Where Facts And Controversy In The News Come Together In Truth

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

SSI Lawyer Eric Conn Demands Cease And Desist Of News Stories

Lawyer In Huntington WV Social Security Scandal Wants Retractions From WV News.. by Jack Swint

“Although the Court is concerned by the alleged professional misconduct of the respondent, his agreement to cease all practice before this Court provides the Court and its appellants with protection from any repetition of such conduct by him"....by US Veterans Appeal Court Judges

Cease And Desist

The Kentucky Lawyer embroiled in the current Huntington WV Social Security Office case fixing scandal is demanding that stories we first began publishing in late 2010 involving him and former ALJ Judge David Daugherty cease and desist immediately. Eric C. Conn also demands that we print a retraction of what he calls… “Erroneous and false statements” about him (Conn) and it be “accompanied by an editorial in which you specifically repudiate your libelous statements” against Eric C. Conn.

Conn first contacted WV News on August 2nd 2011 through attorney H. David Hicks, who practices with Conn’s law firm in Stanville Kentucky. In that letter, Hicks writes that… “If you do not immediately publish the requested retraction and cease and desist from tortuous interference and making false and malicious comments about the Eric C. Conn Law Firm, its employees, and its business, we will file suit against you.”

Our response? Just like in August 2011, we stand firmly behind the stories and that they depict the facts in the record. We would certainly welcome a law suite so that the truth comes out in open court through testimony from witnesses and available documents. Within his demands, Conn claims, in part, that we failed to name sources, provide statistics that show Conns higher than normal SSI disability approvals from other attorneys and even goes as far as to claim that even though we did not name him personally or his staff in one story; Conn feels that it merely implies that his law firm is not acting in their clients best interest.

Last week, we received a new notice from Richmond Virginia lawyer Domingo J. Rivera that he now represents Eric C. Conn and that Conn is once again demanding us to cease and desist any and all postings of stories portraying him in a negative light. This time, Rivera states that we must also… “Enter into an appropriate written agreement that you will refrain from any further unlawful activity against our client.”

Eric Conn’s Version Of The Truth

At the heart of Conns demands for us to cease and desist is the truth behind the 2002 US Veterans Appeals Court forever barring him from any further practicing of law in that court. (Linked below) Attorney Rivera states in his recent letter to WV News that Conn merely resigned on his own terms. “Mr. Conn decided to no longer practice in that area of law and filed motions to withdraw on multiple cases.” Rivera goes on to claim that his client just “decided to leave the Court of Veterans Appeals.”

In The Interest Of Justice And Integrity

But, according to Court records, (linked below) Conn was under investigation for numerous counts of professional misconduct. In order to halt that investigation, he decided to just resign from practicing law in that Court. That’s easy enough, or not? What attorney Rivera fails to address is the fact that the judges dictated to Conn that he only had one option, either accept their terms for his resignation or continue on with the current investigation. And, it is very clear by the courts stipulations and statements on record that their decision was based solely in the interest of justice; both to the public and the integrity of the court.

Judge Steinberg wrote that… “First, I note that the Court not only accepted the respondent's resignation, but dictated to him the terms and the form under which it would accept such resignation.” And, “Therefore, the Court imposed these conditions upon the respondent, i.e., his options were either to accept resignation on the Court's terms and conditions or to continue with the Committee's investigation process.”

“Second, the respondent proposed only to agree not to seek admission to practice before this Court at any time in the future.” But, in the official resignation from the Bar of the Court and on the form dictated by the Court, the respondent had to agree that he forever… “Relinquishes any right he may have ever in the future to apply for reinstatement or readmission to the Bar of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, either as an attorney or as a non-attorney practitioner.” 

In their September 30, 2002 ORDER and OPINION, (attached) …“Although the Court is concerned by the alleged professional misconduct of the respondent, his agreement to cease all practice before this Court provides the Court and its appellants with protection from any repetition of such conduct by him.”

The Judges went as far as to also state that unfortunately, this action could stop both public sanctions against Eric Conn and notification to the National Bar Association… “Furthermore, I would note that any member of the public, including of course, any judge or staff member of this Court is free to bring to the attention of the appropriate authorities the existence of this order and that attorneys may in fact be under a heightened obligation to take such action.”

The Scandal Within The Huntington WV SSI Office

Attorney Conn was first named back in December 2010 by this news website as the lawyer allegedly involved in a huge disability case-fixing scandal along with ALJ Judge David Daugherty who since resigned-retired. It is alleged that collusion between Daugherty and Conn began back in 2005 when office staff began complaining to higher-ups of the exceptionally high caseload between the judge and lawyer compiled with the 98% approval ratings of SSA claims between the two. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) in Washington DC is investigating. 

Problems in the Huntington WV office also have raised questions on other possible problems including collusion, falsifying of records and retaliation against former ALJ Judge Tinsley for reportedly blowing the whistle on Daugherty and Conn as far back as 2005. During this same time, then Chief Judge Charles Andrus was facing allegations of racial discrimination. Recently, accusations surfaced that Andrus was the middle man in brokering a $250,000 a year job offer between Eric Conn and former ALJ Judge Al Tinsley in order to entice Tinsley to retire.

Also, according to our records, Eric Conn was paid $3,815,512.96 by the Social Security Administration in 2010. He was ranked 3rd in the nation as highest paid in SSI work. 

In Closing

Attorney Rivera claims that our story also alleges Conn was “disbarred” from the Appeals Court. He goes on to say that, “Disbarment refers to the act of disqualification of a lawyer from membership in a bar association” and that his client resigned from practicing in that court on his own terms just because he wanted to.

In reality, the stipulations Conn accepted with that Court does in deed disqualify him forever from practicing in the Veterans Appeal Court and membership to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association. (CAVC)

Why did the court make it mandatory that he be forever barred? As one of the Judges wrote…“His agreement to cease all practices before this Court provides the Court and its appellants with protection from any repetition of such conduct by him.”

End Of Story...

Jack Swint-Publisher
West Virginia News 
Website: http://WVNewsOnline.com
E-Mail: WestVirginiaNews@gmail.com
Twitter: @WVNewsOnline

Links And Related Stories

Eric Conn 2002 US Veterans Appeal Court Document

Attorney Accused In WV Social Security Scandal Was Barred From Veterans Appeals Court In 2002

Is The Social Security Appeals Process Beyond Repair

Huntington’s Chief ALJ Named in Federal Lawsuit Alleging Racial Discrimination and Whistleblower Retaliation

Hearings Office Director Resigns Amidst WV Social Security Appeals Scandal


Anonymous said...

Why, pray tell, in all of that pretty, inflammatory prose is there not one single effort on your part, Mr. Swint, to address your very own criminal background? When you point your fingers at another man, there are three pointing back at you.

Mark White said...

Actually Mr Swint has written about his own past in several stories within this website. And, in one of his published book's, he includes detailing his criminal history.

I guess the old saying is true that sometimes it takes a 'bad guy' to catch a 'bad guy.' At least Swint admitted his past indiscretions while Eric Conn refuses to. At least for now...

If thats the best your can come up with as a response to this story 'Anonymous,' (scared to list your own name?) then you really suck at being the 3 fingers pointing back.

Mark White
Clarksburg WV

Mark White said...


Were not discussing Mr Swint in this story, its about that piece of crap narcissist Eric Conn who is both ripping off his clients and the SSA.

And he will take a fall before to long, I hear he has turned federal rat and is testifying against others.

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Charleston, WV, United States