Public nuisance

The Madison County Record Sep. 4, 2005, 4:28pm

Last week was a productive one for Madison County lawyer Thomas Maag, which is never a good sign for the rest of us.

Maag pressed his three-year old class action lawsuit against AT&T over “deceptive” wording while pressing on in another on behalf of his sue-happy pal Armettia Peach. Just another week’s “work” for perhaps the Metro East’s most aggravating plaintiff’s attorney.

That’s aggravating in Maag’s instinctive litigiousness, his frivolous caseload, and last but not least, his vapid and dialectically-challenged writing, all fast-establishing him as a Third Circuit courtroom caricature.

Watching nearby, his fellow counselors cackled during a recent AT & T hearing, as Madison County’s oldest judge (since 1978) reminded Maag that he had misspelled his name in a brief. That he missed the “e” in Matoesian wouldn’t be worth a mention if he hadn’t, in a spate of name-calling, managed to simultaneously type “gobbledygook” and “gibberish” dead on correct.

This kind of stuff is all laughs for the legal eagles, but regular guys like Kevin Link don’t get the joke.

Link, you might remember, buys rundown homes for a living, fixing them up before reselling them. Maag and Peach, matriarch of Madison County’s first family of named plaintiffs, sued him and Granite City last spring, claiming one of Link’s fixer-uppers had a bad roof.

Link offered to fix the roof but Maag said not to bother. The lawyer wanted a cash settlement to drop his case, as resolving the “problem” for Peach wouldn’t result in legal fees for him. Maag threatened to “drag out” the lawsuit-- and Link’s out-of-pocket cost to his own lawyer-- if he didn’t submit.

Well, we’ve now learned Maag is keeping his promise, making every effort possible to keep the case alive and Link playing defense. Same goes for Granite City—- at least they get to send their legal bills to the taxpayer. Another hearing is coming soon; we’ll keep you posted.

This Labor Day, while celebrating the hard work and determination that keeps America pushing ahead, consider the contrary. Who are those people among us keeping busy trying to hold others back?

From our perch, we couldn’t deal with them any sooner.

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