Long legal battle takes bizarre turn
Defendants sue plaintiff’s attorney one day before trial
The most recent proceeding in a long-standing legal battle between a plaintiff and two defendants has stalled as the defendants in the case are suing the plaintiff’s attorney—serving a draft notice one day prior to the commencement of a long-awaited trial.
Missouri lawyer Lee Hardee III was forced to recuse himself from the case when he was notified while in court on the same case that Ken Logan and Quentin Kearney were suing him for abuse of process. Hardee was representing Jason Hartman, the plaintiff in the case.
Due to a conflict-of-interest, Hardee has filed a motion to withdraw, leaving Hartman without counsel just hours before the trial was scheduled to begin.
The case stems from a dispute over invoices billed to Hartman for property maintenance allegedly performed by Metrowide Building Services owned by Logan, according to Missouri Secretary of State corporate records. Hartman alleged the invoices he received were vague and listed none of the pertinent information regarding the work that was performed. He said he wanted a detailed invoice so he would know what work was performed, where it was performed and who did the work.
When he didn’t receive the information, Hartman recorded a video showing the invoices and posted it to the internet. That was the beginning of the eight-year legal feud between the parties.
In the documents handed to Hardee, the plaintiffs allege discovery abuse and lack of prosecution “to continue to be the Defendant’s playbook in Hartman 2 to drive up Plaintiffs’ costs and expense while refusing to consider any meaningful settlement.”
The plaintiffs, represented by attorney David Zeiler of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, alleged that Hardee filed a Doe lawsuit for the purpose of harassing by using the legal process to drive up legal fees and expenses, expend exorbitant amounts of time and cause emotional stress and strain.
According to Missouri Casenet, Hardee has yet to be officially served with the lawsuit, although the time for service has not expired.
Following the court proceeding and notice of being sued, Hardee fell ill and was admitted to the hospital.
This story will be updated as information becomes available.