Plaintiffs Robert and Elizabeth Wilson claim Hamel attorney Tom Burkart has not provided clear reasons why he needs an extension of time to respond to their lawsuit against him.

The Wilsons sued July 26 seeking to recover proceeds from a jury verdict they won more than a decade ago.

They claim Burkart represented them in a case that resulted in a $30,000 jury verdict, and that he held onto and then improperly withdrew part of the proceeds from the Bank of Edwardsville.

Burkart was a candidate for Madison County circuit judge in the Nov. 6 election, and lost the election to Kyle Napp.

He filed a motion to dismiss Nov. 7, stating the plaintiffs were unwilling to pay him for his work in connection with the underlying trial or endorse a check.

The Wilsons claim Burkart has failed to present relevant reasons what “pressing matters” prevented compliance and why an extension of time to answer should be granted.

“Such an ambiguous excuse fails to constitute good cause for this circuit court’s discretion to “come into play’,” the Wilsons say.

They claim that the failure to establish good cause demonstrates the defense’s pattern of sending pleadings in the late after-dusk hours before, or morning of a hearing or not at all, designed to the prejudice the plaintiffs and take them by surprise.

“Similarly, defendant seeks to file his answer the very day before an established Nov. 8 hearing; although defendant had notice of the issues since the Feb. 21,” the Wilsons claim.

“Defendant’s motion to file his answer the day before scheduled hearings is, simply, another repeat of procedural gamesmanship.

“Defendant’s motion is, further, defective as the certificate of service" is “signed without identifying just who executed the document; other than by a squiggle.

“Such an ambiguous signing, hardly, constitutes a 'certificate of counsel' and, again, is repetitive of a similar pattern as found throughout defendant’s pleadings in the secured record.”

Burkart requested additional time Sept. 13 to answer a lawsuit filed against him by former clients, citing “other pressing business.”

In an earlier ruling, associate Judge Clarence Harrison allowed Burkart until Oct. 31 to respond to the suit.

Madison County Case 12-L-1152

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