Friday, March 11, 2011

The King of Torts is in trouble

Here is a report from about 2 weeks ago in The Wall Street Journal Law Blog on the saga of attorney Stanley Chesley, a very successful plaintiffs' lawyer who became rich and famous for collecting billions of dollars for his clients in various lawsuits throughout his career - many of them huge mass dissaster/multi-district litigation type cases.

I actually worked with Chesley a long time ago, when I was starting out, in a mass disaster fire case. I remember him as a nice guy. He was more involved in the negotiating part of the case, rather than the day to day preparation and discovery work - what I was working on mostly. I like to say that he was one of those guys who is into "practicing facts" rather than "practicing law", but that is another story.

In any case, here is what bothers me the most about this: here is a guy who has done a lot of good work over a long, successful career. He has helped many people. He also made lots and lots of money. At this point in his life, he does not need any more money, or fame or anything. Now his career and his reputation are in jeopardy. Say it ain't so, Stan!

As reported in the WSJ, Chesley’s attorneys said they planned to appeal to the Kentucky Supreme Court, which will make a final determination on the commissioner’s recommendation. The attorneys cited a federal probe of the case, which didn’t result in charges against Chesley. “His findings are directly contrary to the findings of federal authorities, who fully investigated this case and never considered Mr. Chesley a target of their investigation,” they said in a statement.

For more on the story go to the Abnormal Use blog.

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