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Kentucky: Attorney Eric Deters to serve 60-day suspension in Commonwealth

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Attorney Eric Deters fights suspension

INDEPENDENCE, Ky. -- High-profile attorney Eric C. Deters was ordered Thursday to serve a suspension that bars him from practicing law in the state of Kentucky for 60 days.

The Kentucky Supreme Court cited violations of "Rules of Professional Conduct" in two civil cases when it originally suspended Deters May 23. The ruling cited misstatements he made to a court during a civil case in Campbell County and other misstatements in a libel suit he filed against Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders.

Read the opinion and Order of the Kentucky Supreme Court at: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/703465-eric-deters-suspended-opinion-and-order-of.html

Deters originally said he would accept the ruling but changed his mind and asked the court to reconsider its decision.

On Thursday, the court decided to uphold the punishment. He will also have to pay the $2,450 he was ordered to pay in May to cover the costs of the proceedings.

Deters confirmed the news via a post on his Facebook account.

“Today, the Court ruled they want me to still serve the 60 days,” he wrote in the post. He added that he would forgo an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court even though in May he stated he planned to do just that.

“Rather than appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which would unlikely hear it based upon the small percentages they take, I’ve decided to go ahead and serve the 60 days in Kentucky and be done with it,” he said.

The suspension doesn’t begin for 10 days but Deters said he plans to start serving it Sept. 1.

While he’s not currently suspended from practicing law in Ohio, that will likely change in the next few days under the reciprocity agreement between the states.

He said he would like to serve both suspensions at the same time so he’ll be eligible to start practicing law in both states Nov. 1.

Until then, Deters said he plans to have his partners handle all lawyer work and cases with which he is currently associated. He said he’ll be involved with cases in a paralegal capacity for the next two months.

“Kentucky and Ohio allows a lawyer under suspension to be a paralegal. I'll be such in my office. I just can't be a lawyer for two months,” he posted on Facebook.

Deters used the social media update as more than a promotional tool to clarify to current and potential clients how their cases will be handled over the next 60 days and remind them this isn't a permanent disbarment. He also used it as a way to articulate this is "not the end of the world.".

“Every day, countless people, including friends and clients of mine, deal with these things and they too stay strong,” he wrote.

Deters’ positive outlook is attributable at least in part to a past suspension he served. He served a 112-day suspension between February and June of last year for a variety of offenses including making false statements about a judge, breaking solicitation rules and failing to return a fee to a client.

He said in May he “did not lose a client or miss a beat” during his previous suspension.

"As much as I hate this, having been through it once before, I know I will survive and thrive," he said.

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You can read Deters' full Facebook post below:

If you recall in May, I received a 60 day suspension on my Kentucky license. I asked the Court to reconsider it and they did stay it so I was not suspended. Today, the Court ruled they want me to still serve the 60 days. Rather than appeal to the US Supreme Court, which would unlikely hear it based upon the small percentages they take, I've decided to go ahead and serve the 60 days in Kentucky and be done with it. It doesn't begin for ten days, but I'll probably begin September 1. This means November 1, I'll be back with my Kentucky license. I'm not suspended in Ohio. However, Ohio usually requires the same. I'll probably simply do it the same time.

The Kentucky Bar Association had already suspended me an additional 52 days more than the last 60 day suspension last year. Therefore, I believe I had already been punished for these two issues-one 8 years old and the other 2 years old. One was an old Rule 11 sanction involving an LLC not being filed and I trusting my client it was filed. The other involved an allegation in a Complaint. So it will soon be over. I want to remind everyone I did a 112 day suspension between February and June last year and did not lose a client or miss a beat.

Many of you were a client then. My partners will handle all lawyer work on the files the next 60 days. I'll be back soon. Kentucky and Ohio allows a lawyer under suspension to be a paralegal. I'll be such in my office. I just can't be a lawyer for two months.

Please support me as you did last time. As much as I hate this, having been through it once before, it's not the end of the world. While I disagree with the decision, I'm not going to say anything negative about the decision. I will remind everyone these deal with lawsuit allegations. These do not include theft, crimes, legal malpractice, a client being harmed, moral turpitude or other dastardly deeds. Thanks again. I'm grateful. Email or text me any questions or concerns.

If you have a Kentucky trial the next 60 days you want me to handle, we will ask for a continuance. I believe I only have one. Otherwise, I'll be back in time to try the case.

As I said last time, I love perspective. This is not disbarment. This is not cancer. This is not foreclosure. This is not bankruptcy. This is not death. This is not a loss of a limb. This is not divorce. This is not chemical dependency. This is not the loss of a loved one or dear family member. This is not a victim of violence. This is not a nervous breakdown. This is not mental illness. This is not living with a physical disability. I could go on and on. This is not the end of the world. Every day, countless people, including friends and clients of mine, deal with these things and they too stay strong.

Thank you for your loyalty.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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