Honeymoon interrupted: Freed may be deposed over phone

Steve Korris Aug. 31, 2007, 12:57am

Nothing yet has hooked up the Lakin Law Firm with Chicago attorney Eric Freed for a deposition about class actions they filed together, but satellites might do the trick.

Everybody at an Aug. 23 hearing decided to try deposition by telephone during Freed's four month honeymoon on the other side of the planet.

Tracking Freed down keeps getting tougher.

He had told the court he would travel throughout South America, but at the hearing his attorneys added Australia to his itinerary.

Freed has left the country twice since the Lakins tried to depose him.

Freed's firm, Freed and Weiss, helped the Lakins litigate class actions from 1999 through last year.

After they split up, the Lakins sued Freed and Weiss in Madison County and Freed and Weiss sued the Lakins in Cook County.

The Lakins sent Freed a notice in February for a deposition in March.

Freed postponed it. On April 4 he flew to Israel.

He returned to Chicago in August. His attorneys gave the Lakins four dates in two weeks to depose him.

The Lakins rejected all four dates.

Freed signed a statement Aug. 20 that he would leave the country Aug. 22, marry in Colombia, and travel throughout South America until Dec. 25.

He guaranteed confusion by spelling it Columbia.

He had already departed when the question of his deposition came before Associate Judge Richard Tognarelli.

Lakin counsel Charles Chapman of Wood River said, "I would just like to have either an order or an agreement that Mr. Freed be contacted by some marvel of modern communication, whatever form that may take."

Freed and Weiss counsel Michael Nester of Belleville said, "He is presently out of the country and will not return until December."

Lakin counsel William Lucco of Edwardsville said, "This is not Columbia, Illinois?"

Nester said, "I did make that inquiry. Being from East St. Louis, I made that inquiry."

Tognarelli said, "He's not even going to be back for a week or a couple days?"

Nester said it was his understanding that he would not return until Dec. 25.

Tognarelli said, "Can we take the deposition on December 25th? I'm just kidding."

Chapman said, "How about us all going to Australia?"

He said, "How about a phone depo?"

Nester said, "Judge, I have not explored that and I don't know whether he's available."

He said, "I didn't explore it because I didn't know that Mr. Chapman would be amenable to take it."

Chapman said, "In view of the kind of time we're looking at here, we might."

Tognarelli said, "If we can't work it out on the phone, I want a date certain that we are going to put in the order."

Chapman said when his old partner did missionary work in Guatemala, overseas operators left something to be desired.

Tognarelli said, "There probably has been considerable improvement, but I don't know. I don't know that for a fact."

Nester said, "It might not be until he travels to Australia."

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