system was applied to discipline sanctions.

The Supreme Court should consider a mechanism where all complaints against the Bar Counsel should be heard by a body independent of the Bar Counsel’s office.  (Other states have such a procedure to assure fairness in dealing with claims of misdeeds by ethics prosecutors.)

CONCLUSION

We make no suggestions or allegations that the Board of Governors has violated any rule or law.  We know of no such violations of duty by the Board of Governors. Their action in decisively dealing with the Bar Counsel,
strongly suggests their desire to right any wrongs which may have emanated from the Bar Counsel’s Office.

Having said that, we believe it would be in the best interest of the Board of Governors to rebuild the confidence of the 16,700 members of the Kentucky Bar Association, by authorizing  an independent investigation of the Bar
Counsel’s office.

We do not accuse anyone mentioned in this letter of any criminal action, or of any lack of integrity or qualifications for their office. We accuse no one of a rules violation. Those conclusions can only be made after a full and complete
investigation and after the due process rights or those involved are provided.

We have discussed numerous allegations which have been shared with us by members of the legal profession.  We only suggest that these allegations be investigated.  Only a court can formally prove the truth of falsity of these allegations.  We note that the Kentucky Supreme Court Rule 3.130 (8.2) has been interpreted to limit the right of an attorney from speaking truthfully about the conduct of “judicial officers”, and “public legal officers”.  This prohibition of first amendment rights of attorneys has allowed some officials to be protected from public examination of their actions. (Rule 3.130 (8.2) as interpreted by the Bar Counsel is currently on review before the 6th. Circuit Court of Appeals.)

No appointment of  a new Bar Counsel should be made until this investigation is published. The independent investigator should ask all of the 24 (now 23) employees of the Bar Counsel’s office, “What did you know about possible abuses of
attorneys rights, and when did you know it.”

The investigation should also invite the former Deputy Bar Counsel, who in 2011 resigned, to report the reasons he had for resigning from the Bar Counsel’s office.  His insight might be enlightening. We
currently have an attorney discipline process that virtually requires an attorney to have  a stable of lawyers with him at all times, just to guide him through the maze of vague ethics rules that have been allowed to be applied, or ignored, at the discretion of the Bar Counsel’s office.

Instead of focusing upon retraining and education of lawyers on how to comply with ethics rules, the Bar Counsel’s office has focused on harsh punishments and disbarment.
The concept of lawyers being able to seek out ethics guidance by submitting questions to the KBA is a meaningless process, since most ethics opinions issued by the KBA are not binding on the Bar Counsel’s office.

Therefore there is no real guidance and direction regarding ethics guidelines provided to members of the Bar.  Attorneys who have sought and obtained ethics opinions from the Bar Association, have relied on those opinions, and yet have
been investigated and sanctioned for relying on such advice.

More than a few members of the Bar who have been involved in practicing before the KBA in defense of lawyers charged with ethics violations, believe that the Bar Counsel’s office has conducted a rein of terror against the legal
profession.  It is time that sanctions be brought into line with the seriousness of the offense, and the rights provided to defendants in our trial courts should be applied to attorney discipline hearings.
Lord Action (1834-1902), is famously quoted in a letter to Bishop Creighton in l887: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  We would paraphrase  Lord Action and suggest that
“absolute immunity of a public official, corrupts him absolutely.”
Respectfully submitted,
/s/
Judge Stan Billingsley (Ret.)

314
7th. St.

Carrollton, Ky. 41008
/s/

Hon. Lawrence Forgy
Frankfort, Kentucky

 

(Comments may be forwarded to Stan Billingsley at Firstjudge@aol.com
)

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