By Jack Brammer
The Kentucky Supreme Court on Thursday temporarily suspended Fort Wright attorney Ben Dusing from practicing law after a three-month investigation in which he allegedly threatened two other attorneys and used amphetamines during a trial.
In a unanimous decision, the Dusing State Supreme Court also ordered Dusing to undergo a full psychological evaluation, at his own expense, by one of three designated health professionals within 90 days to determine his “mental fitness to continue law practice.”
It also allowed the court’s commission of inquiry to institute disciplinary proceedings against Dusing and required Dusing to notify all of his clients within 20 days of his inability to provide legal services.
Düsing told that Northern Kentucky Tribune that he was “disappointed but not entirely surprised” by the Supreme Court order.
He said he was “even more determined” to continue practicing law after the indefinite suspension and plans to continue his campaign for Kenton County Family Court Judge this year while he’s a lawyer.
“From the records available to us, it appears that the Commission has provided sufficient information to establish probable cause for us to believe that Dusing either poses a significant risk to his clients or the public, or that he is and is not mentally retarded possesses the mental fitness to continue to practice law,” the state Supreme Court said in its nine-page injunction.
Dusing, a former federal prosecutor in Cincinnati and Kentucky who received his law degree from the University of Kentucky, has earned a reputation for securing acquittals for high-profile corporate clients. He has never been the subject of disciplinary proceedings before the Bar Association.
The Supreme Court Commission of Inquiry alleged that Dusing posted a video on Facebook on November 2, 2021 that contained threats against attorney Stephanie Dietz and Alice Keyes, a Kenton County Court attorney.
That day, Kenton Family Court Judge Chris Mehling, who is not seeking re-election this year, and Dietz and Keyes watched the video.
Two days later, Mehling withdrew from two cases pending before his court involving Dusing. His denial order said Dusing used profanity in the video to claim the court was corrupt and threatened the two lawyers, saying he would “blow them up”.
Mehling also hinted that the video would be made available to Kenton Commonwealth attorney Rob Sanders. Sanders referred the matter to District Attorney Daniel Cameron, who has not commented.
Mehling’s stay-at-home order also mentioned Dusing’s “long history of abusive and threatening behavior” in two family court cases before him.
The commission of inquiry also included an allegation that Dusing had used amphetamines during a federal criminal case in New York.
Dusing said the video was intended to express his goal of eliminating “preferential justice” and corruption in Kenton Family Court.
He acknowledged that he used the phrase “give me a reason to blow you up,” but claimed that it was figurative, rather than literal, intentional and did not constitute a threat of harm.
Dusing also denied addiction to alcohol, illegal or prescription drugs and said he has been clean and sober for nearly 20 years.
He said the drug he was taking during the New York trial was prescribed to Adderall to help cope with his diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.