Here in the Greater Cincinnati Area there is a lawyer from Northern Kentucky that has found himself in the midst of a disciplinary proceeding by the Kentucky Bar Association. According to an article on nky.com, the Kentucky Bar Association has charged Eric “The Bulldog” Deters with an unthinkable and heinous violation of the Kentucky Rules of Professional Conduct; publicly criticizing a judge. During a broadcast on the Cincinnati radio station 700 WLW, Eric Deters told listeners that Grant County Circuit Judge Stephen Bates was an unfair judge.
The Kentucky Rules of Professional Conduct states, “Lawyers play a vital role in the preservation of society. The fulfillment of this role requires an understanding by lawyers of their relationship to our legal system. The Rules of Professional Conduct, when properly applied, serve to define that relationship.” The Kentucky Bar Association is alleging that Eric Deters violated their sacred doctrine by alleging that Mr. Deters knowingly “made a statement that [Mr. Deters knew] to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge.” The Kentucky Bar Association initiated the action against Eric Deters in an effort to forward the preservation of our society. Calling a judge “unfair” strikes a blow to the core principles that our country was founded on; or does it?
When I woke up this morning, I did not read or hear any news reporting that the Ohio River was boiling over its banks. There were no reports of rioting, looting, or chaos. I guess you could say that society didn’t suffer any setbacks since Deters made his “heinous” comment. It was a great relief to know that society survived Mr. Deters’ plot to undermine its preservation.
Probably the most fundamental right of a United States citizen is freedom of speech. That’s probably why our founding fathers included it in the First Amendment and not the Eighth or Ninth. Lawyers have played a vital role in protecting the public from infringements on the right to free speech. In reading the Kentucky Professional Code of Conduct, I was curious as to why the doctrine that governs the conduct of lawyers discourages/forbids making negative comments about judges and lawyers.
As a laymen non-attorney, I have to accept that the action taken against Eric Deters, by the Kentucky Bar Association, is an attempt to help maintain the preservation of our society. That’s the only reason why the Bar could be taking this action. The Bar could not be taking this action on behalf of disgruntled Judge Stephen Bates because the purpose of the Code of Conduct is to protect society; not judges. I’m sure that the trial commissioner, attorney Frank Doheny, who is overseeing Deters’ disciplinary hearings, has the public’s best interest at heart. Frank Doheny is a partner of the respected firm Dinsmore&Shohl LLP, who is currently serving as opposing counsel in one of Eric Deters’ cases. I hope that trial commissioner Frank Doheny’s firm, Dinsmore&Shohl LLP, affords Deters’ client appropriate time to find new counsel in the case that Frank Doheny is successful in protecting the public and suspending Eric Deters for his heinous remarks.
I really hope the best for Mr. Deters but I hope that he learns his lesson. The preservation of our society rests solely on protecting judges from public scrutiny. No crime presents a greater risk to our society than public attacks on the integrity and credibility of judges. It was just a few days ago that a lawyer in Southeastern Indiana said that I lost the ability to see my children because I posted information on the internet that made some judges uneasy. They didn’t like the fact that I criticized the courts and their unlicensed psychological expert, Dr. Edward J Connor. It wouldn’t be surprising if Dr. Connor called a number of lawyers and judges to tell them how Eric Deters broadcasted that Dr. Connor asked women inappropriate sexual questions during custody evaluations. Almost any lawyer will tell you that the number one thing that you do not want to do in a court of law is to upset the judge because the judge may try to punish you. It is fair for judges to punish people for the unfair act of criticizing judges. Maybe Mr. Deters didn’t get the memo that judges are emotionally fragile beings that should be handled with great care.
I wish the best for Eric Deters and I hope that his client(s) doesn’t suffer any substantial legal setbacks or expense in finding new counsel in the case that opposing counsel’s partner, trial commissioner Frank Doheny, succeeds in suspending their lawyer, Eric “The Bulldog” Deters. For information on vindictive judges and court professionals, visit www.danhelpskids.com.