Lakin's attorney wants legal malpractice claim suspended while federal case is prosecuted

Steve Korris Oct. 9, 2007, 5:45am

Tom Lakin would prefer not to defend himself in a Madison County civil suit while he defends himself against criminal charges.

Lakin wants Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder to halt a legal malpractice suit that a Tennessee woman filed against him last year.

Michael Nester of Belleville wrote to Crowder on Sept. 26 that Lakin "is involved in a matter pending before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, which is scheduled for trial in January 2008."

The pending matter involves morals charges.

"It will place an undue hardship and burden on Mr. Lakin to engage in discovery or further trial court proceedings in the above styled matter during the time in which he is preparing for trial in the matter pending before the U.S. District Court," Nester wrote.

In the suit Lakin seeks to freeze, Suzanne Krause claims former Lakin lawyer Scott Meyer represented that the firm would take her injury case.

She claims the Lakins did not sue and the statute of limitations ran out.

Nester has argued that Lakin and his firm bear no liability because they did not establish an attorney client relationship with Krause.

Crowder accepted his argument, but without certainty.

In August she certified questions to the Fifth District appellate court about the relationship between Krause and the Lakins.

While Krause pursues a claim against Lakin and his firm she also pursues a claim against Meyer, who no longer works for the Lakins.

Meyer represents himself against Krause.

George Ripplinger of Belleville represents Krause.

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