Already facing disbarment for alleged misconduct involving one class-action lawsuit, Cincinnati trial lawyer Stan Chesley is embroiled in accusations from former clients who accuse him of wrongdoing in a second case.
Two lawsuits are pending in Kenton County against Chesley, his Cincinnati law firm and a staff attorney.
The lawsuits accuse them of defrauding four of the 252 sexual-abuse victims who shared in an $84 million class-action settlement with the Diocese of Covington, reached in 2006 in neighboring Boone County.
They accuse Chesley and attorney Robert Steinberg of fraud, promising them higher payouts than they actually received and telling them their payments would be delayed or reduced if they refused to support the attorneys' fee requests.
Judge Robert W. McGinnis has denied a request filed in Boone Circuit Court by Chesley and Steinberg to block the Kenton County lawsuits. McGinnis had presided over the final stages of the diocese case in 2009.
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The lawyers deny the charges and had asked McGinnis to declare the Kenton suits an improper attack on the "integrity of the settlement" already determined to be fair and final in Boone County.
McGinnis' order - which he signed Nov. 4 without additional comment - comes as Chesley's professional fate remains in the hands of the Kentucky Supreme Court in another major Boone County class-action case.
The Kentucky Bar Association recommended in June that the Supreme Court disbar Chesley. The bar concluded he took excessive fees and covered up the misconduct of other attorneys in a $200 million settlement reached in 2001 between makers of the fen-phen diet-drug combination and those who suffered heart problems from it.
The $84 million settlement of the Diocese of Covington lawsuit remains one of the largest made by any Roman Catholic diocese in the nation - even though the diocese represents less than half a percent of the nation's Catholic population.