Crowder sets final pre-trial hearing, trial date in Buckles legal malpractice case

Amelia Flood Mar. 26, 2010, 6:00am


A new trial date and final pre-trial hearing has been set in an asbestos plaintiff's legal malpractice case against prominent Madison County attorneys.

Plaintiff Judy Buckles' suit against the Hopkins Goldenberg law firm – now known as Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli, Rowland & Short – and attorney William Miller had been set for trial in mid-February.

At what would have been the last pre-trial conference in the 2006 suit, it became clear that the trial would have to be put off so that presiding judge Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder could consider arguments for vacating the summary judgment of attorney John Simmons and his law firm. Simmons and his firm originally had been named as defendants in the case.

They were granted summary judgment five years ago.

The new pre-trial date is June 16 at 1:30 p.m. according to Crowder's March 24 order. The trial is set for the following Monday, June 21.

Buckles is suing the attorneys for allegedly failing to secure sufficient settlements in her late husband's mesothelioma claims. She also alleges they allowed claims to lapse.

At the Feb. 8 hearing, attorneys for both sides haggled over Simmons' role in the suits.

Buckles then filed a motion Feb. 19 asking Crowder to vacate his summary judgment and to bring him and the Simmons Law Firm back into the suit.

Crowder rejected that plea March 11.

She also denied both parties in the suit summary judgment March 2.

Buckles originally filed her suit in 2001. She re-filed it five years later.

Buckles is represented by Roy Dripps of St. Louis.

The Goldenberg firm is represented by John Papa of Granite City and Daniel Konicek of Geneva.

Simmons is represented by A.J. Bronsky of St. Louis.

Defendant William Miller is representing himself.

The case is Madison case number 06-L-588.

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