A jury has returned a $7.3 million verdict against one of Maine’s largest law firms, deciding that Bernstein Shur Sawyer & Nelson was negligent in its representation of a client in a workplace sexual harassment case. Peter Redman alleged that Bernstein Shur worked against his interests in his dispute with his brother, Mark Redman, over control of Northern Mattress & Furniture Co., which has since gone out of business. Peter Redman, who was the company’s president, was prohibited from entering the family business’ headquarters in Fairfield because of a sexual harassment claim that he contends his brother orchestrated to take control of the business.
Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac has filed a complaint against Portland firm Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson. It appears the firm’s misunderstanding of British law put their client on the hook for $4.5 million in fees. Law.com:
The Fleetwood group had hired the firm, which is based in Portland, Maine, to bring suit against a division of the British Broadcasting Corp. over distribution rights to rare musical recordings worth about $100 million, according to an amended complaint in the lawsuit, which was filed on March 26 in federal court in Maine. McNulty v. McDonald, No. 2:09-cv-00111 (D. Maine).
… At that time, Fleetwood’s group allegedly asked McDonald if they could be individually liable for the BBC division’s attorney fees, to which McDonald replied there was “no chance.”
But in 2005, the BBC division sued Bee Load in England, where a London court imposed about $150,000 in costs against Fleetwood’s group. Bee Load filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2006.
Invoking a British law called the “Funders’ Rule,” the BBC division sought $4.5 million in attorney fees, the suit claims.