Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla sat with attorneys in a long-running legal malpractice suit Tuesday morning to hammer out details of a Dec. 7 trial that is expected to last two weeks.

The case stems from a dispute between a doctor-lawyer and the law firm he claims should be responsible for part of a medical malpractice verdict levied against him.

Plaintiff Dr. Rocco Marrese, an orthopedic surgeon, lawyer and expert witness, is suing Gundlach, Lee, Eggmann, Boyle & Roessler of Belleville for more than $800,000 in damages.

Among the issues discussed at Tuesday's pre-trial conference were the length of time each party would require, how many days reading transcripts from the suit's original trial would take and how jury selection would be handled.

According to the complaint, Marrese operated on a man three times. Marrese was later sued over the operations by that patient, Mike Adams. The jury in the medical malpractice suit awarded Adams $1.8 million.

That verdict was later affirmed by the state Supreme Court on appeal.
Marrese's insurance only paid $1 million, he claims, and he is seeking the rest from the Gundlach firm.

Marrese's legal malpractice suit claims his lawyers were negligent in allowing Adams to call him as an adverse witness, for failing to employ a rehab expert and other claims.

The 2004 suit had formerly been assigned to then Madison County Circuit Judge Don Weber.

Marrese is represented by Glenn Bradford.

The law firm is represented by Brent Baldwin.

The case is Madison County case number 04-L-082.

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