A civil jury in Portland, Maine decided the mental distress Peter Redman experienced during a lawsuit handled by law firm Bernstein Shur Sawyer and Nelson, involving his family business and his brother, Mark Redman, warranted a verdict of $7.3 million in Peter’s favour in his action for malpractice against the firm.
Peter and his brother Mark Redman co-owned a successful mattress company. Regrettably, the two brothers did not get along and on one occasion Mark assaulted Peter. After years of difficulty between the brothers, they ended up in court and Peter retained Bernstein Shur Sawyer and Nelson, a prominent Maine law firm, with several locations and 100 lawyers. During this same time period, a female employee of the company accused Peter of sexual harassment. .
Unbeknowst to Peter, the human resources manager at the company also retained Bernstein Shur Sawyer and Nelson who prepared an opinion of law suggesting Peter’s corporate duties be performed away from the company offices and if Peter needed to attend at the office, he would be accompanied by another person.
Peter was ousted from the company offices and only later found out his own lawyers had ignored his instructions to vigorously defend him against the harassment allegation and had, in fact, acted for the company and authored the opinion that led to his forced departure from the company offices.
Peter Redman sued the firm for mental distress on the basis that he not only had to battle his brother and his accuser, but also his own law firm, who had acted contrary to his instructions and his best interests. The law firm insisted that Peter Redman wanted them to settle the harassment case quietly and their legal opinion served that purpose. The jury determined there was no evidence to support the law firm’s claims and unanimously agreed to a $7.3 million verdict.
However, this case is far from over, as Bernstein et al has indicated they intend to appeal. The skuttlebutt around Portland is that sole practitioner, John Campbell, who obtained the jury verdict for Mr. Redman, battled Goliath and won.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang