LOGAN – A Williamson attorney has been accused of legal malpractice after allegedly misrepresenting a man in divorce proceedings.
Jeffrey S. Simpkins and The Simpkins Law Office PLLC were named as defendants in a lawsuit filed Dec. 1 by Joshua Muncy of Chapmanville in Logan Circuit Court.
According to the complaint, Muncy hired Simpkins to represent him in divorce proceedings for $2,500. Muncy claims Simpkins did not adhere to the rules of the attorney-client relationship.
Muncy claims Simpkins visited his employer and discussed the divorce, Muncy’s alleged criminal activities and Muncy’s income with several co-workers. He says Simpkins also sent “intimidating and threatening” text messages to him.
In the five-count complaint, Muncy says Simpkins “failed to abide by the plaintiff’s decisions concerning the objectives of representation” and that “by revealing information relating to representation of the plaintiff when the plaintiff did not give informed consent, the disclosure(s) were not impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation, nor were the disclosure(s) permitted.”
Muncy claims Simpkins made false statements of material fact or law to third parties during his representation of Muncy, violating the West Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct. He also says Simpkins engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation and in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. He also claims Simpkins’ actions were intentional infliction of emotional distress “so severe that no reasonable person could be expected to endure it” and that Simpkins’ conduct was ‘atrocious, intolerable and so extreme and outrageous as to exceed the bounds of decency and was intolerable in a civil society.”
Muncy says he was gainfully employed, but he says Simpkins’ actions have prevented him from “attending to his usual occupation and has been damaged.”
The complaint does not elaborate on the nature of Simpkins' alleged actions.
Muncy says he has suffered mental anguish, severe and substantial emotional distress, loss of the capacity for enjoyment of life, past and future lost wages, will be precluded from engaging in normal activities and pursuits and was otherwise hurt, injured or caused to sustain losses.
Muncy seeks compensatory and punitive damages as well as exemplary damages. He also seeks court costs, attorney fees and other relief.
Muncy is represented by Jon D. Hoover of Hoover Andrews PLLC in Barboursville. He declined further comment on the matter, as did Simpkins.
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Joshua Butcher.
Logan Circuit Court case number 17-C-323