JUST IN:

Restaurant shuts down abruptly at The Greene

Lawyer sued for ‘weekend raid’ of clients claims defamation


The local attorney who allegedly conducted a “weekend raid” of clients from his former law firm has denied those allegations and made a counterclaim of defamation.

Jack R. Hilgeman said in his answer to a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court lawsuit that Horenstein, Nicholson & Blumenthal (HN&B) made false statements that were published across various print and social media, including publication in the Dayton Daily News, Facebook, WHIO and other social media accounts.

“Plaintiff’s false statements about Defendants were defamatory and intended to injure Defendants in their trade or occupation and cause them special harm,” wrote Hilgeman’s attorney, Richard Boucher. “As a result of Plaintiff’s false statements, damages and malice are presumed.”

RELATED: Attorney sued for alleged ‘weekend raid’ of clients, joining new firm

Hilgeman also alleged that a third party, Fred Sommer III, a partner at HN&B, made false statements of fact in an affidavit about Hilgeman and defendants Christopher Cowan, John P. Hilgeman and the firm of Cowan & Hilgeman and promoted those statements before the public in a false light.

Boucher’s counterclaim seeks from visiting Judge Timothy Hogan a judgment in excess of $25,000 plus interest, costs, attorney fees, punitive damages and any other relief the court determines to be fair and equitable.

“We have adequately addressed the claims made by the plaintiff and Mr. Fred Sommer in our answers, counterclaim, third-party complaint and motions to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint,” Boucher said Monday.

FROM THIS REPORTER: Woman died in jail of bowel obstruction, not overdose

In the original complaint filed by plaintiff’s attorney Craig Matthews, HN&B charged that Jack Hilgeman sent an email of resignation at 9:45 p.m. on Friday, May 5.

“During the ensuing hours, Hilgeman secretly conducted a ‘weekend raid’ of information contained in the firm’s confidential files, copying the firm’s confidential data onto his own devices,” according to the complaint. “Hilgeman then hurriedly and without notice to or consent of the firm, used the firm’s confidential information to contact the firm’s clients for the purpose of inducing them to leave the firm and retain Hilgeman.”

The filing also included a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Hilgeman, who started at HN&B in May 2012.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow Mark Gokavi on Twitter or Facebook

Boucher has sought a stay to all proceedings pending an arbitration process, writing in one motion that “the claims are thinly disguised efforts to avoid mandatory administrative procedures for fee disputes between attorneys and are subject to arbitration.”

Matthews said Monday that the defendants broadly denied nearly all the allegations of the original complaint, even that Hilgeman was an associate attorney pursuant to the terms of an employment agreement, “although his signature appears on the employment agreement attached to the complaint.

“In this context they go on to claim the allegations of the complaint and the article published by this newspaper were ‘defamatory.’ Suffice it to say my clients trust the legal system and remain confident justice will prevail.”

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE MOBILE APPS FOR LATEST BREAKING NEWS



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

JUST IN: Restaurant shuts down abruptly at The Greene
JUST IN: Restaurant shuts down abruptly at The Greene

One of The Greene Town Center’s flagship restaurants shut down abruptly this morning, Sunday Sept. 24. McCormick & Schmick’s, a full-service seafood restaurant that has been open nearly as long as The Greene has, is closed permanently. “Our lease term came to an end, and due to rising real estate costs, we elected not to renew our...
Hamilton company finds niche designing beer labels
Hamilton company finds niche designing beer labels

A Cincinnati brewery’s newest beer has a Hamilton touch. Listermann Brewing Company has created a black IPA in honor of Kendi, the Cincinnati Zoo’s newest rhino baby. MORE: Cincinnati brewery creates black IPA for zoo’s black rhino The brewery said it decided to make the beer after selling out its Fiona-inspired IPA in May. And both...
Melania Trump meets Prince Harry on first solo trip abroad as first lady
Melania Trump meets Prince Harry on first solo trip abroad as first lady

Melania Trump has completed her first solo duty as first lady outside of the United States, participating in a meeting with Prince Harry ahead of the Invictus Games - the multi-sport international event Harry created for wounded, injured or sick armed services members, and leading the U.S. delegation for the Games. On Saturday, the first...
Local farmland values drop 24 percent, lowering tax bills
Local farmland values drop 24 percent, lowering tax bills

Cropland values in Montgomery County have dropped, but that has farmers looking up. An average 24 percent decline — which should reduce taxes on farmers in coming years — is the result of a recent change in the statewide formula that determines Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV). Farmers lobbied for the revision after land values rose...
Wow! Record number of Mason students earn National Merit honor
Wow! Record number of Mason students earn National Merit honor

Mason City Schools has set a new district record for the number of National Merit Semifinalists. Mason High School had 39 of its students recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Competition for 2018. MORE: Here’s a list of all the Butler, Warren National Merit honorees “We’re extremely proud of these Class of 2018 students who...
More Stories