News and Events for Attorneys and Executives

Husch Blackwell Beats Suit Alleging It Tried to Silence Critic of Wealthy Client

A Missouri ruling is likely to end a contentious nine-year dispute between a local activist who claims that Husch Blackwell LLP, an AmLaw 100 firm — used the legal system to squelch his speech rights, according to Bloomberg Law.

Reporter Samson Habte explains that the court’s April 23 opinion highlights the difficulty of proving two types of tort claim — malicious prosecution and abuse of process — that disgruntled litigants could try to use to turn the tables on opposing parties and their lawyers.

The dispute started when John T. Impey ran for a school board seat  and campaigned against a $3 million bond proposal that L.J. Hart & Co. and its owner, Larry Joe Hart, underwrote. Husch Blackwell brought defamation and tortious interference lawsuit against Impey on Hart’s behalf.

The firm obtained a preliminary injunction that prohibited Impey from repeating some accusations against Hart; but when the campaign ended — and the bond initiative failed — Husch Blackwell advised Hart to drop the defamation case.

Read the Bloomberg article.