August 19, 2014

Legal tide turning against lawyers who profit illegally from class-action lawsuits

by Lisa A. Rickard, President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform
Originally published in the Washington Examiner

Former plaintiffs’ superlawyer Stanley Chesley spent his 50-year career claiming to find justice for millions of his class-action clients, and from these efforts amassed great personal wealth.

This month, justice found the Ohio lawyer.

A Kentucky judge ruled Chesley and three others liable in a $42 million judgment for a scheme to take tens of millions of dollars from settlement proceeds in a class-action lawsuit against a diet drug manufacturer.

The now-disbarred lawyer’s infractions included helping to set up a phony charity to siphon off and hide some of the settlement money from his own clients.

Chesley is by no means the first such lawyer to be punished for doing wrong. In recent years, numerous powerful lawyers have been found guilty of using the law to help themselves rather than their clients.

Read the full op-ed here.

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