Matoesian finds settlement between attorney's estate, former client in good faith

Amelia Flood Jun. 16, 2010, 6:12am


Madison County Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian found a settlement between the estate of Morris Chapman and Denzil Ridenour to be in good faith on June 11.

The amount of the settlement was not disclosed. Each party is to bear their own costs.

Attorneys Richard Gibson and Joseph Hoefert remain as defendants in Ridenour's legal malpractice case which alleges the attorneys botched a negligence case he filed in Mississippi.

The estate joins attorney Jon Carlson and his law firm as parties who have dropped out of the case.

Ridenour is seeking damages in excess of $100,000.

According to the complaint, Ridenour first retained Hoefert to litigate a personal injury suit in Mississippi in 1994.

Hoefert then sent Ridenour to Gibson, then with the Carlson firm.

When Gibson left the Carlson firm, he took Ridenour's case with him.
Ridenour claims that after 10 years, Gibson was not ready for trial and the Mississippi case was dismissed.

Ridenour claims the error cost him over $23,000.

The plaintiff then allegedly hired Chapman after the 2005 dismissal.

He alleged that Chapman and Gibson bungled the appeal of the dismissal.

Chapman, the father of appellate judge Melissa Chapman, died in 2007. His estate became the defendant in the suit.

The Chapman estate was represented by Michael Nester.

Hoefert was represented by Richard Korn.

Gibson represented himself.

Ridenour was represented by Bradford Hunt.

Carlson and his firm were dropped from the case in 2008.

The case was Madison case number 05-L-660.

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