Why are lawyers killing themselves? Lawyers rank fourth in proportion of suicides by profession Video - Los Hechos y el Derecho TV LHD TV

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Why are lawyers killing themselves? Lawyers rank fourth in proportion of suicides by profession Video

Why are lawyers killing themselves? Lawyers rank fourth in proportion of suicides by profession Video

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(Via CNN) --

Finis Price III was a successful Kentucky lawyer, a popular professor, and a sought after technology consultant. He also enjoyed a marriage so close that his wife was also his business partner. The good days ended abruptly when he jumped to his death in 2012.

"Finis was my best friend since we were kids," Heather Price said of her husband, who taught at Chase Law School at Northern Kentucky University and managed a thriving practice until his death at age 37.

"I intentionally presented it as an accident. The taboo and stigma of suicide was too much for me to handle," she said.

One by one, state by state, bar associations say the tally is rising: Lawyers are killing themselves. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided CNN with the latest available data on suicide deaths by profession. Lawyers ranked fourth when the proportion of suicides in that profession is compared to suicides in all other occupations in the study population (adjusted for age).They come right behind dentists, pharmacists and physicians.

Lawyers are also prone to depression, which the American Psychological Association, among others, identified as the most likely trigger for suicide. Lawyers are 3.6 times more likely to suffer from depression than non-lawyers.

Prominent lawyers keep turning up dead. They came one a month in Oklahoma around 2004. South Carolina lost six lawyers within 18 months before July 2008. Kentucky has seen 15 known lawyer suicides since 2010.

CNN's review of 50 state bar associations found eight associations so concerned about suicides that they took measures to stop the deadly pattern. California, Montana, Iowa, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina added a "mental health" component to mandatory legal continuing education. Kentucky starts its annual conference on continuing education with a presentation on behaviors that increase the risk of suicide. So far, Kentucky has reached 7,000 lawyers.

"There are a lot of high stress professions," said Yvette Hourigan, who runs the Kentucky Lawyer Assistance Program. "Being a physician has stress. However, when the surgeon goes into the surgical suite to perform his surgery, they don't send another physician in to try to kill the patient. You know, they're all on the same team trying to do one job. In the legal profession, adversity is the nature of our game."

Still, there was no clear explanation for the rash of suicides in Kentucky, two of which came days apart. "It's been primarily men,"said Kentucky Bar Association Executive Director John Meyers. "To a large degree, it's been trial attorneys. The men are primarily middle-aged."

The personal stories are heartbreaking for the lawyers and family members experiencing the loss. Ohio lawyer Eric Deters hired Harry Rankin, 58, while Rankin was being treated for depression in August 2012. Then Rankin hanged himself.

Aaron Megibow said her family was still confused and heartbroken this month when they unveiled her father's tombstone more than a year after his death. Tod Megibow shot himself inside his legal office in Paducah, Kentucky.

Some of these attorneys appeared to perform exceptionally well until the very last moment.

Ken Jameson, 58, from Ohio was generating about $600,000 in billing hours for his law firm every year. His three children were doing well and his wife, Betsy, said their relationship was exceptional.

"I never dreamed that I would be a widow at 58," said Betsy Jameson. "We were starting the best chapter of our lives. We were empty-nesters. We had plenty of money."

Her husband killed himself in May 2011 after a six-month battle with depression. Betsy Jameson said her husband was doing all the right things to dig himself out of a downward spiral, fueled by the stress of his job.

Professions with the most suicides 

1. Dentists
2. Pharmacists
3. Physicians
4. Lawyers
5. Engineers

Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/01/19/us/lawyer-suicides/index.html?sr=fb012014lawyersuicide4p

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