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Chicago law firm asks justices to dismiss $103M fraud verdict

JACKSON — The Mississippi Supreme Court is to hear arguments today from a Chicago-based law firm seeking dismissal of a $103 million jury verdict to businessman Lavon Evans Jr. who claimed the firm defrauded him.

Evans sued in 2008 claiming the Baker & McKenzie firm defrauded his oil and gas business.

In 1999, Evans began drilling wells for businessman Reed Cagle, whose various businesses were represented by attorney Joel Held of Baker & McKenzie, according to the suit.

For the next several years, Cagle and Evans engaged in various business ventures while Held represented both men.

What Evans didn’t know, according to the suit, was that Cagle had no real assets and, despite an agreement that disallowed it, Cagle used Evans’ assets, with Held’s help, to obtain millions of dollars in loans.

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