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Sirens & Gavels

Man shot in CdA in ‘09 sues lawyer

A Moses Lake man who was shot by a Coeur d'Alene businessman nearly two years ago in what a grand jury ruled was self defense is suing his civil attorney for malpractice.

Brandon R. Burgess alleges Spokane lawyer Lloyd Herman directed him to speak with a bankruptcy attorney to determine whether they needed to file a claim in bankruptcy court after Adam M. Johnson filed for bankruptcy.

Burgess said his father responded that the procedure would not discharge their claim, and Herman responded by not filing an adversarial proceeding against Johnson.

Herman says that's not true - he always told Burgess he needed to file a claim in bankruptcy court, but Burgess took the wrong advice.

“I never put him in touch with any bankruptcy lawyer. he told me he had a bankruptcy lawyer,” Herman said. “Instead of suing him he sued me”

Burgess is seeking damages to cover his medical expenses and others costs associated with the shooting. He had been seeking money from Johnson before his claim was dismissed because of the procedural error.

Herman said it's unlikely Burgess ever would have recovered civil damages after a grand jury rejected criminal charges against Johnson.

“The likelihood of them ever recovering once the state didn't charge him with a crime is slim or none,” Herman said.

Johnson was arrested on drug charges in Post Falls in April. He pleaded guilty to possession of heroin in November and is to be sentenced in January. The plea deal, which dropped a drug paraphernalia charge, calls for him to serve time in a local jail.


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