Attorneys hit with legal malpractice suit stemming from ownership dispute at Rocky's restaurant

By Annie Cosby | Apr 24, 2014

A Cook County man is suing two lawyers, claiming their negligence allowed his business partner to oust him from the management of their Bridgeport restaurant.

Gregg Cerino filed a lawsuit April 11 in the Cook County Circuit Court against Timothy Fitzgerald and Melissa B. Hursey, citing legal malpractice.

According to the complaint, Cerino in March 2009 purchased a restaurant on West 31st Street, which he re-opened as Rocky's. The suit states he hired the attorney defendants to incorporate the business, with him serving as the 70 percent shareholder and his business partner, Frank Rende, as the 30 percent minority shareholder.

After several attempts to collect the $30,000 from Rende for his interest in the business, Cerino alleges Rende denied owing him money and was informed the defendants had incorporated the business with Cerino and Rende as equal owners.

Rende subsequently ousted Cerino from the premises in October 2009.

Cerino is seeking more than $50,000 in damages and is being represented in the case by attorneys Donald L. Johnson and Carl H. Dreyer Jr.

Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 2014L004347.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed in the Cook County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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