U.S. District Judge David Herndon, former partner of Tom Lakin, recused himself May 30 from an Oklahoma man's effort to enforce a $3.7 million judgment against the Lakin Law Firm.
Stephen Williams obtained the judgment in April at federal court in Tulsa on a claim of legal malpractice.
On May 24 his attorney, David Herrold of Tulsa, filed a complaint for foreign judgment in federal court at East St. Louis.
Herrold moved to expedite an appearance by Tom Lakin's son Brad Lakin.
He wrote that the involvement of the Lakins in civil and criminal matters might impair their assets.
By random assignment the court assigned the case to Herndon and Magistrate Judge Donald Wilkerson.
When he recused himself the court randomly assigned the case to District Judge Michael Reagan.
On June 4 Reagan referred to Wilkerson the motion for Brad Lakin's expedited appearance.
The Lakins won a personal injury settlement for Williams and arranged payments for him through a structured settlement.
Payments for Williams and other Lakin clients stopped when the investor in charge of the funds, James Gibson, left the country with the funds.