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Our previous coverage of the lawsuit filed by Lathrop & Gage in December 2008 (08JO-CV02002) in regard to their work on the 2006 Johnson County election recount case:

The Johnson County recount case is finally over – for sure, sort of

Some of our previous coverage of the recount for the Johnson County Auditor and Johnson County Prosecuting Attorney races in that General Election:

The Johnson County recount case is finally over

Coughing up a giant hairball: the Western Court of Appeals rules on the Johnson County recount case

The Missouri Supreme Court issues rules governing the Missouri Bar and the Judiciary on various things like procedure and conduct. Rule 4-1.5 (b) on “Client-Lawyer Relationship – Fees” currently states (at the Missouri Courts web site):

…(b) The scope of the representation and the basis or rate of the fee and expenses for which the client will be responsible shall be communicated to the client, preferably in writing, before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation, except when the lawyer will charge a regularly represented client on the same basis or rate. Any changes in the basis or rate of the fee or expenses shall also be communicated to the client…

(Adopted August 19, 1994, eff. September 1, 1995, Rev. July 1, 2007, Amended October 2, 2007, eff. January 1, 2008)

The Johnson County recount case started in December of 2006. One might note that the current rule has been amended since then. I found a print copy of Missouri Court Rules, Volume I from March 2006 in a library:

4-1.5. Fees

…(b) When the lawyer has not regularly represented the client, the basis or rate of the fee shall be communicated to the client, preferably in writing, before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation…

It is also possible that the rule was revised between March and December 2006.

A few definitions:

quantum meruit

…n. Latin for “as much as he deserved,” the actual value of services performed. Quantum meruit determines the amount to be paid for services when no contract exists or when there is doubt as to the amount due for the work performed but done under circumstances when payment could be expected….

estoppel…bars a person from adopting a position in court that contradicts his or her past statements or actions when that contradictory stance would be unfair to another person who relied on the original position…

The case file (43 pages, $10.75 in copying costs, available from the Circuit Court Clerk in Johnson County) includes a “Circuit Court Docket Sheet”; a “Judge’s Docket Sheet”; a “Notice of Entry”; a dismissal filing; a fax cover letter; a fax cover sheet; “Notice to make Video Deposition” for Amy Blunt, Gene Paul Bradshaw, Thor Hearne, Steven McCarten, and Dave Zeiler; an “Answer of Defendant Teresa Collins”; an “Answer of Defendant Lynn Stoppy-Brackin”; two copies of forms for “Summons in Civil Case”; an “Order for Appointment of Private Process Server”; a “Motion for Approval and Appointment of Private Process Servers”; and the lawsuit petition filed on behalf of Lathrop & Gage.

First, the lawsuit petition, filed on December 15, 2008:

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF JOHNSON COUNTY, MISSOURI

LATHROP & GAGE, L.C., a Missouri

Limited liability company,

Plaintiff,

vs.

TERESA COLLINS,…

and

LYNN STOPPY-BRACKIN,…

Defendants.

Case No. O8JO-CV02002

Division No. I

[Filed Dec 15 2008]

PETITION

(Action on Account and Quantum Meruit)

Plaintiff, Lathrop & Gage L.C., by and through counsel, and for its petition against defendants Teresa Collins and Lynn Stoppy-Brackin, jointly and severally (collectively, the “Defendants”), states and alleges as follows:

FACTS APPLICABLE TO ALL COUNTS

1. Lathrop & Gage L.C. (“L&G”) is a Missouri limited liability company in good standing and organized under the laws of Missouri. The principal place of business for Lathrop & Gage L.C. is…Kansas City, Missouri…

2. Teresa Collins is an individual residing in Johnson County, Missouri….

3. Lynn Stoppy-Brackin is an individual residing in Johnson County, Missouri….

4. This Court has jurisdiction over the parties and venue is proper, as the services which are the basis of this lawsuit were performed in Jackson County, Missouri.

COUNT I- ACTION ON ACCOUNT

5. L&G restates and incorporates the allegations in paragraphs 1 through 4.

6. On or about December 13, 2006, Defendants employed L&G to provide legal services.

7. At Defendants’ request, L&G represented Defendants on election law issues.

8. Defendants agreed that L&G would provide legal services and advance costs to represent Defendants in exchange for payment at L&G’s ordinary and customary rates for those legal services and costs.

9. At Defendants’ request, L&G provided legal services to Defendants at L&G’s ordinary and customary rates for those services.

10. Defendants agreed that they would pay L&G its ordinary and customary rates for the services it provided to Defendants.

11. L&G’s charges for services and costs advanced were fair, reasonable, and customary for this community given the type of work being performed.

12. As of December 1,2008, Defendant Teresa Collins owed L&O $78,402.45 for the services that L&G provided to, and the costs that L&G advanced on behalf of, Defendants.

13. As of December 1, 2008, Defendant Lynn Stoppy-Brackin owed L&G $24,304.46 for the services that L&G provided to, and the costs that L&G advanced on behalf of, Defendants.

14. Despite L&G’s demand on Defendants for payment, and Defendants’ assurances to L&G that Defendants would pay L&G in full for its services rendered to Defendants, they have failed to pay the amounts owed on the account.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff Lathrop & Gage L,C. respectfully requests that the Court enter Judgment in L&G’s favor and against Defendant Teresa Collins on Count I of the Petition in the amount of $78,402.45, with interest at the statutory rate and the costs incurred in bringing this action, and such other and further relief as is just and proper under the circumstances, and against Defendant Lynn Stoppy-Brackin on Count I of the Petition in the amount of $24,304.46, with interest at the statutory rate and the costs incurred in bringing this action, and such other and further relief as is just and proper under the circumstances.

COUNT II- BREACH OF CONTRACT

15. L&G restates and incorporates the allegations in paragraphs 1 through 13.

16. L&G and Defendants entered into a written agreement whereby L&G agreed to provide legal services and advance costs to represent Defendants in exchange for payment at L&G’s ordinary and customary rates for those legal services and costs (the “Contract”).

17. Defendants breached the Contract by failing to pay for the legal services that L&G provided to, and the costs that L&G advanced on behalf of, Defendants.

18. L&G performed all of its obligations under the Contract.

19. As a direct result of Defendants’ breach of the Contract, L&O suffered damages.

20. L&G’s damages are $78,402.45 for the legal services provided to, and the costs advanced on behalf of, the Defendants.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff Lathrop & Gage L.C. respectfully requests that the Court enter Judgmen
t in L&G’s favor and against Defendant Teresa Collins on Count II of the Petition in the amount of $78,402.45, with interest at the statutory rate and the costs incurred in bringing this action, and such other and further relief as is just and proper under the circumstances, and against Defendant Lynn Stoppy-Brackin on Count I of the Petition in the amount of $24,304.46, with interest at the statutory rate and the costs incurred in bringing this action, and such other and further relief as is just and proper under the circumstances.

COUNT III

(Quantum Meruit)

21. L&G restates and incorporates by reference the allegations set forth in paragraphs 1 through 19 above.

22. L&G provided legal services and advanced costs at Defendants’ request and for their benefit

.

23. The fair and reasonable value for the unpaid portion of the services rendered and costs that L&G advanced to Teresa Collins is $78,402.45.

24. The fair and reasonable value for the unpaid portion of the services rendered and costs that L&G advanced to Lynn Stoppy-Brackin is $24,304.46.

25. Defendants accepted these legal services and costs advanced with full knowledge of their obligation to pay L&G for all amounts due and owing.

26. Despite demand that L&G made upon Defendants and their assurance to L&G that Defendants would pay L&G in full for its services rendered to Defendants, they have failed to pay L&G the reasonable value for the services rendered and costs advanced.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff Lathrop & Gage L.C. respectfiuly requests that the Court enter Judgment in L&G’s favor and against Defendant Teresa Collins on Count III of the Petition in the amount of $78,402.45, with interest at the statutory rate aral the costs incurred in bringing this action, and such other and further relief as is just and proper under the circumstances, and against Defendant Lynn Stoppy-Brackin on Count III of the Petition in the amount of $24,304.46, with interest at the statutory rate and the costs incurred in bringing this action, and such other and further relief as is just and proper under the circumstances.

Respectfully submitted,

LATHROP & GAGE L.C.

By:

Andrew T. Jones…

…Kansas City, Missouri…

ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFF LATHROP

& GAGE L.C.

[emphasis added]

Lynn Stoppy (r) is the current Johnson County Prosecuting Attorney (the 2006 race was the subject of the recount). Two years later she was an unsuccessful candidate for the open seat for Circuit Court Judge in the 17th Circuit, losing to Mike Wagner (D) in the 2008 General Election.

Lynn Stoppy’s attorneys filed her answer on December 31, 2008:

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF JOHNSON COUNTY, MISSOURI

LATHROP & GAGE, L.C., a Missouri

Limited liability company,

Plaintiff,

vs.

TERESA COLLINS and LYNN STOPPY-BRACKIN,

Defendants.

Case No: O8JO-CV02002

[Filed Dec 31 2008]

ANSWER OF DEFENDANT LYNN STOPPY-BRACKIN

Comes now Defendant, Lynn Stoppy-Brackin, and for her answer to the Petition states:

ALLEGED FACTS APPLICABLE TO ALL COUNTS

1. Lathrop & Gage, L.C. is a Missouri limited liability company in good standing and organized under the laws of Missouri. The principal place of business for Lathrop & Gage, L.C. is …Kansas City, Missouri…

2. Teresa Collins is an individual residing in Johnson County, Missouri….

3. Lynn Stoppy-Brackin is an individual residing in Johnson County, Missouri….

4. This court has jurisdiction over the parties and venue is proper, but each and every other allegation of paragraph 4 is denied.

COUNT I – ALLEGED ACTION ON ACCOUNT

5. Defendant, Lynn Stoppy-Brackin hereby restates and incorporates her responses in paragraphs 1 through 4.

6. Defendant, Lynn Stoppy-Brackin denies that she employed the plaintiff to provide legal services on or about December 13, 2006, or on any other day. The plaintiff undertook to provide legal services, but the plaintiff was not employed by the defendants, and the defendants did not agree to pay the plaintiff for legal services. The defendants were not involved in selection of the plaintiff to provide legal services and the defendants only permitted legal services to be provided by the plaintiff pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in Paragraph 6 of the Petition are denied.

7. Defendant, Lynn Stoppy-Brackin denies the allegation that the defendants requested the plaintiff to represent them on election law issues. Although, defendants permitted the plaintiff to provide representation to them on election law issues, the representation was provided pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 7 of the Petition are denied.

8. Defendants did not agree that the plaintiff would provide legal services and advance costs to represent defendants in exchange for payment of attorney fees or costs, and therefore, the allegations in paragraph 8 of the Petition are denied.

9. Defendants did not request plaintiff to provide legal services to defendants, but did permit the plaintiff to provide legal services. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff attorneys fees or expenses. Defendants permitted plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore the allegations in paragraph 9 of the Petition are denied.

10. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 10 of the Petition are denied.

11. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 11 of the Petition are denied.

12. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 13 of the Petition are denied.

13. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 13 of the Petition are denied.

14. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants, and the plaintiffs allegation that it has not been paid for the amount it is claiming in this lawsuit is accurate. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 14 of the Petition are denied.

WHEREFORE, de
fendant Lynn Stoppy-Brackin requests that the court enter judgment against the plaintiff and in favor of the defendants, and that the statutory court costs in this action be taxed to the plaintiff.

COUNT II-ALLEGED BREACH OF CONTRACT

15. Defendant Lynn Stoppy-Brackin restates and incorporates the allegations in paragraphs 1 through 14.

16. Defendants did not enter into a written agreement with plaintiff. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 16 of the Petition are denied.

17. Defendants did not enter into a written agreement with plaintiff and therefore did not breach a contract with plaintiff Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 17 of the Petition are denied.

18. Defendants did not enter into a contract with plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 18 of the Petition are denied.

19. Defendants did not enter into a contract with plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 19 of the Petition are denied.

20. Defendants did not enter into a contract with plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 20 of the Petition are denied.

WHEREFORE, defendant Lynn Stoppy-Brackin requests that the court enter judgment against the plaintiff and in favor of the defendants, and that the statutory court costs in this action be taxed to the plaintiff

COUNT III

(Alleged Quantum Meruit)

21. Defendant Lynn Stoppy-Brackin restates and incorporates by reference the allegations set forth in paragraph 1 through 20.

22. Defendants did not request plaintiff to provide legal services to defendants, but did permit the plaintiff to provide legal services. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff attorneys fees or expenses. Defendants permitted plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore the allegations in paragraph 22 of the Petition are denied.

23. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 23 of the Petition are denied.

24. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 24 of the Petition are denied.

25. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 25 of the Petition are denied.

26. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants, and the plaintiffs allegation that it has not been paid for the amount it is claiming in this lawsuit is accurate. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 26 of the Petition are denied.

WHEREFORE, defendant Lynn Stoppy-Brackin requests that the court enter judgment against the plaintiff and in favor of the defendants, and that the statutory court costs in this action be taxed to the plaintiff.

ADDITIONAL ALLEGATIONS AND DEFENSES

27. Each and every allegation in plaintiffs Petition not specifically admitted is hereby denied.

28. The allegations in Counts I, II, and III of the Petition failed to state claims on grounds for which relief may be granted, and further there is no legal or factual basis for the plaintiff to contend that joint and several liability could exist in this action.

29. The plaintiff undertook to provide legal services to the defendants without any reasonable expectation that defendants would compensate the plaintiff, or reimburse the plaintiff for legal services or costs advanced by the plaintiff. The plaintiff, knew, and reasonably should have known, that the defendants reasonably and justifiably relied upon representations of the individuals and entities who were involved in the engagement of the plaintiff in providing representation to the defendants that defendants would not become personally liable for payment of any attorney fees or costs advanced by the plaintiff, and that any attorney fees and costs that were to be paid would be paid by the individuals involved in selection of the plaintiff to provide legal services to the defendants. The doctrine of estoppel, therefore, applies as an additional defense in this action.

RAHM, RAHM & MeVAY, P.C.

KIRK RAHM…  

GAYLE McVAY…

…Warrensburg, MO…

…ATTORNEYS FOR DEFENDANT

LYNN STOPPY-BRACKIN

Teresa Collins (r) was the Johnson County Auditor for a few months in 2007 until the results of the recount for the 2006 election ended up reinstating Kay Dolan (Reynolds) (D) in the position.

Teresa Collins’ attorneys filed her answer on January 2, 2009:

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF JOHNSON COUNTY, MISSOURI

LATHROP & GAGE, L.C., a Missouri

Limited liability company,

Plaintiff,

vs.

TERESA COLLINS and LYNN STOPPY-BRACKIN,

Defendants.

Case No: O8JO-CV02002

[Filed Jan 02 2009]

ANSWER OF DEFENDANT TERESA COLLINS

Comes now Defendant, Teresa Collins, and for her answer to the Petition states:

ALLEGED FACTS APPLICABLE TO ALL COUNTS

1. Lathrop & Gage, L.C. is a Missouri limited liability company in good standing and organized under the laws of Missouri. The principal place of business for Lathrop & Gage, L.C. is…Kansas City, Missouri….

2. Teresa Collins is an individual residing in Johnson County, Missouri….

3. Lynn Stoppy-Brackin is an individual residing in Johnson County, Missouri….

4. This court has jurisdiction over the parties and venue is proper, but each and every other allegation of paragraph 4 is denied.

COUNT I ALLEGED ACTION ON ACCOUNT

5. Defendant, Teresa Collins hereby restates and incorporates her responses in paragraphs 1 through 4.

6. Defendant, Teresa Collins denies that she employed the plaintiff to provide legal services on or about December 13, 2006, or on any other day. The plaintiff undertook to provide legal services, but the plaintiff was not employed by the defendants, and the defendants did not agree to pay the plaintiff for legal services. The defendants were not involved in selection of the plaintiff to provide legal services and the defendants only permitted legal services to be provided by the plaintiff pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in Paragraph 6 of the Petition are denied.

7. Defendant, Teresa Collins denies the allegation that the defendants requested the plaintiff to represent them on election law issues. Although, defendants permitted the plaintiff to provide representation to them on election law issues, the
representation was provided pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 7 of the Petition are denied.

8. Defendants did not agree that the plaintiff would provide legal services and advance costs to represent defendants in exchange for payment of attorney fees or costs, and therefore, the allegations in paragraph 8 of the Petition are denied.

9. Defendants did not request plaintiff to provide legal services to defendants, but did permit the plaintiff to provide legal services. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff attorneys fees or expenses. Defendants permitted plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore the allegations in paragraph 9 of the Petition are denied.

10. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 10 of the Petition are denied.

11. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 11 of the Petition are denied.

12. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 13 of the Petition are denied.

13. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 13 of the Petition are denied.

14. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants, and the plaintiff’s allegation that it has not been paid for the amount it is claiming in this lawsuit is accurate. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 14 of the Petition are denied.

WHEREFORE, Defendant Teresa Collins requests that the court enter judgment against the plaintiff and in favor of the defendants, and that the statutory court costs in this action be taxed to. the plaintiff.

COUNT II-ALLEGED BREACH OF CONTRACT

15. Defendant Teresa Collins restates and incorporates the allegations in paragraphs 1 through 14.

16. Defendants did not enter into a written agreement with plaintiff. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 16 of the Petition are denied.

17. Defendants did not enter into a written agreement with plaintiff and therefore did not breach a contract with plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 17 of the Petition are denied.

18. Defendants did not enter into a contract with allegations in paragraph 18 of the Petition are denied.

19. Defendants did not enter into a contract with allegations in paragraph 19 of the Petition are denied.

20. Defendants did not enter into a contract with allegations in paragraph 20 of the Petition are denied.

WHEREFORE, Defendant Teresa Collins requests against the plaintiff and in favor of the defendants, and this action be taxed to the plaintiff

COUNT III

(Alleged Quantum Meruit)

21. Defendant Teresa Collins restates and incorporates by reference the

allegations set forth in paragraph 1 through 20.

22. Defendants did not request plaintiff to provide legal services to defendants, to but did permit the plaintiff to provide legal services. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff attorneys fees or expenses. Defendants permitted plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore the allegations in paragraph 22 of the Petition are denied.

23. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 23 of the Petition are denied.

24. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 24 of the Petition are denied.

25. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 25 of the Petition are denied.

26. Defendants did not agree to pay plaintiff for legal services provided to defendants, and the plaintiffs allegation that it has not been paid for the amount it is claiming in this lawsuit is accurate. Defendants did permit plaintiff to provide legal services pursuant to representations made to the defendants that they would not incur any responsibility for payment of attorney fees or litigation expenses because of services provided by the plaintiff. Therefore, the allegations in paragraph 26 of the Petition are denied.

WHEREFORE, Defendant Teresa Collins requests that the court enter judgment against the plaintiff and in favor of the defendants, and that the statutory court costs in this action be taxed to the plaintiff.

ADDITIONAL ALLEGATIONS AND DEFENSES

27. Each and every allegation in plaintiffs Petition not specifically admitted is hereby denied.

28. The allegations in Counts I, II, and III of the Petition failed to state claims on grounds for which relief may be granted, and further there is no legal or factual basis for the plaintiff to contend that joint and several liability could exist in this action.

29. The plaintiff undertook to provide legal services to the defendants without any reasonable expectation that defendants would compensate the plaintiff, or reimburse the plaintiff for legal services or costs advanced by the plaintiff. The plaintiff, knew, and reasonably should have known, that th
e defendants reasonably and justifiably relied upon representations of the individuals and entities who were involved in the engagement of the plaintiff in providing representation to the defendants that defendants would not become personally liable for payment of any attorney fees or costs advanced by the plaintiff, and that any attorney fees and costs that were to be paid would be paid by the individuals involved in selection of the plaintiff to provide legal services to the defendants. The doctrine of estoppel, therefore, applies as an additional defense in this action.

RAHM, RAHM & MeVAY, P.C.

KIRK RAHM…  

GAYLE McVAY…

…Warrensburg, MO…



ATTORNEYS FOR DEFENDANT

TERESA COLLINS

One sample of the deposition notices, also filed on January 2, 2009:

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF JOHNSON COUNTY, MISSOURI

LATHROP & GAGE, L.C., a Missouri

Limited liability company,

Plaintiff,

vs.

TERESA COLLINS and LYNN STOPPY-BRACKIN,

Defendants.

Case No: O8JO-CV02002

[Filed Jan 02 2009]

NOTICE TO TAKE VIDEO

DEPOSITION OF AMY BLUNT

You are hereby notified that the video deposition of Amy Blunt will be taken on Wednesday, Febuary 11, 2009 at the law offices of Rahm, Rahm & McVay…Warrensburg, Missouri, beginning at 1:00 p.m. and continuing until 5:00 p.m., or from day to day at the same time and place, between the same hours until completed. Said deposition will be video-recorded by designee of Legal Video Productions…Warrensburg, Missouri…

RAHM, RAHM & MeVAY, P.C.

KIRK RAHM…  

GAYLE McVAY…

…Warrensburg, MO…

…ATTORNEYS FOR DEFENDANTS

On January 14, 2009 the attorney for Lathrop & Gage filed a motion: “Comes Now Plaintiff Lathrop & Gage LLP f/k/a Lathrop & Gage L.C., and pursuant to Mo.R.Civ.P. 67.02(a) dismisses this civil action.”

On January 16, 2009 the “Notice of Entry” states: “Court takes up and grants motion to dismiss without prejudice. Costs taxed to plaintiff. [signed]JAC”