A New Hampshire mortgage loan origination company and its president are suing Boston’s Morrison Mahoney for legal malpractice for allegedly botching malpractice claims against other lawyers.
The Mortgage Specialists Inc. of Plaistow, N.H., and president Michael Gill filed Gill v. Morrison Mahoney in the District of Massachusetts on Tuesday, although the complaint was dated May 16. They also named Nicholas Alexander and Eric Renner, formerly a partner and associate in the firm, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit claims the defendants "performed a sham investigation of its clients’ putative malpractice claims and finally fell on their sword in an act of ‘damage control’ by misleading the clients, delaying the filing of certain claims until the running of the statute of limitations, and ultimately refusing to file claims for those clients on the eve of the expiration of the statutes of limitations on those claims."
The 65-page complaint says Gill and his company paid Morrison Mahoney "tens of thousands of dollars for legal fees."
The underlying cases involved a lawsuit filed against Gill by defunct New Hampshire law firm Wiggin & Nourie seeking fees for work on his divorce case in 2007 and 2008. Gill hired Morrison Mahoney to bring claims against lawyers at Wiggins & Nouri and Devine, Millimet & Branch, also of New Hampshire, and one of its attorneys over their work on matters relating to his taxes and a state audit of his company.
Ultimately, Gill claimed, Morrison Mahoney waited until one day before the statute of limitations closed on his malpractice claims and then refused to file his complaint. The lawyers on his case sent him two error-ridden drafts, he alleged, which he quickly edited and filed pro se.
"Morrison Mahoney colluded with those individuals and entities which they were hired to investigate and to sue — all for the benefit of insurance companies from whom Morrison Mahoney derived a significant portion of its revenues," Gill alleged in his complaint.
His claims include legal malpractice; breach of contract; breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; violations of the Massachusetts consumer protection law, which allows for triple damages; and civil conspiracy. He seeks damages and costs, including attorney fees.
Mortgage Specialists’ general counsel Michael Parousis, who filed the complaint, said, "By going to court and prevailing, [Gill] hopes the lawsuit will help prevent other people from having to endure what he endured."
Alexander, now at Furman Gregory Deptula’s Boston office, did not respond to a request for comment. Renner, who practices at Scott & Bush Ltd. of Providence, R.I., also did not respond.
Devine Millimet marketing director Billie Jean Potter said the firm declined to comment.
Sheri Qualters can be contacted at email@example.com.