Articles Posted in Maine Supreme Judicial Court

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After Plaintiff was terminated from his employment from Bath Iron Works (BIW), Plaintiff grieved the termination. The Local S7 Union Grievance Committee voted not to arbitrate the grievance. Thereafter, represented by Attorney John R. Lemieux, Plaintiff filed a complaint against the Union and BIW, alleging breach of the collective bargaining agreement and discrimination. The magistrate judge issued a recommended decision granting a summary judgment in favor of BIW and the Union. The superior court affirmed the magistrate judge’s recommended decision, and the court of appeals affirmed. Plaintiff then filed this action against Lemieux, alleging legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The superior court granted summary judgment in favor of Lemieux, concluding that Plaintiff failed to put forth prima facie evidence of causation. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that summary judgment was proper because Plaintiff failed to put forth prima facie evidence of causation to support his claims. View "Brooks v. Lemieux" on Justia Law

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After a hearing, the State Board of Nursing found that John S. Zablotny had violated his professional duties and revoked his nursing license for two years. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment and remanded for further proceedings, concluding that the district court erred in conducting an appellate-type review. On remand, the district court concluded that Zablotny had engaged in activities that constituted professional misconduct but also concluded that the Board failed to prove other allegations of professional misconduct. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the district court’s findings supported the conclusion that the court was not compelled, as a matter of law, to find that Zablotny violated Board rules or professional standards of care. View "Zablotny v. State Board of Nursing" on Justia Law

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Jon Haddow, an attorney, represented and Frank and Beverly Pawlendzio in personal bankruptcy proceedings. Following the proceedings, the Pawlendzios filed a complaint against Haddow, asserting claims of legal malpractice and seeking damages for economic loss and extreme emotional distress. The Pawlendzios based their claims on the fact that, contrary to Haddow’s advice, loans made to them by friends and relatives lost their protected status as a result of the bankruptcy proceedings. The superior court entered an order granting summary judgment in favor of Haddow. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the Pawlendzios failed to produce expert-based evidence that Haddow breached his duty owed to the Pawlendzios. View "Pawlendzio v. Haddow" on Justia Law

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David Savell filed a complaint against Michael Duddy and the law firm of Kelly, Remmel & Zimmerman (KRZ) founded upon his assertion that an attorney-client relationship existed between himself and Duddy. Among other claims, Savell alleged claims for attorney malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty. The court granted Duddy and KRZ’s motion for summary judgment, concluding that Savell failed to demonstrate an attorney-client relationship between himself and Duddy. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) an attorney-client relationship did not exist between Savell and Duddy; and (2) Duddy did not owe Savell a duty of care as a nonclient. View "Savell v. Duddy" on Justia Law

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This case arose from the revocation of a building permit previously granted to R. Bruce Montgomery and Wanda Haddock (collectively, Montgomery). Montgomery, represented by Judy A.S. Metcalf and William V. Ferdinand Jr. (collectively, the Eaton Peabody attorneys), appealed the revocation of the permit, contesting the revocation of the part of the permit dealing with the construction of a garage. The Georgetown Planning Board left in place a stop-work order on the construction of the garage. Montgomery subsequently hired attorney Clifford H. Goodall to assist him in his attempts to apply for a building permit, without success. Montgomery filed a legal malpractice complaint against the Eaton Peabody attorneys. The superior court dismissed five of the six counts of the complaint. Montgomery subsequently filed a second amended complaint raising legal malpractice claims against Goodall. The superior court granted summary judgment in favor of Goodall. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the superior court (1) properly granted the Eaton Peabody attorneys’ motion to dismiss counts one through five of Montgomery’s complaint; and (2) did not abuse its discretion in denying Montgomery’s motion to file a third amended complaint made three years after the commencement of the suit. View "Montgomery v. Eaton Peabody, LLP" on Justia Law

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This case arose from the revocation of a building permit previously granted to R. Bruce Montgomery and Wanda Haddock (collectively, Montgomery). Montgomery, represented by Judy A.S. Metcalf and William V. Ferdinand Jr. (collectively, the Eaton Peabody attorneys), appealed the revocation of the permit, contesting the revocation of the part of the permit dealing with the construction of a garage. The Georgetown Planning Board left in place a stop-work order on the construction of the garage. Montgomery subsequently hired attorney Clifford H. Goodall to assist him in his attempts to apply for a building permit, without success. Montgomery filed a legal malpractice complaint against the Eaton Peabody attorneys. The superior court dismissed five of the six counts of the complaint. Montgomery subsequently filed a second amended complaint raising legal malpractice claims against Goodall. The superior court granted summary judgment in favor of Goodall. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the superior court (1) properly granted the Eaton Peabody attorneys’ motion to dismiss counts one through five of Montgomery’s complaint; and (2) did not abuse its discretion in denying Montgomery’s motion to file a third amended complaint made three years after the commencement of the suit. View "Montgomery v. Eaton Peabody, LLP" on Justia Law