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Sutherland Summary Judgment Affirmed by Eighth Circuit in Malicious Prosecution Case

July 25, 2011

WASHINGTON (Monday, July 25, 2011) – Rejecting arguments that the district court erred in dismissing claims of malicious prosecution and false arrest, last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed a federal district court's summary judgment in favor of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP client Advance America, Cash Advance Centers of Missouri, Inc., a subsidiary of Advance America, Cash Advance Centers, Inc.

In Timothy R. Zike v. Advance America, Cash Advance Centers of Missouri, Inc., a former Advance America employee accused the payday lending company of malicious prosecution and false arrest for his alleged theft of four checks while he was employed with an Advance America retail center in Missouri. In May 2010, the district court granted Advance Americ's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the complaint concluding that Zike failed to create genuine issues of material fact which, if resolved in his favor, would support his claims.

In last week's decision, the Eighth Circuit agreed with the arguments advanced by Sutherland Partners Lewis S. Wiener and Gail L. Westover and Associate Brendan Ballard, stating that the trial court's summary judgment was proper and that Zike did not produce evidence sufficient to prove the necessary factors for malicious prosecution or false arrest under Missouri law.

"We are pleased with the court’s decision," said Mr. Wiener. "In this case, the plaintiff has not been able to provide any evidence to support his claims and the court rightfully saw through the hyperbole."

The lawsuit stemmed from Zike's criminal indictment in April 2006, in Randolph County, Missouri. The indictment was subsequently dismissed by prosecutors after essential witnesses could not be located.

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is a law firm with global reach known for solving challenging business problems and resolving sophisticated legal issues for many of the world’s largest companies. Founded in 1924, the firm handles matters throughout the United States and worldwide. Seven major practice areas—corporate, energy and environmental, financial services, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, and tax—provide the framework for an extensive range of focus areas, allowing Sutherland attorneys to serve a diverse client base that ranges from small and medium-sized start-up businesses to a significant number of Fortune 100 companies.

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