Attorney's lien resolved, protective order entered in boy's shock suit

Amelia Flood Jul. 8, 2010, 4:20am

Although no hearing took place as scheduled Wednesday, a Madison County dispute over a suspended attorney's lien in a personal injury case has been resolved.

The case involves plaintiffs Justin Porter -- who suffered electrical shock injuries -- and his mother, Anna Thebeau, as well as suspended Granite City attorney Thomas Hildebrand.

A protective order covering the release of information about the plaintiff's settlement in the case was also entered.

Copies of the orders are not yet available.

Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack had been set to hear arguments on the matter Wednesday after Thebeau filed a motion in May asking him to oversee the matter.

Stack announced the 9:30 a.m. hearing's cancellation as the court reporter was setting up.

Hildebrand asserted an attorney's lien against any settlement Thebeau and her son secured from Ameren UE and other power companies.

Justin Porter was allegedly injured after being shocked by a power tower he climbed in April 2005.

The suit filed on his behalf by his mother claimed the power companies were negligent in failing to take steps to put up barriers and keep children who played near the site off the tower.

The case eventually went to federal court.

Thebeau contended in her May 26 motion that although she had initially retained Hildebrand to represent her and her son, he did not file the lawsuit and did little work on the case.

Thebeau also pointed to Hildebrand's suspension by the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Illinois Supreme Court (ARDC).

Hildebrand is currently unable to practice law due to the March 2006 suspension.

He was previously suspended by ARDC from 2003 to 2004 and had been on probation prior to the 2006 suspension.

In Hildebrand's response filed by his attorney Carol Cagle, he claimed to have done substantial work on the case although he did not file it or eventually represent the plaintiffs.

Stephen Evans of St. Louis represents the plaintiffs.

Cagle represents Hildebrand.

James Virtel and Karen Baudendistel of St. Louis represent the Ameren defendants.

The case is Madison case number 07-L-349.

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