PRESTONSBURG – Floyd Circuit Judge Johnny Ray Harris placed the civil case against Stanville attorney Eric C. Conn on hold this past week, while also ordering the suit be held in abeyance until the Social Security Administration (SSA) conduct hearings to determine eligibility for nearly 1,500 of Conn’s former clients.
The judgement was handed down on July 28 in Floyd Circuit Court and followed a decision by a federal judge in U.S. District Court in Pikeville to drop six of eight counts in the federal lawsuit against Conn.
The SSA plans to hold hearings this coming September for 1,470 former clients who won their disability claims with Conn as their lawyer. However, Ned Pillersdorf, the Prestonsburg attorney who is fighting to file a class action suit against Conn as well as seeking representation for some 900 former clients for the hearing, has been working with other lawyers in the county to try to stop the hearings from taking place all together, citing the financial strain it would put on his clients.
The whistleblower suit took out against Conn in federal court now has only two counts standing against the SSI and disability attorney. One alleges he did not report his resignation from veteran’s court and yet continued to represent clients. Pillersdorf has asked for the return of attorney fees in the amount of $9 million, pointing to this single count as justification.
The federal judge also recently denied a motion asking to freeze Conn’s assets in regard to the lawsuit, something that, in addition to the two orders released this past week from Harris, Conn’s legal team have counted as victories.
A hearing by phone is scheduled on Aug. 10, says Pillersdorf, during which he will hear a decision on his motion to stop the SSA from conducting the September hearings.
Sheldon Compton is a staff writer for The Floyd County Times. He can be reached at (606) 886-8506.