The Kentucky Bar Association faces about $400,000 in legal expenses following its defeat to John Berry, a Henry County lawyer it threatened with discipline for criticizing the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission.
The KBA's insurance company will pay the bill, KBA President W. Douglas Myers said Wednesday.
This week, U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves in Frankfort ordered the KBA to pay $191,588 for Berry's expenses. The KBA, which hired the law firm of Stites & Harbison, incurred expenses "in that same ballpark, in the low two hundreds," Myers said.
Last month, the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the KBA violated Berry's free speech rights by threatening him for his public criticism of the ethics commission. Paul Gudgel, a retired judge who sits on the ethics commission, initiated the case by filing a professional misconduct complaint against Berry for his comments.