Attorney fires back at other attorney over alleged debt allegations

Christina Stueve Jul. 2, 2012, 9:36am



Defendant William Berry filed a motion to dismiss June 26 after being sued by a Collinsville attorney.

John L. Bitzer, an attorney in Collinsville, claimed he was owed more than $15,000 after being paid by check from an account with inadequate funds.

Bitzer alleges attorney William L. Berry wrote a check to Vanguard, Bitzer's profit sharing plan, for $5,340. The check was returned due to insufficient funds in Berry's account, according to the small claims complaint filed May 17 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Since then, Berry admitted owing Bitzer money but refused to pay him, the suit states.

Berry wrote in his motion to dismiss Bitzer's complaint that the statute of limitations for filing a claim is five years. The allegations in Count 2 of the plaintiff's complaint refer to transactions from July, November and December 2006.

The allegations are based on contract, and the statute of limitations for filing any claim for breach of oral contract is five years.

Not only does Berry owe Bitzer money for the check, but he also owes him for charges issued to a credit card issued to Bitzer without knowledge or permission, the complaint said.

"Said credit card was obtained for the purpose of paying certain expenses incurred by the former law firm of Dunham, Boman and Leskera," the suit stated.

"Nevertheless, Defendant, again without permission or knowledge by the plaintiff, used the card for his own personal use such as $390 for Fox Theater tickets, $1,117.20 for Busch Stadium Skybox, $5,400 for St. Louis Cardinals season tickets and a $3,000 cash advance."

Although Bitzer demanded the credit card's purchases be paid off, Berry refused to do so, Bitzer alleged.

Bitzer and Berry represent themselves. Both practice in Collinsville.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-SC-1884

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