Madison - St. Clair Record

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Attorney joins divorce lawyer's motion for sanctions in former client's legal malpractice suit

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | May 16, 2017

An attorney has joined a previously suspended divorce attorney’s motion for sanctions against her former client and his attorney, former Madison County judge Thomas Hildebrand, for allegedly filing a frivolous legal malpractice suit that they knew was time bared.

On April 26, attorney Michael Reid joined the motion for sanctions filed by O’Fallon attorney Amanda Kelton Bradley Verett.

On April 7, defense attorney Roy Dripps of Armbruster Dripps Winterscheidt & Blotevogel LLC in Maryville requested an order sanctioning Hildebrand of Granite City and plaintiff Christopher Nolan. The request was filed on behalf of Verett.

Dripps argues that Hildebrand knew Nolan’s complaint was frivolous and filed it to extort money.

“The Court should sanction both plaintiff and plaintiff’s counsel for filing a frivolous suit not grounded in the law because the statute of limitations expired on this case nearly a decade ago,” the motion states.

Dripps also represented Reid before Nolan filed a motion to disqualify, arguing that Reid and Verett have “antagonistic defenses” and could not share counsel.

Reid is now represented in the case by Lawrence R. Smith and Lee J. Karge of Brinker & Doyen LLP in Clayton, Mo.

Verett was suspended for 90 days in 2008 for her handling of a family matter between Nolan and his ex-wife.

In his complaint, Nolan alleges Verett deviated from the standard of care of a reasonable attorney by filing and obtaining ex parte relief against his ex-wife, Tanna Nolan, 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.

In Nolan’s malpractice suit, he claims he was required to pay $25,000 in Tanna Nolan’s 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 also alleges Verett charged him $18,569.03 for services, which provided no benefit and 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