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Lawyer Sues Ex-Firm and Law Partner for Alleged Claims About Unsolved Murder, Bombing

Posted Nov 2, 2012 9:45 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A lawyer who claims a former law partner falsely alleged he was responsible for an unsolved murder has filed a suit for defamation and tortious interference.

Mark Bates filed the suit on Oct. 25 in St. Louis County Circuit Court, report the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Courthouse News Service. Bates is a former partner in the Clayton, Mo., law firm once known as Boggs, Boggs & Bates; the 2006 shooting death of another lawyer at the firm remains unsolved.

Bates alleges his former law partner, Beth Boggs, made false statements to members of her firm that he was responsible for the murder, that he had gambling debts, that he was going through a divorce, and that he had an illegal assault weapon in his vehicle, the stories say. He also alleges Boggs caused him to lose two out of 300 clients he took with him when he left his firm in 2008 by alleging Bates was a suspect in the 2010 fire-bombing of the Boggs' St. Louis home. He claims she made similar statements to his new law firm this July, causing him to lose his job.

Boggs is named as a defendant along with her law firm, now known as Boggs, Avellino, Lach & Boggs.

Boggs and her husband sued Bates in September, accusing him participating in the fire-bombing. Her lawyer, Dan Curry, told the Post-Dispatch she didn’t make any of the alleged statements with one exception: a claim that Bates was being investigated in the fire-bombing. The suit has no merit, Curry said.

Bates has not been charged in either crime, though court records indicate he was taped buying materials that could be used to make a pipe bomb.

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