United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
JOHN P. MEDGYESY, individually and in his capacity as trustee for JPM FAMILY TRUSTS, Plaintiff,
ERMA S. MEDGYESY, individually and in her capacity as co-trustee of the LSM Children Trust, et al., Defendant
For John P Medgyesy, Individually and in his Capacity as Trustee for JPM Family Trusts, Plaintiff: Giovanni D. Cicione, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Cicione & Associates, Barrington, RI; Nicola Tancredi, LEAD ATTORNEY, Nicola Tancredi, OakBrook Terrace, IL; Donald W. Devitt, James M. Magiera, Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, P.C., Chicago, IL; William Daniel Brejcha, Scopelitis Garvin Light Hanson & Feary, Chicago, IL.
For Erma S Medgyesy, Individually and in her Capacity as Co-Trustee of the LSM Children Trust, the Laura Descendants Trust and the L. Steven, Jr. Decendants Trust;, Laura L Medgyesy, Individually and in her Capacity as Trustee of the Hello It Is I Trust;, Laszlo Steven Medgyesy, Jr., Individually and in his Capacity as Trustee of the Hello It Is I Trust, and the Bubble Trust;, Defendants: Steven P. Blonder, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Much, Shelist, Freed, Denenberg, Ament & Rubenstein, P.C., Chicago, IL.
Jeffrey N. Cole, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
AMENDED MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Attorney Nicola Tancredi represents the plaintiffs in this matter. The defendants have come forward with evidence in the form of several emails from Mr. Tancredi that they claim shows he formerly provided legal services for the defendants in a related case. The defendants now ask that he be disqualified from representing the plaintiffs.
This case is a family squabble -- apparently a bitter one involving the Oscar Mayer heirs -- over the distribution of assets from a number of commingled trusts. On the one side, there is the plaintiff, John P. Medgyesy, acting as trustee for the " family trusts" ; on the other side there is the defendant, Erma Medgyesy, acting as trustee for the " LSM Children Trust." Mr. Tancredi, along with Giovanni Cicione, is currently representing the plaintiff. On March 8, 2013, the attorneys for both sides received a letter from another lawyer, Christopher Sheean, informing them that Mr. Tancredi had been engaged on behalf of both John P. and Erma Medgyesy -- as well as other defendants here, including Laura Medgyesy and Laszlo S. Medgyesy -- in a prior case regarding the trusts. Mr. Sheean included several pieces of correspondence he had received " from Mr. Tancredi during the time that he was engaged by [Mr. Sheean's] firm in this matter . . . ." ( Plaintiff's Exs., Dkt. # 31-1, page 2).
The correspondence consists of a number of Mr. Tancredi's own emails on which appear the familiar legend, " Attorney work product" and some of which bore the
email address of Mr. Tancredi's law office: " From: Nicola S. Tancredi < firstname.lastname@example.org> " . ( Plaintiff's Exs., Dkt. # 31-1, page 3, 6, 12, 13). One email indicated Mr. Tancredi wanted to review the pleadings in the case and discuss strategy. In it, he recommended removal of the trustee " given [his] multiple breaches of fiduciary duty." ( Plaintiff's Exs., Dkt. # 31-1, page 4). Another set up a meeting to discuss a plan about going forward with the case. ( Plaintiff's Exs., Dkt. # 31-1, page 5). In another, after Mr. Tancredi expressed eagerness to become involved in the case:
There are some aspects that might be potentially worthwhile from a practice area expertise standpoint in seeing how this case plays out. I am open to investing a certain amount of time for the value of seeing how the case plays out. . . . Like a surgeon who hears of an interesting operation, I would at least like a window into this one.
( Plaintiff's Exs., Dkt. # 31-1, page 12)(Emphasis supplied). The email is signed " Best regards, Law Offices of Nicola S. Tancredi." It, like every other email from Mr. Tancredi, was ...