Has Eric Conn changed our expectations of Kentucky Bar Association?
By Ned Pillersdorf
June 13, 2018 04:29 PM
Thousands of lawyers have descended upon Lexington for the annual Kentucky Bar Association convention. A timely question to ask is whether a bar association is simply a bureaucratic organization or does it have a greater purpose, especially concerning former clients of Eric Conn?
The Social Security Administration intends to put another 1,950 former clients of Conn — who pleaded guilty to fraud this month — through another set of grueling mass hearings.
The first set of hearings have been brutal, in that more than 800 of the 1,500 hearings resulted in our neighbors losing their subsistence benefits and being told they each had to pay back about $100,000 for alleged over-payments. We’ve had suicides, attempted suicides, panic attacks, spikes in homelessness, etc. The new round of hearings is equivalent to a nuclear bomb hitting the mountains.
The challenge throughout this ongoing humanitarian crisis is that the SSA prevents lawyers from earning attorney fees for doing the hearings. Indeed accepting a fee can have negative consequences for your ability to practice before the SSA. We have been blessed in the first round of hearings that we found more than 100 volunteer lawyers to represent mor than 1,000 former Conn clients.