- Associated Press - Monday, September 21, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A former Cincinnati lawyer who was disbarred in Kentucky over taking excessive fees in a $200 million settlement involving the diet drug fen-phen has sued five former clients seeking to collect their share of a $42 million judgment and their lawyer.

Carol Boggs, 72, of Ironton, Ohio, is one of the former clients. She told The Courier-Journal in Louisville (https://cjky.it/1KrhL2a ) that she was forced into bankruptcy and to sell her jewelry while she waits for her share of the judgment.

Boggs asked in a recent hearing why Chesley was suing her when he and other lawyers were found to have stolen money from her and other clients.

“I have done nothing personally to him, and we have a judgment against him in Kentucky,” Boggs testified Aug. 19.

Kentucky courts ordered Chesley and disbarred lawyers Shirley Cunningham, Melbourne Mills and William Gallion to pay more than 400 former clients in the case. Chesley sued Lexington lawyer Angela Ford, who now represents the former clients, to block her from trying to collect in Ohio.

A judge in Cincinnati has barred Ford from collecting against Chesley so far. Ford asked the Ohio Supreme Court to dismiss Chesley’s suit and remove the judge, Robert Ruehlman.

Chesley also named Boggs and four other former Ohio clients as defendants.

Ford, through counsel, said in court papers filed Sept. 4 that Chesley’s sole purpose in filing the suit last January is to delay collection so he can continue to receive millions of dollars from his former law firm and “dissipate his assets so that his judgment creditors cannot collect.”

Chesley didn’t return phone calls to the newspaper seeking comment, and his lawyers, Sheryl Snyder and Vince Maurer of Frost Brown Todd, declined to comment.

Ruehlman said through a clerk he couldn’t comment on a pending case. Ford also said she couldn’t comment while her petition for a writ against the judge in the case is pending before the Ohio Supreme Court.

Chesley asked Ruehlman to permanently block Ford from registering the judgment in Ohio, the first step in collecting it. But the high court granted Ford a temporary stay Thursday while it considers her petition.

Chesley won a restraining order barring Ford from starting collection on the grounds that he doesn’t know exactly who is owed money and how much they are owed, or how much Ford has collected so far.

Ford said in court papers that Chesley is feigning ignorance and already has all the information he’s seeking.


Information from: The Courier-Journal, https://www.courier-journal.com

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