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July 10, 2013

Asbestos Lawyer Sues Former Firm

An attorney accused of rampant misconduct in an asbestos case is suing his former firm, saying the firm should have paid his legal expenses.

The National Law Journal reports:

In 2007, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas Judge Harry Hanna issued the order accusing [lawyer Christopher] Andreas of multiple acts of misconduct, such as lying about how his client was exposed to asbestos in order to sue more defendants and obtain settlements, and then obstructing discovery during the judge’s investigation.

Hanna’s order has been cited frequently by critics of asbestos trusts who allege the claims process is cloaked in secrecy and encourages fraudulent filings. Last month, for instance, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee passed a bill that would require asbestos bankruptcy trusts to provide more information about their claims.

But Andreas, in his suit, claims that Brayton and his Novato, Calif., firm are to blame in the Ohio case.

Andreas says the firm obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars from a trust on behalf of a client then assigned him to sue a solvent company on behalf of the same client, leaving him to come up with explanations when the judge discovered the duplication.

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