Ky. Bar Association considers disbarment for Chesley

COVINGTON, Ky. - Attorney Stan Chesley is the subject of an investigation by anindependent body, for the Kentucky Supreme Court, called theInquiry Commission. After an investigation, Trial CommissionerWilliam Graham recommended to the Kentucky Bar Associationthat Chesley should lose his license in Kentucky for his actions inthe Fen-Phen diet drug settlement case.

The commission report, as detailed on Forbes.com, saysthat Chesley failed to tell clients how much money they wouldreceive in the settlement or how much layers wouldreceive.  In the opinion issued, Graham recommended thatChesley lose his license and pay back the $7.6 million hereceived for the Kentucky settlement.

The Fen-Phen troubles originated in the 1990s with concerns themedicine was linked to heart problems.  A decade of lawsuitsfollowed.  Chesley was involved in a nationwide class actionlawsuit against the maker of the drug.  The commissionreport suggests he forced his way into a separate Kentuckylawsuit for hundreds of clients who opted out of the nationalsettlement.

The report says Chesley agreed to a 21percent fee for his workon the case, but then, in a closed door meeting with Kentucky JudgeJoseph Bamburger, the actual settlement gave lawyers 49 percent ofthe $200 million settlement.  The report also says the judgegot a paid position with a new foundation established withsettlement funds.

The commissioner said Chesley worked hard to deflect blame with"egregious misrepresentations, if not outright lies, to the InquiryCommission."  In the report, Graham said, "His entire courseof conduct was one of self-interest and self-preservation of bothhimself and his co-counsel.  His actions set out aboveevidence a complete lack of concern for his clients and the properand just application of the law."

Chesley was quoted in the Inquiry that he was surprised anddisappointed with the report.

The Kentucky Supreme Court will have the final say in thisissue.

If disbarred in Kentucky, Chesley could face disciplinary actionin Ohio as well.

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