Leskera gets extension to respond to legal malpractice suit

Amelia Flood Mar. 10, 2011, 7:22am



Collinsville attorney John "Jack" Leskera has more time to file his response to a legal malpractice suit filed against him this year by former client Gary Lutman.

Gary Lutman, the former co-owner of Sharky's tavern in Maryville, is suing Leskera for allegedly botching another lawsuit Lutman filed against Maryville, its mayor and the village police department in 2009.

The parties agreed to the time extension March 1.

Gary Lutman is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 and costs for each of its two counts.

Leskera has 30 days, according to the March 1 agreement to file his response to the suit.

The Collinsville attorney represented Lutman in a 2009 lawsuit he filed related to another dispute that ended in a lawsuit.

Gary Lutman had owned the Sharky's tavern with his now-ex wife Sherry Lutman.

The Lutmans divorced in 2001 but continued to run the bar together for another five years.

In 2006, Sherry Lutman and another business partner allegedly forced Gary Lutman out of the bar's operations.

A restraining order was later entered against Gary Lutman.

Then, he was arrested on trespassing charges in 2006.

Those charges were later dropped.

The bar's ownership became the subject of a civil suit.

Leskera represented Gary Lutman in that matter.

His former client now claims that Leskera botched the business-related lawsuit and its subsequent appeal.

After the business-related suit ended, Lutman filed suit against the Maryville defendants in 2009.

He claimed his civil rights had been violated and that he was arrested in 2006 solely on his wife's say-so.

Leskera again represented Gary Lutman.

However, Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis dismissed the 2009 case last year citing the statute of limitations.

She told Leskera at the dismissal hearing, "I don't see how you can get around the statute of limitations, Jack."

Roy Dripps represents Gary Lutman.

Al Pranaitis represents Leskera.

Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian presides.

The case is Madison case number 11-L-31.

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