FROM THE BENTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 04CV-15-64]
HONORABLE XOLLIE DUNCAN, JUDGE
Johnson, Vorhees and Martucci Law Firm, by: Glenn Gulick, for
PHILLIP T. WHITEAKER, JUDGE.
one-brief appeal, appellants William and Bettie Schernikau
contend that the Benton County Circuit Court erred in
enforcing an attorney's lien in favor of appellee
Jeremiah Pearson. Because of multiple problems with the
record, abstract, and addendum, however, we are unable to
reach the merits of the Schernikaus' arguments at this
case originally began as a personal-injury case arising out
of a motor-vehicle accident allegedly caused by appellee Beau
Williamson in June 2012. The Schernikaus were
initially represented by appellee Pearson. At some point, the
Schernikaus terminated Pearson's employment, and they
hired their current counsel, Glenn Gulick, who settled the
case in July 2016. It is unclear from the record and addendum
exactly what transpired between the two attorneys over the
next few weeks, but Gulick wrote to Pearson in August 2016 to
"advise as to the amount of quantum meruit claim [he
was] asserting for attorney's fees." Apparently,
Pearson did not respond to this communication.
on behalf of the Schernikaus, subsequently filed a
"Motion to Determine Attorney's Lien" in
September 2016, asking the circuit court to
"adjudicat[e] the alleged lien of Jeremiah Pearson who
was discharged by plaintiffs prior to suit being filed in
this case." Pearson responded and stated that the
Schernikaus were "made aware of his right to claim his
attorney's lien and expenses in a letter dated January 3,
2014." Pearson purported to attach a copy of this letter
as exhibit A, but the letter does not appear in the record.
hearing on the Schernikaus' motion, neither attorney
called witnesses, but the court and counsel discussed the
fact that the Schernikaus had given videotaped depositions
and that the court had a copy of the videotapes and the
transcripts of those depositions:
Court: All right, counsel, tell me how you want to proceed.
Mr. Gulick, I don't know if you want to call witnesses,
if you just want to-I know you left for my office a notebook
that looks about like that.
Gulick: Yes, Your Honor. When we had a telephone conference
with the Court,-
Gulick: -you had indicated a preference that-that depositions
be taken and submitted to the Court for consideration.
We-we've done that. It-everybody's been-I think
it's important that a deposition has been ...