Putnam attorney sued for legal malpractice

By Chris Dickerson | Jan 15, 2008

WINFIELD – A Putnam County man has filed a legal malpractice lawsuit, claiming his attorney attended meetings apparently drunk and otherwise failed to meet his professional obligations.

Alan I. Fleischmann filed his complaint pro se Jan. 10 in Putnam Circuit Court against Bradford W. Deel. He seeks $653,948 in damages for Deel's alleged breach of contract.

According to his complaint, Fleischmann retained Deel to help him with a 2004 case, which ended up in federal court, that alleged Fleischmann was wrongfully terminated by his employer -- PRG-Schultz USA Inc. -- for serving jury duty. The suit also says Fleischmann was owed money and not paid for work performed for his employer.

Fleischmann says Deel told him a substantial portion of the damages "would be recoverable."

Fleischmann says Deel accompanied him to several depositions throughout 2005 and 2006, but that he "failed to follow up on any deposition questions, and he failed (to) make contact or get depositions from any of the seven witnesses provided to him by me."

He says he also gave Deel physical and date documentation supporting his case, but Deel "appeared at both meetings apparently intoxicated, and failed to retain the information I tried to provide."

Fleischmann says he e-mailed the information to Deel, but he failed to act on it. And Deel failed to respond to numerous e-mail and phone requests for an update on the case, the complaint states.

On Dec. 1, 2005, PRG-Schultz filed a motion for summary judgment. Deel failed to respond, according to the complaint, and the case was dismissed Jan. 10, 2006.

Fleischmann says he learned on Feb. 8, 2006, that he and Deel had 24 hours to filed for reinstatement of the case. Fleischmann said he contacted Deel, who said he "was busy" and wouldn't do anything about it.

"I have not heard from Attorney Deel since that date," Fleischmann wrote in his complaint.

Fleischmann says Deel was disciplined by the State Bar during the same time period "on several occasions for similar misconduct on several other cases."

Deel worked for the state Attorney General's office for six years, including two years in consumer protection. He left the AG's office in 2000 and formed Deel Law Offices in 2001.

Fleischmann maintains Deel engaged in willful misconduct, fraud or an entire want of care that would raise the presumption of conscious indifference and intentional disregard of his rights. So he seeks damages plus interest and penalties.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Ed Eagloski.

Putnam Circuit Court case number: 08-C-11

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