Feuding class action lawyers deadlocked over deposition dates

Steve Korris Aug. 17, 2007, 5:22am

Sluggish Lakin Law Firm attorneys missed four chances to depose Chicago attorney Eric Freed about the split between their firm and his firm.

The Lakins tried to depose Freed in March, but he left the country.

Attorney Monte Mann of Chicago wrote to the Lakins on Aug. 7 that they could depose Freed on the 9th, the 15th, the 16th or the 20th.

He wrote, "Thereafter, Mr. Freed will be leaving the country for an extended period of time."

On Aug. 8 Charles Chapman, representing the Lakin firm, rejected all four dates.

He wrote, "Obviously this is not enough notice for us to come to Chicago to depose Mr. Freed and we are not available on any of those dates."

On Aug. 9 Mann wrote, "If none of Plaintiff's numerous capable attorneys (Messrs. Chapman, Lucco and Brown) is available, it is no fault of Defendant..."

On Aug. 10 Chapman asked Madison County Associate Judge Richard Tognarelli to compel Freed's deposition.

Chapman asked for an order directing Freed to show cause why he should not be held in contempt.

Chapman asked Tognarelli to require Freed to appear before he leaves the country again for several months.

Chapman wrote, "In addition, plaintiff requests this court for an order requiring Mr. Freed's deposition be taken in the courthouse so that the court would be available to rule on any further obfuscatory or obstreperous conduct on the part of either Mr. Freed or his counsel."

Tognarelli presides over a Lakin suit against Freed and Weiss, a Chicago firm that teamed with the Lakins in class actions from 1999 until last year.

Freed and Weiss has sued the Lakins in Cook County.

Each firm seeks to kick the other out of class actions they filed together.

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