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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Chesley informs Ohio SC he is retiring

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Apr 23, 2013

CINCINNATI (Legal Newsline) -- Prominent plaintiffs lawyer Stanley Chesley told the Ohio Supreme Court last week that he is retiring from practice in the state.

Chesley, who was disbarred in Kentucky last month, faced disbarment in Ohio as well.

The two states have a reciprocal agreement.

According to Ohio Supreme Court rules, an attorney disciplined in another state must notify the court's disciplinary counsel within 30 days.

After that, the high court "shall impose the identical or comparable discipline imposed in the other jurisdiction," barring mitigating circumstances.

On Monday, The Associated Press reported that a court spokesman said Friday Chesley filed papers for his voluntary retirement.

News of his retirement comes days after Chesley stepped down from his position on the University of Cincinnati's Board of Trustees -- at the behest of his fellow trustees.

The trustees sent him a letter earlier this month, asking him to resign.

In their two-page letter, the trustees pointed to Chesley's "disregard" for the university's code of conduct. They wrote that his resignation would be "in the best interest of the University."

His term was set to expire in 2018.

Chesley maintained he was not co-counsel for the plaintiffs in a controversial class action lawsuit over the diet drug fen-phen. He also said he was not aware that other attorneys were deceiving their clients. He argued he was simply brought in to negotiate the 2001 settlement.

The Kentucky Bar Association's Board of Governors recommended his disbarment in June 2011.

The board also recommended that the Cincinnati trial lawyer, known for winning billions of dollars for his clients in other mass torts, should return $7.5 million in fees he received in the settlement.

In its 38-page opinion and order entered March 21, the Kentucky Supreme Court said his ethical violations warranted permanent disbarment in the state.

In particular, the court concluded that Chesley's share of fees was "unreasonable."

However, the court declined to order restitution, saying the remedy is "not appropriate" in a case of permanent disbarment. The court also noted that the the claims are being litigated in a separate, civil litigation.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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