Enemies agree to be friends in class action against Hartford Insurance

By Steve Korris | Sep 14, 2007

Brad Lakin

Attorneys at Freed and Weiss in Chicago have battled the Lakin Law Firm of Wood River all year, but according to Freed and Weiss the feuding firms can successfully carry on a class action suit together.

Paul Weiss wrote Aug. 31 that lawsuits among the lawyers should not disrupt a class action they proposed against Hartford Insurance.

In March, when the Lakins kicked Freed and Weiss out of class actions they filed together, Freed and Weiss held on to half of the Hartford case.

Plaintiff Winnie Madison fired Freed and Weiss and kept the Lakins, while plaintiff Geraldine Huff fired the Lakins and kept Freed and Weiss.

Hartford attorneys argued that the split should prevent certification of Madison and Huff as class representatives.

Weiss responded that the firms could adequately represent a class.

He wrote that on Aug. 5, Brad Lakin "represented to the court that the Lakin Law Firm has and continues to work cooperatively with the Freed and Weiss firm…"

"Richard Burke entered as of counsel to Freed and Weiss and similarly represented to the court that their litigation notwithstanding, the Freed and Weiss firm intended to work cooperatively with the Lakin Law Firm in the prosecution of the litigation," Weiss wrote.

Burke left the Lakins last year, opened an office in association with Freed and Weiss, and sued the Lakins in federal court.

The Lakins sued Freed and Weiss in Madison County.

Freed and Weiss sued the Lakins in Cook County.

Weiss nevertheless wrote that as far as the Hartford case goes, "…there is no dispute between counsel."

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