The law firm of Sauter Sullivan in St. Louis is proud to announce that Kevin Sullivan has been named as a 2015 winner in the category of “Attorneys Securing the Largest Reported Plaintiff Verdicts/Judgments” which is awarded by Missouri’s preeminent legal publication, Missouri Lawyers Weekly. Congratulations, Kevin! The Sauter Sullivan firm was co-counsel with the Thompson Coburn firm representing a client that had to sue its former lawyers for legal malpractice. According to Missouri Lawyers Weekly, the $10.5 Million verdict obtained on behalf of the client was the largest ever reported legal malpractice verdict/judgment in history in the State of Missouri
The case involved the touchy issue of Legal Malpractice, in which a lawyer is put in the position of having to sue another lawyer to protect the integrity of the legal profession and get justice for the clients of the attorneys who were negligent and caused them harm. “Integrity and professionalism are the cornerstones of the legal profession,” says Sullivan. “Certainly, we are all human and mistakes happen, and the courts have remedies available to correct mistakes made by attorneys. But if the lawyers at fault will not admit to their error or worse, try to cover it up, then the lawyers must be held accountable for their conduct. If we fail to hold the offending lawyers accountable, clients and the public will have no faith in the integrity of the legal system or the lawyers who work day in and day out within that system. That’s what happened in this case.”
The legal malpractice case was filed against the law firm of Green Jacobson on behalf of SKMDV Holdings, formerly known as DataVerify, a fraud risk evaluation company for mortgage lenders. DataVerify alleged that Green Jacobson made a drafting error in an asset sale agreement that cost the company millions of dollars in the company’s sale to a subsidiary of CBCInnovis, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. DataVerify further alleged that rather than admit his error and help his client fix it, the attorney involved tried to blame the client for the error and attempted to cover it up. This caused even more problems than the error itself. The jury found that Green Jacobson was indeed negligent, and awarded DataVerify the $10.5 Million verdict. The case was tried in St. Louis County Circuit Court in November, 2014 by Kevin Sullivan, along with Jan Paul Miller and Matt Guletz from the Thompson Coburn firm.
To prevail in any legal malpractice case, plaintiff attorneys have to be knowledgeable about the law in this area. More importantly, the lawyer needs to have the right kind of courtroom experience to communicate and educate a jury on what can be some difficult issues. His years of experience representing personal injury and car accident victims, his extensive knowledge of the law, and his decades of fighting in the courtroom for people’s rights made Kevin Sullivan an ideal choice for the role he played in this case. “We do all kinds of cases where people have been harmed or injured due to no fault of their own, including car and truck crashes, premises liability cases, slip and fall accidents, workers compensation…all kinds…and we’re proud of the verdicts and settlements we obtain for our clients,” says Sullivan. “This legal malpractice case is no different. Our clients were wronged, and our efforts helped them get the fair compensation they deserved.”
When asked how he felt about being named as one of the attorneys securing the largest reported plaintiff verdicts/judgments in 2014, and helping win $10.5 Million for his clients – the largest judgment of its kind ever in Missouri – Sullivan remains characteristically modest. “It’s an honor to be recognized by Missouri Lawyers Weekly…it’s the bible for attorneys in Missouri…almost all of us read it, so it’s nice to be recognized by my peers. But me winning awards isn’t what we are about at Sauter Sullivan. We help people, and we have been representing people in Missouri and Illinois courts for decades. We believe that the attorneys at our firm are among the best at what we do, so our clients can count on us to help them get what they deserve. That’s what really matters, and that’s what makes me feel good about what we do.”