Tom Lakin's lawyer finds client in Key West

Steve Korris Sep. 27, 2007, 3:55am

Tom Lakin

Tom Lakin's lawyer has found him at last - in Key West, Fla.

Michael Nester of Belleville pinpointed Lakin's new residence Sept. 26, two days after a deadline had passed for Nester to report it.

Nester asked Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder to order that Lakin's deposition in a legal malpractice suit be taken at Key West.

In the suit, Suzanne Krause of Tennessee claims the firm's negligence wrecked her opportunity to recover damages for injuries she suffered.

The Lakins argue that they did not establish a relationship with Krause as attorney and client.

They argue that Tom Lakin's son Brad Lakin sent her a letter stating he would not take the case.

In August Crowder certified questions about the relationship to Fifth District appellate judges.

In September Krause's attorney, George Ripplinger of Belleville, asked Crowder to decide the question without help from the Fifth District.

Ripplinger wrote that Lakin attorney Scott Meyer was actively involved day to day in Krause's claim.

He wrote that Meyer:

  • Arranged photographs of her injuries at the Lakin firm and gave her mother information on the firm;

  • Flew mother and daughter to Florida and put them up in a hotel for an extended period to photograph her injuries;

  • Invited them to his home to show the injuries to other agents and attorneys of the Lakin firm;

  • Represented that the case was worth millions.

    He wrote that Brad Lakin's letter advised Krause that the statute of limitations had already run out.

    He wrote that Krause surrendered all remedies but a legal malpractice claim against Meyer and the Lakins.

    Meyer no longer works for the Lakins. In this case he represents himself.

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