Callis grants motion to compel in Sara Buske's legal malpractice

Amelia Flood Jun. 13, 2011, 9:40am


Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis has directed a Springfield law firm to respond to discovery requests made by a former client who is suing the firm for legal malpractice claims related to complicated Madison County divorce.

Callis granted plaintiff Sara Buske's plea for a motion to compel Feldman, Wasser, Draper & Cox, her former divorce attorneys, to comply with discovery requests within 28 days.

Callis granted the motion June 10.

Sara Buske is suing the law firm on claims that its member, Howard Feldman, botched her divorce from former trucking magnate Thomas Buske and cost her settlement monies.

Sara Buske filed to divorce Thomas Buske in 2008 shortly after a $203.8 million civil judgment was entered against him in a Wisconsin court.

S.C. Johnson and Sons, Inc. sought and won the judgment on claims that Thomas Buske defrauded it to the tune of millions of dollars using inflated invoices from his trucking concerns.

Howard Feldman represented Sara Buske in the divorce.

S.C. Johnson sought to intervene in the dissolution, arguing it was a fraud meant to shelter
Thomas Buske's assets.

S.C. Johnson's arguments hinged on a pre-nuptial agreement that was never produced in open court.

The parties settled before the document could be produced.

Thomas Buske was allowed to keep $50,000 in personal property under the divorce settlement.

His ex-wife took away $325,000.

A trust containing $425,000 was set up for the Buskes' children.

S.C. Johnson was granted the rest of the Buske assets to satisfy the Wisconsin judgment.
The divorce concluded in 2009.

Sara Buske filed a malpractice suit against the Feldman firm and her accountants, RSM McGladrey of St. Louis last year.

In addition to alleging her attorneys mismanaged her case, Sara Buske alleged that her accountants with RSM McGladrey gave her bad tax advice during the divorce.

The plaintiff went on to drop the accounting firm from the suit earlier this month.

A motion to dismiss and a move filed by the Feldman firm asking to use Sara Buske's pre-nuptial agreement remain pending.

The case is set for a case management conference June 29 at 9 a.m.

Callis is the third judge to handle the 2010 legal malpractice suit. Both Madison County Circuit Judges Andreas Matoesian and William Mudge bowed out of the case.

The Buske divorce went through two judges, Madison County Associate Judges Duane Bailey and Thomas Chapman. Chapman oversaw the end of the divorce.

Jarrod Beasley represents Sara Buske in the legal malpractice case.

A.J. Bronsky represents the law firm in the case.

The case is Madison case number 10-L-1211.

More News