Stobbs sets Feb. 22 trial in attorney's lawsuit over debt

Madison County Associate Judge Stephen Stobbs on Jan. 2 denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit involving two Collinsville attorneys. He also set the case for a non-jury trial on Feb. 22.

John L. Bitzer is suing William L. Berry, claiming  he is owed more than $15,000.

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.

The suit also claims Berry owes credit card charges.

“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 states.

“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.”

Berry wrote in his motion to dismiss that the statute of limitations for filing a claim such as Bitzer's is five years. He argued that allegations in the second count of Bitzer's May 2012 suit refer to transactions from July, November and December 2006.

Todd Sivia of Sivia Business & Legal Services in Edwardsville represents Berry.

Bitzer represents himself.

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

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