Fleetwood Group Sues Lawyer and Firm over Legal Advice

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PORTLAND—The famous Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood, Cape Elizabeth accountant Joseph McNulty, and three of their business partners are suing a Portland lawyer and his firm. The legal battles concerns previous legal advice given to the group.

The United States District Court received the suit that was filed last week, in which the partners allege their former attorney, Paul McDonald of the firm Bernstein Shur, did not give the group the correct advice when prompted during a long-lasting tussle with the British Broadcasting Corporation.

When Fleetwood Mac asked McDonald if they could be individually liable for the BBC division’s attorney fees, McDonald told them there was “no chance.”

The new lawsuit accuses McDonald of withholding the knowledge that the group is personally liable for $4.5 million in legal fees sought by the BBC under British law. The group now seeks unnamed damages from McDonald and Bernstein Shur for negligence and other claims, because they agreed not to appeal the bankruptcy court decision in order to keep the BBC away.

McNulty and Fleetwood claimed that the British Broadcasting Corporation did not fulfill the group’s entitlement to their rights for hundreds of rare music recordings in the BBC archives—including unreleased material by Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, and the Beatles. They lost the case in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court last year.

The general counsel for Bernstein Shur retaliated, saying there was no negligence of misrepresentation by McDonald.

Peter J. Rubin said Fleetwood, McNulty, Arman Mouhibian, Robert Lieb and Carl Stubner are trying to avoid paying a $910,000 bill they owe Bernstein Shur.

“These are five individuals who lost their case, they owe us a lot of money, and they don’t want to pay,” Rubin said. “I believe that the documents and other evidence will clearly prove that their claim has no merit.”

“Mr. McDonald did not advise them that they could not and would not be held liable for the BBC fees,” he said. “Among other things, he informed them they should consult with English counsel to get an answer to that question.”

 

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