Motion to recuse filed in Results Property Management case
The ongoing legal battle between Jason Hartman and Results Property Management principals Ken Logan and Quentin Kearney continues. Now Hartman’s attorney is calling for the disqualification of the attorney for Results Property Management.
Missouri lawyer Lee Hardee III was forced to recuse himself from the case in early August, after he was notified while in court on the same case that Logan and Kearney were suing him for abuse of process. Hardee was representing Hartman, the plaintiff in the case.
Due to a conflict-of-interest, Hardee filed a motion to withdraw, leaving Hartman without counsel hours before the trial was to begin.
In a November 13 filing, Hartman’s new attorney, Kenneth Caldwell, asked the court to disqualify defendants’ co-counsel David Zeiler due to “extraordinary circumstances.”
“On August 5, 2018, during the deposition of plaintiff Jason Hartman by defendants’ co-counsel Michael Hughes, something extraordinary occurred. Just before plaintiff’s counsel, Lee Hardee was to ask follow up questions of his client, defendants’ co-counsel David Zeiler threatened Hardee personally with a lawsuit, if Hardee did not dismiss Hartman’s claims against his clients in a separate, unrelated case. At the same time, Zeiler handed Hardee a copy of the lawsuit he intended to file against Hardee for Abuse of Process,” Caldwell wrote in his petition. “Hardee had no authority to dismiss his client’s lawsuit in the other case and Zeiler subsequently filed the lawsuit against Hardee the same day.”
Caldwell’s motion continued: “Zeiler’s threat of, and subsequent action of filing a lawsuit against Hardee (who was Hartman’s agent by virtue of the attorney-client relationship), by any definition was an abusive litigation tactic and seriously rattled Hardee and interfered with Hardee’s ability to finish the Hartman deposition. It likewise interfered with his ability to take the Kearney deposition on August 7, 2018. Zeiler intentionally used this abusive litigation tactic to gain an unfair litigation advantage in this case.”
Results Property Management case origins
The case stems from a dispute over invoices billed to Hartman for property maintenance allegedly performed by Metrowide Building Services, a firm 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 performed. He requested a detailed invoice as to what specific work was performed, where it was performed, and by whom.
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.
Caldwell said he entered his appearance on September 20 but only recently received Hardee’s voluminous file. “As far as the undersigned can gather from a brief review of the lengthy history of the case, depositions remain to be taken, there are hundreds of files to pore through, there are numerous deposition transcripts to review, pre-trial proceedings are just around the corner, and a trial is scheduled to begin on February 11, 2019,” Caldwell noted.
Caldwell alleges that Zeiler, Kearney, and Logan “obviously knew and intended that their lawsuit against Hardee put Hartman at a serious disadvantage in preparing for trial.”
Court documents show that Hardee fell ill and was hospitalized after the August court proceeding. Although Hartman tried to depose Kearney directly pro se, Kearney’s counsel, Hughes, substantially interfered by answering deposition questions meant for Kearney, who refused to respond to most of the questions.
Due to the circumstances and defendant’s counsel’s interference as supported by the affidavit of Hartman, Caldwell also asked the court to allow the right to take (re-take) Kearney’s deposition.
As of today, the court has not answered the request.