Bar owner responds to former attorney's defenses in legal malpractice case

Amelia Flood Jul. 21, 2011, 3:46am



Bar owner Gary Lutman has filed his denial of all of the affirmative defenses asserted by his former attorney John Walter Leskera in a legal malpractice suit Lutman filed against him earlier this year.

Lutman filed his denial of the defenses July 15.

Lutman is suing Leskera for allegedly botching two of the plaintiff's legal matters in relation to a Sharkey's Tavern in Maryville.

Those legal matters included an appeal related to control of Sharkey's when Lutman wrangled with his ex-wife, Sherri Lutman, over control of the business and a lawsuit against the Village of Maryville, its police chief and officers.

The lawsuit related to Lutman's arrest at what he claimed was the behest of his ex-wife.

Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis dismissed that lawsuit finding it ran afoul of the statute of limitations.

Leskera previously won the dismissal of Lutman's 2011 first complaint against him but Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian granted the plaintiff the right to amend his complaints.

Leskera filed his answer denying the amended complaint's allegations on July 12.

The defendant included affirmative defenses that relate to the role of local attorney William Berry in the business dispute.

Leskera contends that Berry advised Lutman not to proceed with the appeal and that the plaintiff took that advice.

Lutman, in his answer filed three days later, denies doing so.

Roy Dripps represents Lutman.

Al Pranaitis represents Leskera.

The case is Madison case number 11-L-031.

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