STAN CHESLEY HAS FILED MOTIONS TO ALLOW HIM TO SEEK DISCOVERY IN HIS DEFENSE – troubling questions about KBA prosecution raised.

STAN CHESLEY HAS FILED MOTIONS TO ALLOW HIM TO SEEK DISCOVERY IN HIS DEFENSE – troubling questions about KBA prosecution raised.

By LawReader Senior Editor Stan Billingsley

LawReader has secured copies of numerous pleadings filed in the Abbott v. Chesley lawsuit from Boone County by Stanley Chesley. These records are public records.
Chesley is seeking additional discovery including a request for admissions, interrogatorys, and release of exculpatory evidence.
The case involving William Gallion, Melbourne Mills, and Cunningham, resulted in a summary judgment which is currently on Discretionary Review by the Ky. Supreme Court.
The Boone Circuit Court summary judgment did not apply to defendant Stanley Chesley.

The Boone Circuit Court issued a stay order prohibiting him from continuing his discovery.

The Chesley motion to drop the stay order against his discovery rights, was directed towards the special judge currently assigned to this case, the Hon. Geoffrey Morris of Louisville, Ky.
The original motion can be read at ABBOTT V CHESLEY. This link is also located in the left hand column of www.lawreader.com.

The Chesley pleading to the Boone Circuit Court asks:

“…Chesley respectfully moves the Court to life the discovery stay imposed by this court as to Mr. Chesley so that he may discover the facts related to Plaintiff’s counsel’s execution upon the $42 million judgment obtained against Defendants Gallion, Cunningham, and Milles (G-C-M).”

Chesley’s lawyer Sheryl Snyder of Frost, Brown and Todd in Louisville, argue that the Boone Circuit Court has jurisdiction to grant the Chesley motion,
“Because he has been ordered to pay restitution to Abbott by the KBA, information regarding Abbott’s counsel’s collection to date is highly relevant to Mr. Chesley.”
The summary judgment on appeal to the Supreme Court did not apply to Chesley and the Boone Circuit Court continues to retain jurisdiction over Chesely’s motions for relief.
“Abbott separately moved for partial summary judgment against Mr. Chesley. This Court denied the motion, stating that “(t)he rationale of the previously entered partial summary judgment (against G-C-M) does not apply to (Chesley) since the facts are in dispute.” See order of April 4, 2007., page 3.

“…this court therefore concluded that genuine issues of material fact remained as to whether Mr. Chesley has any liability to Abbott.”
“The order denying summary judgment as to Chesley was interlocutory and non-appealable.”

LawReader notes that a summary judgment was granted against Gallion, Cunningham and Mills and is on appeal. That would typically freeze discovery between those parries but no summary judgment included Chesley and he seeks to continue with his efforts to obtain discovery from Angela Ford and others.

The discovery Chesley seeks involves the reasons for Bar Counsel Linda Gosnell’s firing by the KBA Board of Governors in November of 2011. This discharge came about one week after Ford “rendered the accounting under seal to the United States Attorney…”

The U. S. Attorney’s office had long sought an accounting of Angela Ford’s handling of funds seized from G-C-M, and the names of the attorneys she hired to collect these funds and the distribution of the $42 million dollars collected.

Chesley justifies his attempt at discovery of Ford’s distribution as follows:

“The circumstances attendant to the termination (of Bar Counsel Linda Gosnell) have raised the question whether it was in any way related to the accounting rendered on November 9 (2011) such as disclosing a conflict of interest that would have required Bar Counsel to recuse in Mr. Chesley’s still pending disciplinary proceedings.”

“There is reason to believe that the accounting may disclose conflicts of interest germane to not only Mr. Chesley’s disciplinary proceedings but also the matter at hand. In fact, the website for the law firm of Linda Gosnell’s husband, R. Leslie Rosenbaum, lists “fen-phen” among its prior professional experience..”

U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves and Courier Journal columnist Andy Wolfson both confirm that Ford shared attorney fees with “attorneys” out of funds collected from the fen-phen defendants.
Chesley argues:

“…This information is clearly highly pertinent to Mr. Chesley, and the only avenue remaining to him to obtain this relevant information is this civil action. As a Defendant to this action, Mr. Chesley thus asks the Court to life the discovery stay so that he may initiate civil discovery in order to discover the facts related to Ford’s execution upon the judgment herein.”
“Determining the identity of the attorneys who have received money from Ford and whether the co-counsel arrangements in this matter created a conflict of interests that would have deprived Mr. Chesley of his due process rights in his disciplinary matter is vitally important and relevant.”

“ In this disciplinary matter, Mr. Chesley has been ordered to pay $7,555,,000 in restitution to the Plaintiffs herein, and Mr. Chesley should be allowed to ascertain both whether Ford’s execution on the judgment obtained against G-C-M created a conflict of interests that would have deprived Mr. Chesley of his due process rights in his disciplinary matter and whether that conflict is related to the order requiring him to pay $7,555,000 in restitution to Abbott, despite the fact that he has not been found liable to Abbott in this action.” (Emphasis added by LawReader.)
Attorney Snyder concludes the Chesley motion as follows:

“Mr. Chesley is entitled to discover whether the facts related to Ford’s execution on the judgment will show the Bar Counsel did indeed labor under a conflict of interest that prompted her to seek an order compelling Mr. Chesley to pay restitution specifically to Abbott. Mr. Chesley is also entitled to discover whether Ford’s execution on the judgment has affected or will affect his defense herein.” (Emphasis added by LawReader.)

SEVERAL SUPPLEMENTAL PLEADINGS WERE FILED:

Exhibit A. News article published in Courier-Journal where it is stated;

“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 clients—including $13.5 million she’s been paid in legal fees.”
Exhibit B. Copy of court order by Judge Reeves in the U.S. District Court. This order quotes Ford’s attorney as saying that “a portion of the funds paid to his client (Ford) by the Abbott plaintiffs have been paid to third parties (including but not limited to other attorneys) pursuant to fee agreements.”

(Also see Andrew Wolfson interview in The Louisville Courier-Journal July 15, 2011 regarding admission by Angela Ford that she “had distributed some of that $13 million to other attorneys, as legal fees to co-counsel.”)

Exhibit D. News Article: Bar Counsel Linda Gosnell fired Nov. 21, 2011 by KBA Board of Governors.

The exhibit states: “The bar counsel prosecutes disciplinary cases. Gosnell won the recommended disbarment of renowned Cincinnati lawyer Stan Chesley for his role in the fen-phen case.”
(LawReader note: Gosnell’s husband is R. Leslie Rosembaum who practices law in Lexington. The Chesley motion quotes Rosenbaum’s web site as saying his firm has experience in Fen Phen cases.)
Exhibit F. (Defendant Stanley M. Chesley’s first set of interrogatories and requests for admission to plaintiffs.)

In these interrogatories the dynamite question is found in Interrogatory No. 6 which asks:

“Identify the attorney fees paid to counsel other than Angela Ford by you or Angela Ford, either directly or indirectly through any third party, for work in this litigation.
(The second Request for admission invokes the name of former KBA President Barbara Bonar who was involved in a lawsuit over a fee dispute, and the Circuit Judge denied Bonar a legal fee.)

Request No. 2 asks:
“Admit or deny that a portion of the funds collected by your or your counsel, either directory or indirectly through any third party, in satisfaction of the judgment previously rendered I this litigation, was paid as a legal fee to the law firm B. Dahlenburg Bonar, or any law firm in which Barbara Bonar is a partner, member, principal, or otherwise associated.

Request No. 4. ( This request involves another former president of the Ky. Bar Association Jane Dyche.)
“Admit or deny that a portion of the fund collected by your or your counsel, either directly or indirectly through any third party, in satisfaction of the judgment previously rendered in this litigation was paid as a legal fee to the Dyche Law Office, or any law firm in which Jane Dyche is a partner, member, principal, or otherwise associated.

Request No. 6. (This request involves the husband of Linda Gosnell, the Bar Counsel. She prosecuted ethics charges against Stan Chesley.)
“Admit or deny that a portion of the funds collected by you or your counsel, either directly or indirectly through any third party, in satisfaction of the judgment previously rendered in this litigation was paid as a legal fee to the law firm Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, or any law firm in which Leslie Rosenbaum is a partner, member, principal,. Or otherwise associated.”
***
Additional Pleadings:

KY. SUPREME COURT, KBA VS. CHESLEY, MOTION TO ABATE TO ALLOW LIMITED DISCOVERY ON DEPRIVATION OF DUE PROCESS.
Chesley argues:
“The unusual circumstances attendant to the abrupt termination (of Linda Gosnell) –coupled with the refusal of the KBA to make any public statement concerning the reasons for the termination – has resulted in the understandable inference that the termination was for cause, and the understandable concern that the cause could rise to the level of prosecutorial misconduct was for cause, and ….and the cause could rise to the level of prosecutorial misconduct in one or more pending discipline cases. This is not idle speculation, but a bona fide concern whether there are facts which should be disclosed to the Respondent in order for this proceeding to satisfy the constitutional requirements of due process of law.”

Page 2 of foregoing pleading:

“(Ford)… has been quoted by newspapers as saying that she has collected $41 million from Gallion, Cunningham and the Kentucky fund, that she has retained in excess of $13 million as legal fees; and that she has distributed some of that $13 million to other attorneys, as legal fees to co-counsel.”

Page 3 of the foregoing pleading:

“The circumstances attendant to the termination (of Gosnell) has raised questions whether it was in any way related to the accounting rendered on Nov. 9, (2011) –such as disclosing a conflict of interest that would have required Bar Counsel to recuse in this case. Even if the Board of governors considering these issues when making their decision, there is reason to believe that the accounting may disclose conflicts of interest germane to this case.” (Emphasis added by LawReader.)

Page 6 of foregoing pleading:

(In this section of the Chesley motion it is argued that the KBA has granted a stay of prosecution on ethics charges of Barbara Bonar. That is not an unusual decision when related civil cases are pending, as there is in the Bonar and in the Chesley case, but it is argued):
“…Bar Counsel strenuously resisted Mr. Chesley’s motions to hold this case in abeyance pending resolution of the closely related Abbott case. Despite the fact that Bar Counsel seeks restitution of $7.5 million using the Abbott case as the vehicle, this discipline case has not been stayed pending the outcome of the closely related civil litigation. This disparate treatment of Mr. Chesley and Ms. Bonar, his civil litigation adversary – effectuated by the special prosecutor in Ms. Bonar’s discipline case whose legal fee (In the prosecution of Gallion) are being charged to Mr. Chesley in this case- is troubling.”

Page 7 of foregoing pleading:

“Ms. (Jane) Graham’s dual role in these interrelated cases also forms the basis for one instance of Bar Counsel’s lack of candor to the tribunal. When Respondent first informed this court of Ms. Graham’s role in the abatement of the Bonar discipline case, counsel for Respondent incorrectly identified Ms. Graham as the Trial commissioner, rather than as the Special Bar Counsel, in the Bonar Case. Bar Counsel’s response evasively denied that Ms. Graham was the Trial Commissioner in the Bonar case, implying that Respondent was completely wrong, and that there was no conflict of interest. Bar Counsel’s failure to disclose that counsel has simply used the wrong title, and that Ms. Graham did indeed have a role in abating the Bonar discipline case in her capacity as Special Bar counsel, was a lack of candor to this tribunal.” Emphasis added by LawReader.)

“Respondent respectively suggests that 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 interest and/or prosecutorial misconduct. In order to achieve that objective with transparency and accountability, respondent respectfully moves the court to enter an order permitting Respondent to serve upon the KBA the Request for Production of Documents (filed separately under seal) and requiring the Kentucky Bar Association (including the Board of Governors, the Executive Director, the Acting Bar Counsel and their respective staffs) to produce – on an attorney’s eyes only basis – all non-privileged, responsive documents within thirty days ….”
*****
LawReader Note:

In the Gallion criminal trial, it has been alleged by the defendant that Ms. Jane Graham was seen entering the private chambers of U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves during the criminal trial. Gallion has sought financial records to determine if the KBA paid Graham for her billable time while she was in attendance at the Gallion trial, and during her alleged ex parte visit with Judge Reeves.
It is reported that when Judge Reeves was asked about the nature of the alleged ex parte meeting, that he responded, “You can ask (me) but I don’t have to answer.”
Chesley is apparently seeking to find out the correct relationship of Jane Graham to the KBA and the Bar Counsel. Was she a Deputy Prosecutor or a Trial commissioner, or both?

LAWREADER ANALYSIS
After LawReader has reviewed some 150 pages of legal pleadings in this action, we opine from the pleadings that Chesley is seeking answers and discovery regarding the following issues:
1. Was there a financial relationship between Angela Ford and Bonar. Did this deny Chesley Due Process of law?
2. Was there a financial relationship between Angela Ford and Jane Dyche. Did this deny Chesley Due Process of law?
3. Was there a financial relationship between Angela Ford and Linda Gosnell or Linda Gosnell’s husband Leslie Rosenbaum. Did this deny Chesley Due Process of law?

4. Has the Bar Counsel and the KBA wrongfully withheld exculpatory evidence from Stanley Chesley. Did this deny Chesley Due Process of law?
5. Why won’t the KBA and the Bar Counsel obtain and release an accounting of the fen-phen funds collected by Angela Ford and paid out by Angela Ford, including the names of all attorneys who financially benefited from these disbursements of legal fees paid out of the fen-phen seized funds.
6. Was there prejudicial favoritism shown by the KBA towards former presidents and officials of the KBA, particularly Barbara Bonar, when her ethics case was twice stayed, but the Chesley ethics case request for a stay was denied. Did this deny Chesley Due Process of law?
7. Other issues raised in the Chesley pleadings concern the Bar Counsel’s wrongful requirement that he pay $88,000 to the KBA prior to having the right to appeal his ethics complaint findings to the Ky. Supreme Court. Also the effect of excessive prosecution in the Chesley case suggest that the Court should review this alleged conduct and determine if Chesley was denied the due process of law. It is alleged to LawReader that the KBA paid Jane Graham about $15,000 for her to sit in on the Gallion criminal trial, and then the KBA billed Stan Chesley this attorney fee!!! Chesley was never charged with any criminal offense. Why couldn’t the KBA read the transcript and save the $15,000 in legal fees paid to Graham?

8. Another issue not raised by the Chesley pleadings, is the issue of the application of the Squeal Rule to the KBA officials who knew the reasons that Linda Gosnell was fired. Such firings occur at the discretion of the Board of Governors. Was there any ethical violations by Gosnell raised in the reasons for her firing? Did the Board have a duty under the Squeal Rule to disclose the reasons for Gosnell’s discharge to a new Bar Counsel? We note that to this date, the KBA has not revealed why the Chief Bar Counsel was fired on Nov. 21, 2011.

Comments

  1. The date of the article concerning Stan Chesley motions pending in the Boone circuit Court was incorrectly dated Jan. 19 and it should have been March 19th.
    Our software allowing an internal correction is on the blink. Forgive our typo.
    Editor, Stan Billingsley

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