EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - A $50 million countersuit filed by the troubled Lakin law firm was baseless, an attorney says in a claim of malicious prosecution in Madison County Court. The Lakins' countersuit was dismissed.
Attorney Ed Unsell originally sued the firm, Tom Lakin, Brad Lakin and Kristopher Lakin on April 21, 2006 on behalf of clients who claimed Tom Lakin sexually abused two minor boys and that Brad and Kristopher Lakin attempted to cover up the abuse.
Shortly after that filing, Brad and Kristopher Lakin sued Unsell and his clients, claiming the Lakins were victims of a $50 million extortion scheme. The Lakins' countersuit was dismissed for lack of evidence.
Unsell claims the Lakins filed the countersuit to intimidate his clients, to preserve Lakin's reputation and to retaliate against his clients for filing the original suit. Unsell says Brad Lakin knew the countersuit allegations were false because he was involved in settlement negotiations after Unsell sued Tom Lakin.
A federal grand jury indicted Tom Lakin in April 2007 on charges similar to the allegations made by Unsell's clients. Tom Lakin faces a federal criminal trial in March. Unsell's civil suit against Tom Lakin has been stayed until Tom Lakin's criminal charges have been resolved.
Unsell and his clients seek $150,000 in actual damages and more than $150,000 in punitive damages. They are represented by Thomas Keefe of Belleville.