$125,000 Check Ends Law Partnership

     CLAYTON, Mo. (CN) – A lawyer swiped $125,000 from her law office and left her partner on the hook for other expenses, the partner claims in court.
     Deborah Greider sued Anne M. Hillyer in St. Louis County Court.
     The two formed the GreiderHillyer general partnership in Clayton, Mo., which lasted from April 2011 to Sept. 15, 2012, Greider says in the complaint.
     Each partner made an initial $4,000 capital contribution and agreed to other operating conditions, the complaint states.
     Greider claims Hillyer breached the agreement by the way she handled a $128,219 check for attorney’s fees and costs in the “L.N. case,” which the firm settled.
     “Defendant Hillyer signed for the L.N. check and then, for nearly two weeks, held on to the check, failing to inform plaintiff Greider and GreiderHillyer staff that she had received the L.N. check,” the complaint states.
     It continues: “During this period of time, defendant Hillyer unsuccessfully attempted to cash the L.N. check rather than deposit it.
     “When she was unable to cash the L.N. check, defendant Hillyer deposited it in the GreiderHillyer account on September 4, 2012, but did not inform plaintiff Greider or GreiderHillyer staff that the check had been received or deposited.
     “Staff for GreiderHillyer noticed the deposit when conducting online banking, and, thereupon, defendant Hillyer told staff that she wanted to surprise plaintiff Greider with the check,” according to the complaint.
     Greider claims that before the L.N. check cleared, Hillyer used a law office check to write herself a $125,000 check from the firm’s account. When Greider discovered this, she says, she immediately demanded that the money be put back into the firm’s account, but Hillyer refused.
     Greider says Hillyer then claimed for the first time that the L.N. fee was all hers because she began working on the case before the GreiderHillyer partnership was formed.
     Greider claims Hillyer left the firm on the hook for other expenses, including more than $20,000 in miscellaneous and credit card expenses and $34,000 for rent.
     Greider seeks $104,337.58 in actual damages, and punitive damages, for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties and conversion.
     She is represented by Gary K. Burger Jr. of Cantor & Burger in St. Louis.

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