Plaintiffs ask to disqualify defendants' attorney in Highland breach of contract suit

Amelia Flood Aug. 31, 2009, 8:13am

Plaintiffs in a suit involving a bad real estate deal are asking that an Edwardsville attorney respresenting two of the suit's defendants be disqualified.

Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack is scheduled to hear motions in the case Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Plaintiffs Cassie and Brian Johnson allege that attorney Michael Kokal has a conflict of interest in representing both the real estate agent and realtors who employed him.

The defendants argue that Kokal does not have any conflict in representing both agent Wayne Sackett and his employer Donald Brown, owner of Caldwell Bankers Brown Realtors and that both men signed a waiver to that effect.

The Johnsons filed the motion to disqualify Kokal July 28. The defendants' response was filed Aug. 20.

The Johnsons are suing Ronald and Janet Hunsche, Sackett and Brown for breach of contract, fraud, violation of the Residential Real Property Disclosure Act, consumer fraud, and negligent representation in a 10-count suit. They seek damages in excess of $50,000 per count, costs and attorneys' fees.

According to their complaint, the Johnsons bought the Hunsches' single family home in Highland in February 2007.

They allege that they told the real estate agent that they would only buy the property if it did not have a septic system. The complaint alleges that Ronald Hunsche told the agent and the plaintiffs that his home was connected to the sewer line, even though in reality it had a septic tank. Once the sale was finalized, the plaintiffs were forced to repair the septic system that they had said they did not want.

The Johnsons are represented by John Geismann.

The Hunsches are represented by Thomas Hill.

Sackett and Brown are represented by Michael Kokal.

The case is Madison case number 08-L-1145.

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