Woman files legal malpractice complaint involving handling of divorce proceedings

By The Madison County Record | Mar 5, 2015

A woman claiming her divorce proceedings were mishandled by her attorney seeks $750,000 in a legal malpractice complaint.

Mary Sommer filed suit against Scott Snider and Mormino, Velloff & Snider of Alton on Feb. 13 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Sommer claims that the defendants failed to have a qualified appraiser conduct an appraisal of the marital home, farms and personal property, which included livestock.

"They accepted the appraisals of the marital real estate submitted by Plaintiff's former husband (Michael Sommer) which grossly undervalued the marital real estate and personal property," the complaint states.

The plaintiff also claims that the defendants failed to discover and present into evidence the actual amount of marital debt, "instead accepting the statement of Plaintiff's former husband as to the marital debt which was grossly overstated."

She claims that Snider agreed to a property settlement on Jan. 16, 2013, and that on Feb. 22, 2013, an order was entered "allegedly" confirming the agreement.

Sommer claims that the defendants refused to allow her to review and comment on the order, and she claims that she refused to sign the proposed order.

She says they refused to take the case to trial and instead insisted that she settle.

"Had Defendants competently represented Plaintiff in the above mentioned proceedings and had they conducted adequate discovery and presented the evidence and testimony which were available to be presented, the value of the marital assets would have been found to have been greater; she would have received substantially more of the marital assets of the parties; her husband would have received significantly less credit for assuming the real amount of marital debt; and there would have been an adequate record to support an appeal had the trial judge's ruling been found to be in error in any respect," the suit claims.

Sommer is represented by George Ripplinger of Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-83.

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