Brad Lakin of LakinChapman law firm fired lawyer Jeff Millar late last year, and Millar carried away three Madison County class actions as he departed.

Millar moved on Jan. 23 to substitute as counsel for LakinChapman in all three.

He attached letters of clients discharging LakinChapman and keeping him.

"On December 29, 2008, attorney Jeffrey A.J. Millar was terminated from the Lakin Law Firm P. C. by Bradley M. Lakin and Steven Schweizer," the motions read.

In an early signal of possible partnership, former Lakin lawyer Richard Burke entered an appearance in one of the cases on Jan. 8.

Brad Lakin fired Burke two years ago, and they have competed for control of class actions ever since.

Two of Millar's cases involve the same client, Lorie Marshall, suing the same defendant, H & R Block Tax Services.

In one, Associate Judge Ralph Mendelsohn has certified Marshall to lead a 13-state class action alleging H & R Block fraudulently sold "peace of mind" guarantees.

In the other, Marshall seeks to lead a four-state class action alleging fraudulent sales of electronic filing services.

Marshall filed an amended class certification motion in November, and Millar's name didn't appear on the motion.

Daniel Cohen signed it, with Lakin's name below.

In the third class action that Millar carried away, plaintiff Jessica Hall claims Sprint charged unreasonable fees for early termination.

Burke and his associates at Freed and Weiss in Chicago apparently settled a similar suit in New Jersey federal court last year.

At a hearing in December, Lakin asked Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth to interrupt the New Jersey proceedings.

Ruth denied relief, and Lakin appealed.

The appeal remains pending at the Fifth District in Mount Vernon.

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