Governor's Son Fined

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Ernie Fletcher's son was fined $300 Thursday by the Kentucky Supreme Court for falling behind in continuing legal education obligations.

The high court was divided on the punishment, with a minority of justices saying that Fletcher's son, Benjamin Fletcher, should have been fined $750, as recommended by the Kentucky Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education Commission.

"He has answered to the Supreme Court," the governor said in a
statement following the court's ruling. "Now he has to answer to his mother. We're very proud that Ben is practicing with a major international law firm in Munich, Germany."

The younger Fletcher, 32, must pay the fine to the KBA within 20
days. A message was left at his law firm in Germany but was not immediately returned.

He had practiced law from Louisville until moving to Germany in 2005. He did not respond to a series of notices last year warning he had fallen behind in his continuing education requirements, the high court said in its decision.

The bar association commission had sought a high court ruling that there were sufficient grounds for penalties. Attorneys who flagrantly violate the requirements can have their law licenses suspended.

According to the ruling, the younger Fletcher promptly registered for online continuing education programs through the KBA's Web site once he learned he had fallen behind. He also indicated he was a relatively new lawyer and didn't reaize the situation's severity, according to the high court.

Last month, he presented documents showing he had obtained 13.25 continuing education credits in December, the court said. Kentucky attorneys are required to obtain 12.5 continuing education credits per year.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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