Madison - St. Clair Record

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Attorney substitutes counsel in legal malpractice suit following former client’s motion to disqualify

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Mar 8, 2017

Attorney Michael Reid filed a substitution of counsel in a legal malpractice suit after a former client said he and O’Fallon attorney Amanda Kelton Bradley Verett have “antagonistic defenses” and cannot share counsel.

Circuit Judge William Mudge filed an order removing Roy Dripps of Armbruster Dripps Winterscheidt & Blotevogel LLC as counsel for Reid on March 3. He deemed the plaintiff’s motion to disqualify as moot.


Reid filed his notice of substitution of counsel on Feb. 23. Attorneys Lawrence Smith and Lee Karge of Brinker & Doyen LLP in Clayton, Mo., now represents the defendant.

Plaintiff Christopher Nolan filed the motion to disqualify counsel for the defendants on Feb. 14 through attorney and former Madison County Associate Judge Thomas Hildebrand of Granite City.

Nolan filed his complaint on Jan. 17 against Verett, who was suspended for 90 days in 2008 for her handling of a family law matter between Nolan and his ex-wife. He alleges Verett deviated from the standard of care of a reasonable attorney by filing and obtaining ex parte relief against his ex-wife and a Missouri hospital despite knowing she was not entitled to do so.

Reid also collected attorney’s fees for allegedly engaging in strategy conferences with Verett.

Nolan alleges he hired Verett in 2007 to represent him in an on-going dissolution case from his former wife Tanna Nolan. In the divorce, a Madison County court had enjoined Christopher Nolan from contacting his son’s doctors unless it was an emergency.

After the order was filed, Tanna Nolan scheduled a tonsillectomy for her son at Children’s Hospital in St. Louis.

Several days prior to the surgery, Verett filed a motion to stop the surgery from taking place, which was denied.

Verett filed a petition for damages in St. Louis City Circuit Court against the child's medical providers. She also filed an injunction to stop the surgery.

According to the ARDC, at a hearing before St. Louis Circuit Judge John Garvey, Verett failed to inform him that she had just had a hearing in Illinois on the same matter.

Garvey enjoined the surgery, appointed a guardian ad litem for the minor and ordered Tanna Nolan to be added as a party.

Verett later withdrew her petition after Tanna Nolan filed a motion to dismiss.

Garvey held a hearing and apologized to the lawyers for Children’s Hospital and Tanna Nolan, telling them that had he known that the issue was taken care of in Madison County he would have immediately denied Verett’s request.

In Nolan’s malpractice suit against Verett, he alleges that he was assessed $25,000 in attorney’s fees as a result of Verett’s alleged breach of contract and another $25,000 in fees in defending the assessment of attorney’s fees.

He alleges that Verett charged him $18,569.03 for services which not only provided no benefit, but also put him in a worse position.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 17-L-27

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Organizations in this Story

Armbruster, Dripps, Winterscheidt and Blotevogel Madison County Circuit Court