A hearing over a move to bring a prominent asbestos attorney back into a legal malpractice suit brought by a former client has been moved.

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder had been slated to hear arguments on the matter Friday.

However, attorneys for John Simmons and the Simmons Law Firm LLC filed a notice of hearing March 3 changing the Friday hearing to March 11.

Simmons was granted summary judgment in the suit brought by former client Judy Buckles five years ago. However, during dueling summary judgment arguments between Buckles and the remaining defendants affiliated with the former Hopkins Goldenberg law firm, Simmons' role in the case quickly took center stage.

Buckles then filed a motion Feb. 19 asking Crowder to vacate Simmons' summary judgment, bringing him back into the lawsuit.

Buckles is suing the Goldenberg firm – now known as Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli, Rowland & Short – for allegedly allowing her legal claims related to her husband's mesothelioma death to lapse before she could secure satisfactory settlements.

Buckles settled the underlying case for $750,000.

The Goldenberg defendants argued during the Feb. 8 summary judgments hearing that Simmons, who took over Buckles' cases, was to blame.

Crowder took the summary judgments under advisement but advised both parties that Simmons needed to be back in the case, in her opinion. The February trial date was then pushed off.

Crowder denied both parties' summary judgment motions March 2.

The March 11 hearing is at 9 a.m.

Buckles originally brought the suit in 2001 before refiling in 2006.
Crowder heard Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack's asbestos motion docket Friday while Stack heard her motion docket across the hall.

Crowder is slated to take over the asbestos docket when Stack retires in December.

Buckles is represented by Roy Dripps of St. Louis.

The Goldenberg firm is represented by John Papa of Granite City and Daniel Konicek of Geneva.

Simmons is represented by A.J. Bronsky of St. Louis.

Defendant William Miller is representing himself.

The case is Madison case number 06-L-588.

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