CINCINNATI — Northern Kentucky attorney Ben Dusing asked the Kentucky Supreme Court to reconsider the temporary suspension of his law license Friday, one day after a former client accused Dusing of “unethical, wrongful and fraudulent behaviors” in a Kenton County lawsuit.
As Dusing and his critics traded accusations in court documents, the celebrated local defense attorney posted video of himself, in a chicken costume, at the Ukrainian border in Medyka, Poland.
“I dress up like a chicken and make the crossing bearable for the children, and others if I can,” Dusing wrote. “It is a very, very, very emotional experience and the adults often cry for long periods on my shoulder.”
Michael Hild, a childhood friend whom Dusing represented in a criminal case last summer, alleged in a March 17 complaint that Dusing used money intended for his defense to purchase real estate. He’s asking the court to help him recover funds from the sale of that property, which is currently owned by a limited liability company Dusing formed in 2020.
“Mr. Dusing used their childhood relationship in order to reconnect, inject himself into Mr. Hild’s legal affairs when he had no right to do so, and used the opportunity to take advantage of Mr. Hild and his family,” the complaint alleges. “Mr. Hild has suffered as a direct result of Mr. Dusing’s unethical, fraudulent and illegal behaviors.”
Dusing denied using proceeds from the Hild case to buy real estate.
“I sacrificed immensely to take on the case,” Dusing responded via text. “Seems he was fed some bad information by the lawyers involved in my domestic litigations about me and he acted on it.”
In a March 18 filing to the Kentucky Supreme Court, Dusing accused attorney Stephanie Dietz of orchestrating “a bar complaint campaign” against him “that would give the appearance that the world was full of clients dissatisfied with Mr. Dusing.” Dietz represents Dusing’s ex-fiancee in a child custody case that led to judicial findings that Dusing was physically and emotional abusive.
Dietz denied Dusing’s claims in the Supreme Court filing and a separate Kenton County Family Court filing that seeks her disqualification from the custody case.
“There is no basis for their allegations,” Dietz said via email. “This case will be resolved through the court system and not social media.”
The Kentucky Supreme Court suspended Dusing Feb. 24 after a three-month review of allegations that Dusing used amphetamines during Hild’s criminal trial in New York last year and threatened Dietz and Alice Keys, an attorney for the Kenton County Family Court, in a Facebook post last November. Hild’s allegations about the misuse of client funds brings a new wrinkle to his pending suspensions in Ohio and Kentucky because neither court cited financial improprieties as reasons for their suspensions.
Hild was convicted last April on fraud and conspiracy charges but he’s seeking a new trial, alleging Dusing failed to properly defend him because he was distracted by child custody cases in Kentucky. Thursday’s lawsuit makes similar allegations to those Hild raised in his motions for a new trial, but the real estate purchase allegation is new.
The lawsuit alleges Dusing transferred funds held in trust for Hild’s defense to Panda Power LLC, which in turn paid $400,000 for two properties in Fort Mitchell. Those properties are now listed for sale with an asking price of $899,000, according to the complaint.
“Mr. Hild anticipates that immediately upon the closing of any sale of the Oak Street properties, Mr. Dusing will take the net sales proceeds and abscond with them,” the lawsuit alleges.
“I wish Mr. Hild the best,” Dusing said in his March 17 text. “I consider him a victim here, not an antagonist. It’s very wrong to prey upon a vulnerable person like that and interfere with client relationships.”