SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CN) – The Illinois State Bar Association does not have to cover a $3.75 million legal malpractice judgment against Tom Lakin and the Lakin Law Firm. Sangamon County Judge Patrick Kelley ruled that Lakin breached the malpractice insurance policy by waiting 8 months to notify Bar Association Mutual of a lawsuit filed in Oklahoma.
Bar Association Mutual learned about the suit in April 2007 after an Oklahoma judge entered a default judgment against the Lakin firm.
The Oklahoma lawsuit was filed by Stephen Williams, a former Lakin client, who claimed the firm settled his personal injury claim and advised him to invest his award with SBU Inc. SBU’s James Gibson took the money and fled to Belize. He has since been arrested and sentenced to prison.
State Bar Mutual is seeking have the Lakin firm’s entire policy voided. The Bar claims the firm misrepresented facts when applying for the policy. The Lakin firm is in Wood River, 20 miles north of St. Louis.