No action since December in Schottel's suit against Judge Young, Berry

Amelia Flood Apr. 19, 2011, 11:00am

Schottel Jr.

There has been no action since December 2010 in a suit filed by St. Louis attorney James Schottel Jr. against former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Patrick Young and Belleville attorney William Berry.

Schottel Jr.'s suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, stems from a 2007 wrongful death suit in which he and Berry represented plaintiffs Michael and Cynthia Anderson.

The last filing in the 2010 federal case was a Dec. 17, 2010, move filed by memorandum in opposition to a sanctions motion filed by Young that targeted Schottel Jr.

The Andersons were suing the estate of racketeer Thomas Venezia and Robert Staack for allegedly causing the death of their daughter Jennifer Anderson.

Young was the judge overseeing the case.

The Andersons alleged that Staack negligently entrusted a gun to Venezia who was ill and emotionally compromised.

Jennifer Anderson was found dead from a gunshot wound to the back of the head in the home she shared with Venezia.

Venezia was also found dead at the scene.

The Belleville Police Department ruled the deaths a murder-suicide.

Berry was to act as local counsel in the resulting 2007 wrongful death case.

Schottel Jr. was to be the Andersons' primary attorney.

However, after issues with Schottel Jr.'s pro hac vice status and delays, Schottel Jr. filed to withdraw from the case in September 2009.

After a number of missed hearings and further delays, Young eventually entered an order that would allow Schottel Jr. to withdraw from the Andersons' suit on the condition that he return the $1,600 they paid him as part of a retainer.

Schottel Jr. then filed a motion asking Young to reconsider and allow him to keep the money.

Young denied that motion in January 2010.

Schottel Jr. then filed for permission to seek a writ of mandamus from the Illinois State Supreme Court.

Had it been granted, the writ would have forced Young to overturn his order requiring that Schottel Jr. return the money.

The high court denied Schottel Jr.'s mandamus move.

Eventually, he returned the $1,600 to the Andersons.

Young dismissed their suit against the Venezia estate and Staack in August 2010.

Neither defendant was ever served in that suit.

In September 2010, Schottel Jr. filed the federal case against Young and Berry.

He alleged that the pair conspired to violate his civil rights and deprive him of his property in the form of the $1,600 retainer fee.

Both defendants moved to dismiss the federal case.

Young later filed a motion with the Missouri federal court asking that sanctions be imposed upon Schottel Jr. if he did not drop the lawsuit.

Schottel Jr. filed the last move to date in the case shortly after.

U.S. District Court Judge Henry Autrey presides.

Schottel represents himself in the federal case

Assistant Illinois Attorney General Rex Gradeless represents Young.

Richard Korn represents Berry.

The federal case is 4:10-cv-01673-HEA.
The underlying suit brought by the Andersons in St. Clair County is case number 07-L-359.

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