I have subjected Mr. Chesley (“~L Any more” or just plain “~L”), then 78 to several severe posts now. It is difficult to tire of publicizing the rebukes he so deservedly from the bench and bar following his multiple sins. Too bad male lawyers–our brothers–can’t be sanctioned for being Supermen of Narcissism or Princes of Egotism. (Obviously, slightly different titles would be needed for our sisters-in-law.)
The reader will recall that ~L was a conspirator with other lawyers and a judge in making off with a substantial fortune from a fund negotiated for injured plaintiffs. ~L was disbarred in Kentucky and forced to resign in Ohio.
In the suit against ~L and his pals, there was an enormous judgment. Some $25m is still owed and Stan the Man has to pay that, assuming the final judgment holds up on appeal, where it will assuredly go if there is no settlement. (I think I’ve got the numbers more or less right.)
(True, ~L was not criminally charged and so did not get a hefty sentence as two of his colleagues did, but still, even for him, $25m is an ugly nickel. True, he won’t live long enough to really miss it big time, and true, he will still have his mansions and his cars. Still, falls like the ones he has been taking in the last few years strip away at one’s pride, sense of accomplishment, sense of virtue, sense of authenticity, even those so vast as his. When a Prince of the Plaintiff’s Bar falls into the mud of universal disrepute, it hurts inside–really hurts, no matter what is said or what smile is on the face.
I wonder if the probably-less-rich (or soon to be actually-a-little-less-rich) Stan is in daily therapy or at the bottom of a nearly empty bottle of gin–the one mentioned in one version of an old Fats Waller song on a completely different topic, but the one lyricised with the image of an “only frin.”)
Interestingly, ~L’s principal defense at the trial was not that the acts were honest or that he was not involved. It was rather that he had no actionable duty running to the plaintiffs since he represented only the lawyers with whom he was conspiring and not them. “No. No.,” said the Kentucky judge, “you represented all 400 plaintiffs.” (Quotation supplied.)
So much for the knowledge, our Prince has as to the fundamentals of the law of agency.
It will come as a surprise to no one that I hope ~L got the very best legal representation that money can buy. I want the administration of justice, in this case, to be unshakably sound. I want it to be a lasting lesson for tempted members of the bar. I want the transcripts of the trial to become part of the trial observation course Professor Doug Linder teaches at UMKC Law School and to appear on the internet not only for the benefit of his students but for the general public.
Then again, I suppose I have to admit that my hope–though God tells us to hope–is sinful. I love the idea of Stan being resentful of the size of the fees he has and will be paying. I’m sure it’s $3-5m. A paltry sum if one looks only at his spreadsheets, but still….
At present, I have no intention of repenting of this particular sin. No doubt Mr. Chesley’s future struggles with this case will provide more blog opportunities. Joy to those who treasure justice in public places.