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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Ohio Superlawyer Stan Chesley: Under A Bit Of A Cloud, But Hillary Doesn't Mind The Shade

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Lawyer Stan Chesley is a longtime supporter of the Clintons and has gone to bat -- often, against very long odds -- for everyone from aircraft crash victims, to Holocaust survivors cheated by Swiss Banks, to Ohioans whose property and drinking water were dirtied by a government-operated uranium plant. Next month the Cincinnati attorney hosts a fundraiser for Sen. Hillary Clinton's 2008 Democratic presidential campaign.

It will no doubt bring in the bucks, but it also has potential to create nasty fodder for the anti-Hillary crowd. She could be setting herself up for more flak from the right wing dirt machine, which might be disposed to contend she consorted on the campaign trial with a shyster who is accused of not always acting in the best interest of clients. Chesley has been making news of late over his role in a $200 million Fen-Phen diet drug legal settlement, and samples are here, here, and here. Plans for the Sept. 5 fundraiser have been widely reported. There is supposed to be a Sept. 20 trial in Kentucky over the allegations that Chesley breached his duties to the Fen-Phen clients, allegations that he is disputing as totally false.

Meanwhile, Sen. Clinton is moving to portray herself as a fraudbuster, and denounced the insurance industry for 'deceptive and fraudulent practices' that reportedly bilked senior citizens by hiding details in fine print.

"A number of recent reports have highlighted widespread use of deceptive and fraudulent practices by insurers to increase costs or deny benefits to insured consumers. Insurers have refused to pay benefits based on fine-print technicalities, packed-on premiums without warning, and overzealously marketed policies without providing information about their drawbacks. When long-term care is revealed as a false promise, it hits seniors at their most vulnerable moments, threatening health crises and financial devastation for entire families."

So, insurers can be shady, especially in the fine print -- fine print written, perhaps, by someone who went to a law school.

Background about some of Chesley's major legal cases over the years appear on his Cincinnati law firm's Website, and it is a list that puts him near the middle of many of the most important lawsuits of the past couple decades. Overall, he's the kind of lawyer you'd want to have at your side in a fight. But inquiring minds might wonder: Could the Fen-Phen diet pill flap wind up taking some heft out of Hillary's campaign?


  1. Bill - Thanks, good report.

    It may also be worth noting that Chesley's wife Susan J. Dlott is a federal judge. If the Master of Disaster ends up needing a good lawyer himself for his role in the Fen-Phen fiasco, this could get very interesting.

    FYI, a thorough compendium of articles on the Fen-Phen case may be found here on the website of plaintiff's attorney, Angela Ford.

  2. Hi Anon 1:19 p.m. --

    I don't know what to make of all the allegations swirling around the Fen-Phen settlement -- what will stick and what won't stick. If nothing sticks, no problem. If something sticks, that is a different story. I guess we will all have to watch what happens. But my opinior is that something negative regarding a high-profile Hillary Clinton fundraiser will reflect negatively on her candidacy. It will be used against her.

  3. But my opinion is that something negative regarding a high-profile Hillary Clinton fundraiser will reflect negatively on her candidacy. It will be used against her.

    You may be right, but even if Chesley gets some on him (and every week the chances of that happening seem more likely), Hillary can distance herself from him when and if that time comes. But if Chesley goes down, Judge Dlott will really have to do some fancy footwork to distance herself from hubby.

    In any case, I hope you keep following this. FYI, Paul Long at the KY Post, Beth Musgrave at the Lex H-L, and Andrew Wolfson at the Louisville C-J are all doing first-class reporting on this story. But then, this one's got it all!

  4. Mr. Chesley thus far has done well in borrowing the Clinton's teflon outerwear. He, unfortunately, has backed himself into a perjurious corner and soon will be relegated to the legal tabloid gristmill that is dying for a morsel of his calibre. His uncontainable ego did not allow him to go quietly into that good night and now he will pay dearly for it. And yet, in an unfortunate commentary on the state of our society, he will still die a rich man.

  5. Hi anon --

    I suspect Stan sleeps pretty good at night. We'll see what the future holds. But would you bet against himn?