Dispute between Mallon estate and former firm member in court

Amelia Flood Apr. 27, 2011, 8:47pm


Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla is set to hear arguments Friday in a suit brought by attorney Dawna Hale against the estate of her former employer, Lance Mallon.

Hale filed suit earlier this year and filed to intervene in Mallon's probate case.

Mallon, of Wood River, died last year after a long illness.

Hale claims that she is owed substantial fees for work she did while he was ill.

Hale went on to resign her position with the firm.

The plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $40,000, punitive damages, and other relief.

The suit names Jeanette Mallon, administrator of her husband's estate, and fellow defendants Keith Short, Jennifer Rushton, Mark Goldenberg and the firm of Mallon & Short LLC as defendants.

Short, Rushton, and the Mallon & Short firm have filed moves asking Hylla to dismiss Hale's claims.

The hearing is set for 9 a.m.

Short and Rushton allege in their motion to dismiss that they were not under obligation to pay Hale's 2010 salary, bonuses or vacation days because the plaintiff expressly claims to have done business with Lance Mallon.

They also allege that Hale did not work for either of them at any time.

Short and Rushton also contend that Hale has "carelessly distorted" the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practice Act to serve her own agenda and that they did not engage in any deceptive practices upon buying the Mallon firm.

Hale replied to the motions to dismiss April 25.

In that reply, she argues that the defendants clearly have an interest in the claims and that she alleges specific facts to support the claims.

She is also asking to amend her complaint to state common law actions for accounting, disparagement of services, confusion of name and other acts.

Hale's intervention in the probate case for the Mallon estate is currently on hold.

Madison County Associate Judge Clarence Harrison II stayed actions in the probate case in March until the resolution of the civil suit before Hylla.

John Dale Stobbs represents Hale.

Thomas Keefe Jr. represents Short, Rushton, and the Mallon & Short firm.

Joseph Brown represents Jeanette Mallon and Mark Goldenberg.

The case is Madison case number 11-L-181.

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