Business & Civil Litigation
Personal-injury law firm KNR accused of deceiving and defrauding its clients with kickback schemes...
March 22, 2017
Friday, March 24, 2017
The defendants in a class-action suit for fraud against the Kesling, Nestico & Redick LLC personal-injury law firm (KNR) ("hurt in a car, call KNR") pending in the Summit County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas have filed a motion asking the court to issue, "sua sponte," a gag order that Chandra Law provide no "information" regarding the case—including publicly filed and truthful information—"to the public, media, or press."
A "sua sponte" order is one that a court issues on its own, without due process of law or hearing from both sides. In other words, the KNR defendants are demanding that the court issue an order without hearing from Chandra Law or considering the serious First Amendment, free-speech, case-investigation, and ethical issues raised by KNR's extraordinary demand that the public be cut off from knowledge about the allegations contained in the publicly available court record.
The posts merely truthfully summarize the allegations contained in a proposed amended complaint in the case, and make available a copy of the court-filed proposed complaint. They are no different than the releases made by government and private attorneys across America.
Such communications are expressly authorized by Rule 3.6(B) of the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct regarding trial publicity. That rule authorizes sharing "the claim," "information contained in a public record," and "a request for assistance in obtaining evidence and information." All are implicated here.
Yet, in its motion, KNR failed to disclose to the court the existence of this rule.
Subodh Chandra, managing partner of The Chandra Law Firm LLC, said in response to KNR's motion, "KNR's effort to seek a gag order without due process seeks to divert attention from the extremely serious fraud and client-victimization conduct alleged against them in court—and to cut us off from witnesses and whistleblowers who have been regularly coming forward when they become aware of the case."
Chandra added, "Justice, like democracy, dies in darkness. We retain our First Amendment rights, balanced against our ethical obligations, and we will exercise those rights and our responsibilities to investigate aggressively the fraud allegations against KNR and its owners."
"One has to wonder," Chandra continued, "why KNR wants the court to issue an order without waiting to hear from us. KNR has previously misled the court by failing to disclose controlling case law, just as they failed to disclose the law here."
Chandra Law is researching and preparing a formal court response.
A hearing in the case on pending motions is scheduled before Judge Alison Breaux of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas on April 5, 2017 at 9:00 am. It would be ilegal for the courtroom to be closed to the public.
The case is captioned Williams, et al. v. Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC, Summit County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CV-2016-09-3928.
The proposed Second Amended Complaint and publicly filed documents that sparked KNR's efforts to suppress speech can be found by clicking through here.
UPDATE 3:43 PM: Plaintiffs have filed a notice to the court detailing why the court should reject KNR's efforts to silence the plaintiffs and their counsel "sue sponte," and promising a fuller opposition brief by March 31, 2017.