Trials & Litigation

Ex-Miss USA contestant told to pay Donald Trump $5M files malpractice suit against her former lawyer

  • Print.


Donald Trump.
Joe Seer

Ordered to pay $5 million to Donald Trump earlier this year in a federal-court ruling upholding an award in a defamation and breach-of-contract arbitration she didn’t attend, an ex-participant in his Miss USA contest has now sued her former lawyer.

Sheena Monnin is not alone in blaming attorney Richard Klineburger III of Klineburger & Nussey in Haddonfield, N.J.; the federal judge who enforced the New York arbitration award also criticized the lawyer, the New Jersey Law Journal (sub. req.) reports. Monnin was “faced with dire consequences due, in no small part, to her counsel’s ineptitude,” wrote U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken, citing Klineburger’s absence during arbitration and his failure to present evidence.

However, Oetken denied Monnin’s bid to vacate the arbitration award due to ineffective assistance of counsel and, represented by a new lawyer, she filed suit against Klineberger in Camden County Superior Court earlier this month contending that he failed to represent her with reasonable diligence and promptness.

Lawyers for both sides declined comment when contacted by the New Jersey Law Journal.

See also: “Ex-Miss USA contestant must pay $5M to Donald Trump; judge blames her ‘poor choice of counsel’”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.