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No verdict yet in lawyers' trial

FRANKFORT — A federal jury considering the fate of William Gallion and Shirley Cunningham Jr. will continue deliberations on Friday after failing to come to a decision on Thursday.

The 12-member panel — seven women and five men — asked for an easel, markers and paper early Thursday. The jury had no other questions or requests the rest of the day.

The jury began deliberations Thursday morning after hearing more than seven weeks of testimony in the second trial of the disbarred lawyers.

A federal judge declared a mistrial in the first trial after a jury deliberated for eight days and could not come to a decision. The same jury acquitted Melbourne Mills Jr., a third lawyer, who was originally charged with Gallion and Cunningham.

Federal prosecutors say Gallion and Cunningham conspired to take more than $94 million from their clients in a 2001 settlement of a lawsuit involving the diet drug fen-phen. Gallion and Cunningham took approximately 49 percent in attorney fees when their contracts with their clients said they should receive a third.

Defense lawyers say that the two men made mistakes in the 2001 settlement but that those mistakes were unintentional and that there was never any criminal intent to take their clients' money.