Big Problem at the Law Office

      ST. LOUIS - A disgruntled former partner in a law firm fire-bombed his former partners' house, the husband-and-wife legal managers claim in court.
     Thomas and Beth Boggs sued Mark R. Bates and Adam Doe in City Court. The Boggs manage the Boggs, Avellino, Lach & Boggs law firm in Clayton, Mo.
     "While a partner at the firm, Mr. Bates was caught forging documents and stealing, which was a source of animosity between the parties," the complaint states.
     The Boggs claim Bates was so upset after being fired that he went to a Home Depot on Sept. 24, 2010 to buy materials to make homemade bombs.
     The Boggs claim Bates and his Adam Doe accomplice came to their south St. Louis city home on Oct. 1, 2010 to set off the bombs.
     "While they slept, defendant Bates and/or his conspirator doused the back of the Boggs' home with lacquer thinner," the complaint states.
     "Then Bates and/or a conspirator set one pipe bomb by the Boggs' garage, and set another pipe bomb at the back of their house beside a propane tank.
     "The bombs exploded. The back of the house caught fire."
     The Boggs say the first explosion woke them up and Beth Boggs got cuts on her hands from broken glass. They say the second bomb went off as they scrambled around their house.
     Beth Boggs says she went outside in her bare feet to find the back of her house on fire. She claims the concrete porch was so hot that it burned her feet.
     The Boggs say their property sustained more than $10,000 in damages, their car was damaged, they had to install and maintain a home surveillance system and they continue to suffer anxiety, fear, emotional distress and mental anguish.
     They seek punitive damages for battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, criminal trespass and conspiracy.
     They also want the judge to ban Bates or any of his agents from coming within 1,000 feet of them, their home or place of work.
     In 2011, St. Louis County Circuit Judge Thomas J. Prebil denied the Boggs' request for an order of protection from Bates, who left the firm in 2008.
     In that hearing, Bates testified that he had no ill will towards the Boggs and invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to answer several questions, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
     Judge Prebil acknowledged the seriousness of the case, but found that the Boggs' case did not meet the legal requirements for an order of protection.
     Courthouse News could find no pending criminal charges against Bates related to the bombing, but the latest complaint includes a CD showing a Home Depot video, allegedly of Bates buying materials for the pipe bombs.
     The Boggs are represented by Dan Curry, with Randles, Mata & Brown, of Kansas City, Mo.
     The Boggs' law firm is no stranger to strangeness. In 2006, Ernest Brasier, a partner in the firm, was found murdered at his desk. He had been shot in the head. The homicide remains unsolved.