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Hamilton and Zaffiri Secure Summary Judgment in Cole County Case

Kathleen Hamilton Brad Zaffiri

Kathleen Hamilton and Bradley Zaffiri have secured a summary judgment in a recent Cole County Case (John T. Impey v. Larry Joe Hart, et al., Cole County Circuit Court, 16AC-CC00046).

Plaintiff sued HeplerBroom’s client/Defendant for abuse of process and malicious prosecution following the Defendant’s underlying lawsuit against Plaintiff for libel/defamation, tortious interference with business expectancy, and declaratory judgment based on Plaintiff’s public comments concerning the client’s business relationships. The Court found that the underlying lawsuit was not an abuse of process. As a matter of law, the original action between these parties was confined to its regular and legitimate function. The Defendant’s underlying petition sought a declaratory judgment and requested injunctive relief to prohibit Plaintiff from making specific and allegedly false and defamatory statements about the Defendant. Defendant obtained the relief sought in the underlying lawsuit; therefore, the abuse of process claim failed as a matter of law. Additionally, the Court found that probable cause existed for the underlying lawsuit, further defeating Plaintiff’s allegations of abuse of process and malicious prosecution.

Both Hamilton (a partner) and Zaffiri (an associate attorney) work in the firm’s St. Louis office and focus their practices on complex tort litigation. Each of the attorneys has been named to the list of Rising Stars by Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers.