CINCINNATI TORT LAWYER STANLEY CHESLEY FILES MOTION TO STAY KBA DISCIPLINE PROCEEDINGS – QUESTIONS REASONS BAR COUNSEL WAS TERMINATED ON NOV. 21, 2011
Dec. 7, 2011 by LawReader Senior Editor Stan Billingsley
LawReader has read a copy of pleadings filed on Monday Dec. 5th. By Stan Chesley in his discipline hearing before the Kentucky Supreme Court. He seeks
discovery of the reasons the KBA terminated Bar Counsel Linda Gosnell and suggests a possible denial of due process of law.
Chesley cites in his motion a Courier-Journal news story from July 15, 2011 in which it was reported that “ …Federal Prosecutors have now turned their attention to (Angela) Ford, in what they say is an effort
to protect the Fen Phen victims after a $42 million civil judgment that she won for her clients was reversed.”
“the U.S. attorney’s office in Lexington has won a court order requiring Ford to account for the money she’s collected and hasn’t passed on to her clients…including $13.5 million she’s been paid in legal
(In another article by the Courier Journal in 2009, Ford is quoted by reporter Andy Wolfsen, as saying that she has shared her attorney fees “with other
lawyers”. It is believed that the names of the other lawyers may be revealed by the Accounting which is now in the possession of the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Federal Judge Danny Reeves has ordered that the accounting be sealed pending further order of the court.)
In Chesley’s motion styled, ‘Motion to Abate to Allow Limited Discovery On Deprivation of Due Process”, he seeks discovery “…to determine whether any of
the facts related to the termination of Bar Counsel’s (Linda Gosnell) employment must be disclosed to Respondent to satisfy due process of law.”
Chesley goes on to say:
“Investigation is required into Angela Ford’s payments of money to other lawyers from funds she collected for the fen-phen plaintiffs in Abbott.” (Abbott
is the civil case from Boone County which was reversed by the Ky. Court of Appeals in February of 2011.)
The Bar Counsel sought restitution from Chesley of $7.5 million dollars of his legal fee in the original fen-phen case. Chesley states in his motion that Judge Wehr,
the Boone Circuit Judge who granted a summary judgment against Gallion, Mills, and Cunningham, did not issue a summary judgment against Chesley.
Apparently the Bar Counsel was seeking restitution without any judgment against Chesley.
“After the Court of Appeals vacated the summary judgment against G.M. C (Gallion, Mills and Cunningham) in the Abbott case, the
United States attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky demanded an accounting from Ms. Ford of the funds she had collected and of the disbursement
from those funds. Ms. Ford vigorously resisted rendering an accounting., causing many members of the Bar to wonder what was being concealed from the
public record in fen-phen related proceedings.”
The motion explains that approximately one week after the 6th. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Ford’s motion to set aside the Accounting ordered by Judge
Reeves, that the Ky. Bar Association “abruptly terminated” Bar Counsel Linda Gosnell.
Chesley argues in his motion, “The circumstances attendant to the termination has raised questions whether it was in any way related to the accounting rendered on November 9—such as disclosing a conflict of interests that would have required Bar Counsel to recuse in this case.”
A second section of the motion is titled: “Investigation is required into Bar Counsel’s overly zealous prosecutions, including charging disciplined lawyers for legal fees paid by the KBA to her friends.”
Chesley argues: “…Bar Counsel charged Mr. Chesley for legal fees that were incurred by the KBA in Gallion’s criminal trial.” (Chesley was not a defendant in the criminal
trial, he was only named in the Abbott civil trial.)
“Specifically, the bill of costs served upon Respondent (Chesley) in this case included $15,736.86 paid as fees to Jane Graham, a Lexington attorney, apparently for attending and observing Gallion’s
Graham explained her work in June of 2011 by saying her “…services had been rendered in connection with Ms. Gosnell’s appearance as a witness in the federal prosecution of Gallion and Cunningham.”
Chesley argues that while a discipline case was pending against former KBA President Barbara Bonar, that a stay in the Bonar discipline case was granted pending the outcome of the Boone Civil trial. A similar motion by Chesley for a stay pending the final outcome of the Abbott case, was denied.
So the KBA prosecuted Chesley regarding claims made in the Abbott case, but the Abbott case has been reversed and the reversal and
remand for a new trial is currently pending in the Ky. Supreme Court. This means it is possible that Chesley may be subject to a restitution order of $7.5 million dollars, and the Abbott case
never granted such an order against Chesley and is still pending.
Chesley has moved the Ky. Supreme Court for an order allowing discovery. “…the KBA should be required to provide counsel for Respondent with any and all exculpatory
materials, including any and all materials that might tend to support a motion for a new trial on the basis of conflict of interests and/or prosecutorial misconduct.”
Chesley’s attorney, Sheryl Snyder of Frost, Brown and Todd in Louisville, said the material they seek could be limited to an “attorney eyes only basis”.
To read more from the Chesley motion go to: Chesley Test which is posted on LawReader.com.