story for the Cincinnati Enquirer follows:
Lawyer and radio personality Eric Deters filed a federal lawsuit in January to stop the Kentucky Bar Association from moving forward with disciplinary proceedings against him.
What he got on Wednesday was a federal judge who accused him of filing lawsuits before fully researching the facts and the laws that apply - a similar claim that has been made in the state disciplinary proceedings. To discourage such frivolous filings, U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves said that he was ordering Deters to have an independent lawyer review the operations of his law firm and adopt any recommendations. Deters must also attend 20 hours of continuing legal education on ethics.
If Deters fails to complete these tasks, he will have to reimburse Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John Minton Jr. and the state bar association the about $23,000 in legal bills they incurred defending the federal suit. The suit has since been withdrawn. Deters said he would not appeal Reeves’ decision. He says he welcomes the review and gets to decide on who will conduct it, though the judge must approve the choice.
"I'd like to put this in perspective," he said. "I was not told that I or (a) loved one has cancer today. I did not lose a child today. I did not lose my good health today. I still have a great law practice, a great radio show and plenty of business interests. I will not lose any clients today. In fact, I will gain clients based upon my courage of standing up for my cause."
Reeves repeatedly expressed concern that Deters acts impulsively. Reeves said Deters' approach to litigation was "ready, fire, aim."
Reeves said another example of Deters' impulsive actions appeared to be the recent release of a YouTube video where Deters criticizes Reeves. In that video, Deters said he refuses to let Reeves paint a picture that he is "some kind of sloppy incompetent attorney."
Deters said he was just defending himself so not to lose clients because of the bad publicity the suit against the bar association created. Deters has since removed the video from his website.
Reeves then demanded Deters' attorney, former gubernatorial candidate Larry Forgy, elaborate on what he meant by statements that a "cabal" of lawyers was forming to destroy Deters' career. Forgy said lawyers jealous of the success Deters has found as a radio personality and the business it brings his firm were behind the bar association's disciplinary proceedings.
A trial commissioner has recommended Deters be suspended from the practice of law for 181 days, but the Kentucky Bar Association's Board of Governors has agreed to review all the charges before acting on the recommendation. A hearing before the board is set for September.
While Deters withdrew the January suit, he filed a second suit against the bar association in June.
Forgy said the June suit makes different legal claims than the January suit, but the underlying theme is the same. Forgy claims the trial commissioner who recommended the suspension had a conflict of interest and should have recused himself.
One of the bar association's ethics charges against Deters is that he charged an excessive $1,500 fee for filing a suit. But Forgy claims the trial commissioner's law partner took the case after Deters was no longer in it and took a $25,000 fee.
"My wife, children, family, friends, clients and fans still support me and think more, not less of me," Deters said leaving the courthouse. "My enemies, who are petty and mean people, can enjoy their victory. My life is wonderful and I'll keep fighting the good fight."
The hemming and hawing, grandiosity, rationalizations, and bluster never ends with this guy. Eventually, unless he has a "come-to-Jesus-moment" his time to take corrective action to save his career will run out. Not yet.