Thursday, March 21, 2013

"Superlawyer" (and would-be Heimlich family go-between) Stan Chesley disbarred by Kentucky Supreme Court

Via Superlawyer Stanley Chesley Disbarred Over Fen-Phen Scam by Daniel Fischer, Forbes, March 21, 2013: 
The Kentucky Supreme Court today permanently disbarred lawyer Stanley Chesley, the prominent tort lawyer and Democratic Party kingmaker who got entangled in a scandal over fen-phen litigation that sent two other lawyers to jail and ended the legal career of the judge who approved the settlement.

The disbarment is a professional fiasco for Chesley, who rose to prominence as a mass-tort litigator and is married to U.S. District Judge Susan Diott. Under a reciprocal agreement with Kentucky, he might also lose his license to practice law in Ohio.
In the early days of the whistleblowing efforts by my wife and me that exposed my father, Henry J. Heimlich MD as a remarkable and dangerous quack, based on the advice of a Cincinnati attorney we phoned Chesley who offered to represent us pro bono. (He also shared some astonishingly intimate information about other members of my family including my brother Phil Heimlich, then a powerful Republican official.)

Some weeks later, Chesley stopped answering our phone messages. When I finally got him on the line, he lied and claimed he'd never agreed to represent us.

About a year later we received these two proffer letters from him, apparently on behalf of my mother, a miilionaire by inheritance who for deacades had colluded with (and financed) my father and was undoubtedly trying to derail our efforts. (We ignored both letters in which he confirms our previous contacts with him.)

So what happened? Why did the bastard flip on us?

From ‘Master of Disaster’ Helps Finance Heimlich Campaign by Kevin Osborne, Cincinnati CityBeat, August 16, 2006:
Stan Chesley has a reputation as a "limousine liberal" who provides copious amounts of money to Democratic issues and candidates, but one of the nationally renowned lawyer's latest pet causes is helping re-elect arch-conservative Hamilton County Commission President Phil Heimlich.

Campaign finance records show that Chesley has donated $12,500 to Heimlich's campaign.

...Chesley also has ties to Heimlich and Hamilton County government. Chesley is representing Hamilton County in its legal challenges against the Bengals and the National Football League about the construction and lease terms of the county-owned Paul Brown Stadium. The county alleged the team and the NFL violated anti-trust laws by using trade restraints to force the county to pay far more to build the $458 million stadium than a free marketplace would have required.

...Also, Chesley held a fundraiser for Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro in his failed Republican gubernatorial bid. Heimlich was briefly Petro's running mate. Later, Petro appointed Chesley's law firm to represent the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority in its lawsuit against a pension investment fund.
A few months later, from Heimlich Family Feud: Commissioner offers to settle 'defamation' claim by Kevin Osborne, Cincinnati CityBeat, November 1, 2006
As if the reelection campaign of Hamilton County Commissioner Phil Heimlich hasn't had enough trouble in recent weeks, CityBeat has learned that Heimlich's insurance company offered a $3,000 payment to settle a claim that the commissioner allegedly defamed his estranged brother.

Phil Heimlich's brother, Peter, has rejected the offer and is instead demanding a public retraction and apology from the commissioner for telling newspaper reporters and others that Peter has mental problems.

..."For some time Phil has been circulating false and defamatory statements about me," says Peter, who lives in an Atlanta suburb with his wife, Karen Shulman. "For instance, last year Phil told an Enquirer reporter that I 'had a history of mental illness and that the family was dealing with it.'
"My reputation's not for sale, and I think smearing somebody to stop them from telling the truth is contemptible. Phil has a history of stepping on people. This time he went too far."

Turns out Chesley was working in my brother's corner in that negotiation as well. 

Did Phil have something on him? 

We may never know, but fast forward, how did things out for my brother?

From Phil Heimlich Registers As City Hall Lobbyist: Dead GOP Political Career Puts Heimlich to Work For Concrete Company by Bill Sloat, The Daily Bellwether, October 6, 2010
Almost four years after he was voted out of office as a Hamilton County Commissioner, Phil Heimlich is back, or sort of back. The one-time star of conservative GOP politics in SW Ohio has signed on as a City Hall legislative agent -- lobbyist -- for Hilltop Companies, which runs a ready mixed concrete business in Cincinnati.
...The new gig for Heimlich -- the son of Dr. Henry Heimlich -- marks another leg on the long downward trajectory of his political career. In 2006, Heimlich was riding high and was the running mate of former Ohio Atty. Gen. Jim Petro, who wanted to move into the governor's mansion. Their campaign flopped. Heimlich quit the ticket and sought reelection as commissioner. He was whipped by Democrat David Pepper. Two years ago, Heimlich tried to run for Congress in OH-02 against Jean Schmidt. He quit that race, too.
From Chesley Inc. by Lucy May, Cincinnati Business Courier, December 6, 2004, the last word goes to Stan:
In the (1994) American Lawyer article, Seattle attorney Leonard Schroeter called Chesley "the ultimate grotesque, exaggerated perversion of what it means to be a lawyer."

He is no more charitable now.

"I've known him for 40 years, and I've always thought he was an opportunist and just a nasty son of a bitch."

This item has been revised.