Divorce attorney argues he fulfilled duties in response to legal malpractice lawsuit

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Apr 6, 2015


An attorney accused of legal malpractice for his work in a divorce proceeding argues he fulfilled his responsibilities in the case and was hindered by the plaintiff’s refusal to take depositions.

In Christine Wasem’s Nov. 13 complaint, she claims she hired defendants Neubauer and Johnston and Terry J. Neubauer to represent her in a proceeding her husband filed against her in 2011.

However, she alleges they failed to properly advise her of her rights in the case, failed to inform her of the settlement offer her husband made and failed to properly name a qualified expert witness on the issue of the value of the business she and her husband owned, the suit states.

As a result, the only evidence concerning the value of the business Wasem and her former husband owned was that offered by him, which “severely” debilitated her case and forced her to settle, the complaint states.

Wasem claims she suffered mental anguish, incurred legal costs and suffered damages.

Naubauer denied the allegations against him in his Jan. 12 answer. He argues that Wasem’s claims are barred by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

“Furthermore, during the course of defendant’s representation of plaintiff in the dissolution of marriage proceeding at issue in this matter, defendant complied with and fulfilled all of his responsibilities as set forth in the aforementioned statement,” the answer states.

Naubauer also argues that the plaintiff’s claim is barred because she “did not authorize defendant to take depositions or disclose expert witnesses in the underlying dissolution of marriage proceeding.”

In her complaint, Wasem seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus pre-judgment interest and costs.

Circuit Judge Andrew Gleeson scheduled a status conference for May 11 at 9 a.m.

Richard B. Korn and Michael E. Donelson of Fox Galvin LLC in St. Louis represent the defendants.

Matthew C. Casey of Casey and Devoti in St. Louis represents Wasem.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 14-L-754

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