Results matching “chesley”

Kentucky fen-phen scandal - PointOfLaw Forum

One of the lawyers accused of plundering the $200 million settlement says he thinks he and colleagues burned or otherwise destroyed any paperwork documenting the rationale for the divvying up of the proceeds. Moving forward in court: a demand that famed tortster Stanley Chesley and others disgorge tens of millions in ill-gotten fees. I've got the story at Overlawyered this morning.

Judge resigns in Ky. fen-phen scandal - PointOfLaw Forum

Last May 10 we reported on the questions that were being asked about a sealed settlement of Kentucky fen-phen claims which had included (along with vast sums in legal fees) the quiet diversion of $20 million into a mysterious new charitable entity called the Kentucky Fund for Healthy Living. Now the mystery has turned to scandal: the judge who approved the settlement, Joseph F. ("Jay") Bamberger has resigned after allegations surfaced that he was serving as a director of the fund, receiving $5,000 a month (three of the plaintiff's lawyers were also paid directors). The state's Judicial Conduct Commission said Bamberger's actions "shock the conscience" and he faced possible removal had he not resigned. Particular attention is being focused on Bamberger's close ties to Mark Modlin, a trial consultant in the fen-phen case who has had co-investments with the judge. The alleged closeness between Bamberger and Modlin had led to protests from litigants in a number of earlier cases, including a high-profile priest-abuse case against the Catholic Diocese of Covington.

The commission's reprimand (PDF) revealed a startling fact. "The attorney fees approved were at least $86 million and perhaps as much as $104 million" -- well exceeding the $74 million that was split among the 431 claimants in settlement. A lawsuit continues on behalf of some allegedly victimized clients against four plaintiff's lawyers involved in the settlement, including big-league Cincinnati operator Stanley Chesley. (Beth Musgrave, "Fen-phen lawsuit judge resigns", Lexington Herald-Leader, Feb. 28; Jim Hannah, "Judge quits amid allegations", Cincinnati Enquirer, Feb. 28; "Investigation of Bamberger warranted" (editorial), Cincinnati Enquirer, Mar. 1; "A blistering rebuke" (editorial), Cincinnati Post, Mar. 1; Peter Bronson, "Hold this judge in contempt", Cincinnati Enquirer, Mar. 2)(cross-posted at Overlawyered).

Trial lawyers and state AGs, so happy together - PointOfLaw Forum

AG hijinks, reported on by Forbes Sept. 19 ("Muzzling the pit bulls") but slipping between the cracks with us at the time:

In suing drugmakers Schering-Plough, Abbott Laboratories, Pharmacia and others, charging they defrauded state Medicaid, the attorney general of Ohio, James Petro, turned to a hired gun: Stanley Chesley, one of the fiercest plaintiff lawyers in the state.

Chesley agreed to forgo any legal fees from the state for a shot at a huge payoff if he wins the case--up to a 19% cut of any award or settlement. He is a political kingmaker in the state and is close to Petro in particular: Early this year Chesley hosted a fundraiser at his home for Petro, who is running for governor.

Cozy ties between state attorneys general and hungry tort lawyers have grown like hothouse mushrooms...Most of the 20 states pursuing Medicaid fraud cases against Big Pharma have hired contingency-fee lawyers to do it for them.

...Delaware Attorney General M. Jane Brady says contingency-fee lawyers continually pitch her dubious suits. "I have been solicited many times, mostly related to product liability theories like thimerosal, the mercury in vaccines," Brady says.

Kentucky fen-phen settlement - PointOfLaw Forum

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports on a pending lawsuit that may focus attention on mass-tort settlement practices:

Thirty-four Kentuckians who shared in a multimillion-dollar, class-action settlement against the maker of the diet drug fen-phen say their former lawyers deceived them.

The group alleges that the lawyers who handled the settlement in May 2001 didn't tell them that at least $18 million was given to The Kentucky Fund for Healthy Living, a nonprofit corporation chartered and controlled by the lawyers.

Prominent Cincinnati mass-tort lawyer Stanley Chesley, who is named as a defendant in the suit but is not among the lawyers said to control the nonprofit group, called the action a "spite suit" with "no merit". More coverage: Lexington Herald-Leader, Louisville Courier-Journal. Update Mar. 6, 2006: judge resigns amid scandal.

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