A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Attorney Ben Dusing temporarily suspended from law practice while he answers complaints against him

This story has been updated

By Jack Brammer
NKyTribune reporter

The Kentucky Supreme Court temporarily suspended Fort Wright attorney Ben Dusing from practicing law Thursday after a three-month investigation that he allegedly threatened two other attorneys and used amphetamines during a trial.

In a unanimous order, the state’s highest court also ordered Dusing to submit within 90 days to a full psychological evaluation by one of three named health professionals at his own expense to determine his “mental fitness to continue in the practice of law.”

It also allowed disciplinary proceedings against Dusing be initiated by the court’s Inquiry Commission and required Dusing to notify all his clients within 20 days of his inability to provide legal services.

Ben Dusing

Dusing told the Northern Kentucky Tribune that he is “disappointed but not altogether surprised” with the Supreme Court order.

Following the Kentucky decision, the Ohio Supreme Court also ordered ” an Immediate Intermim Remedial Suspension” of Dusing.

He said he is “even more committed” to keep on practicing law after the indefinite suspension and plans to continue his campaign this year for Kenton County family court judge as long as he is a lawyer.

“From the records before us, the Commission has presented enough information to establish probable cause for us to believe either that Dusing poses a substantial threat of harm to his clients or the public or that he is mentally disabled and lacks the mental fitness to continue to practice law,” said the state Supreme Court in its nine-page order.

Dusing, a former federal prosecutor in Cincinnati and Kentucky who got his law degree from the University of Kentucky, has earned a reputation for winning acquittals for high-profile white-collar clients. He has never before been the subject of disciplinary action before the Bar.

The Supreme Court’s Inquiry Commission alleged that Dusing on Nov. 2, 2021, posted a video to Facebook that contained threats to attorney Stephanie Dietz and Alice Keyes, a Kenton County Court staff attorney.

That day, Kenton Family Court Judge Chris Mehling, who is not seeking re-election this year, as well as Dietz and Keyes, watched the video.

Two days later, Mehling recused himself from two cases pending in his court involving Dusing. His recusal order said Dusing claimed in the profanity-laced video that the court was corrupt and threatened the two attorneys by saying he “would blow them up.”

Mehling also indicated that the video would be provided to Kenton Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders. Sanders referred the matter to state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who has not commented on it.

Mehling’s recusal order also mentioned Dusing’s “lengthy course of abusive and menacing behavior” in two family court cases before him.

The Inquiry Commission also included an allegation that Dusing, in a federal criminal trial in New York, used amphetamines during a trial.

Dusing said the video was designed to express his goal of cleaning up “preferential justice” and corruption in the Kenton Family Court.

He acknowledged that he used the phrase “give me a reason to blow your asses up” but claimed it was not intended literally but figuratively and was not 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 took during the New York trial was prescribed Adderall to deal with his diagnosed attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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  1. Lorrie Miller Hill says:

    The messenger may be flawed but the message is not. Our courts are compromised and judicial oversight is needed. One has only to look at Judge Gentry and Judge Nolan as recent examples of judicial misconduct. I support Chief Justice Minton’s call for judicial pay increases to attract qualified and competent judges.

  2. Sandy Hamilton says:

    So true! Judge Mehling’s closed door family court does practice preferential justice.

  3. Bobbette Mattis says:

    Unsure about Ben Dusing, however, I have witnessed firsthand Judge Mehling in action for years. Very one sided and very often unfair.

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