Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
A Kentucky trial commissioner has recommended permanent disbarment of attorney Stanley Chesley for allegedly taking millions in unauthorized fees in fen-phen litigation. In a 29-page report issued on Feb. 22, Trial Commissioner William Graham concluded that Chesley and his co-counsel unlawfully took attorney fees totaling 49% of settlement funds in a class-action against diet-drug maker American Home Products in a Kentucky state court. Chesley collected about $20 million in fees. “His callous subordination of the interests of his clients to his own greed is both shocking and reprehensible,” Graham wrote. Chesley was not immediately available for comment. The Kentucky Supreme Court ultimately will decide the matter. The trial commissioner wrote that Chesley, of Cincinnati, violated attorney ethics rules pertaining to unreasonable fees, notification of fees, making false statements to the court and more. In addition to recommending permanent disbarment, he called for Chesley to pay back more than $7.5 million. The report stems from a $200 million class action settlement in 2000. A jury in April 2009 found other attorneys on the case, William Gallion and Shirley Cunningham, guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and eight counts of wire fraud. Prosecutors said they kept about two-thirds of the settlement with American Home — about twice what they could lawfully collect. Gallion was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Cunningham was sentenced to 20 years. The state judge presiding over the class action, Joseph Bamberger, resigned from the bench following an ethics inquiry. Earlier this month, the Kentucky Court of Appeals vacated a $42 million summary judgment in favor of the 431 fen-phen plaintiffs against Chesley, Cunningham, Gallion and another attorney in the case. The court said that the lawyers had presented an issue of triable fact regarding their handling of legal fees. The decision came after Kenneth Feinberg retracted an affidavit supporting the attorneys’ position. Feinberg is the attorney presiding over the BP oil spill settlements. Contact Leigh Jones at [email protected].

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.