Trials & Litigation

Law firm leader's divorce is over, but bad breakup with his matrimonial attorney is ongoing

It took a little over a year for a 2012 divorce case between attorney Chris Hesse and his ex-wife to be resolved with a consent judgment.

But a bad breakup between the managing partner of a 16-attorney employment boutique based in St. Louis and his former matrimonial counsel is still ongoing, Missouri Lawyers Weekly reports in a lengthy article.

Hesse was sued in St. Louis County Circuit Court on Valentine’s day by Rosenblum Goldenhersh, described by the legal publication as “an old-line corporate and real estate firm.” The collection case sought $15,500 in discounted fees that the St. Louis firm said Hesse had failed to pay, plus $250,000 in punitive damages, based on a claim of misrepresentation.

Katrina Morgan, a partner of Hesse’s, declined to comment on the collection case, but observers anticipate that Hesse is likely to defend aggressively.

Attorneys can be difficult clients, because their legal expertise encourages them to second-guess their own counsel, attorney and divorce mediator Marta Papa told Missouri Lawyers Weekly.

Practitioners with unpaid bills often hesitate to sue, because “suits for fees trigger malpractice counterclaims,” said Karen McCarthy. She is president and chief executive of The Bar Plan, a malpractice insurer.

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