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Fen-Phen Lawyers Go on Trial in Kentucky



A high-profile criminal trial of three class-action attorneys charged with cheating their clients out of some of the $200 million Fen-Phen settlement money begins today in Covington, Ky. The Lexington Herald-Leader looks like it will have continuing coverage:

William Gallion, Shirley Allen Cunningham Jr. and Melbourne Mills Jr. go on trial in Covington on Monday before U.S. District Judge William O. Bertelsman.

Bertelsman perhaps set the tone himself in a comment during a hearing last year: "Not only these three gentlemen are on trial, but the whole legal profession is on trial."

The Herald Leader notes that the case has attracted national attention and has prompted a reconsideration of how class-action lawsuits are conducted in Kentucky. In February, Chief Justice Joseph E. Lambert appointed 12 attorneys to serve on the nearly created Mass Tort and Class Action Litigation Committee. (News release.) The AP had a story that framed the issues in February.

UPDATE (10:30 a.m. Tuesday): Good summary in the WSJ's Law Blog. We'd forgotten that two of the lawyers used the gains to purchase Preakness winner Curlin. Hope that doesn't make the current legal proceedings a win-place-or-show trial.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy
rmangual@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

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The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.