DAVID L. SAVELL
MICHAEL A. DUDDY, et al.
of Argued: June 8, 2016
and Consumer Docket docket number CV-2014-34
K. Mills, Esq., Hale & Hamlin, LLC, Ellsworth, for
appellant David L. Savell
M. Bowie, Esq., and Hillary J. Bouchard, Esq., Thompson &
Bowie, LLP, Portland, for appellees Michael A. Duddy and
Kelly, Remmel & Zimmerman
K. Mills, Esq., for appellant David L. Savell
M. Bowie, Esq., for appellees Michael A. Duddy and Kelly,
Remmel & Zimmerman Business and Consumer Docket docket
number CV-2014-34 For Clerk Reference Only
SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, HJELM, and
David L. Savell appeals from a summary judgment entered in
the Business and Consumer Docket (Cumberland County,
Horton, J.) in favor of attorney Michael A. Duddy
and the law firm of Kelly, Remmel & Zimmerman on
Savell's complaint alleging attorney malpractice and a
breach of fiduciary duty. On appeal, Savell contends that the
court erred in concluding that he failed to adduce prima
facie evidence of an attorney-client relationship between
himself and Duddy. We affirm the judgment.
Viewing the summary judgment record in the light most
favorable to the nonprevailing party, the record contains the
following facts. Estate of Smith v. Salvesen, 2016
ME 100, ¶ 2, - A.3d -. Savell was the chief executive
officer of Sunbury Primary Care, P.A. [SPC], a medical
practice in Bangor with three shareholders: Drs. Michael B.
Bruehl, Kenneth G. Simone, and Thomas D. Hayward (the
doctors]. Savell was also a manager of Sunbury Medical
Properties, LLC [SMP], whose sole business was owning and
managing the real estate where SPC was located. Michael A.
Duddy is an attorney licensed to practice in the State of
Maine and is associated with the Portland law firm of Kelly,
Remmel & Zimmerman [KRZ].
Savell had no ownership interest in SPC, but had a one-fourth
"economic interest" in SMP. As a holder of an
economic interest in SMP, Savell's status was essentially
the same as "members" of SMP, with the principal
difference being that Savell lacked the right to participate
in the management of the company and lacked the right to
vote. Like members, Savell's interest in SMP included an
agreement by which he guaranteed payment of one-fourth of
certain secured debts owed by SMP to a bank, on which the
three doctors were also guarantors.
From early February 2013 until mid-August 2013, Savell, on
behalf of both SPC and SMP, and with the doctors'
approval, negotiated with Eastern Maine Medical Center for
the sale of the SPC practice and SMP's real estate (where
SPC was located]. On August 12, 2013, the shareholders of SPC
and members of SMP tentatively agreed to sell both entities
to EMMC for a total purchase price of $4, 600, 000-$1, 000,
000 for the SPC practice and $3, 600, 000 for SMP's real
estate. EMMC was represented by the Eaton Peabody law firm at
all relevant times.
After the tentative agreement was reached in mid-August, SMP
and SPC retained the services of Duddy and the KRZ law firm
to represent their interests in the transaction. Savell had
less involvement in the negotiations after Duddy became
involved, but continued to act in his capacity as CEO of SPC
and manager of SMP throughout the remainder of the
negotiations and closing.
KRZ and SPC entered into an attorney/client relationship in
1999, and the firm, through Duddy, undertook legal
representation of SMP as well in 2005. KRZ's
representation of each entity was not detailed in any fee
agreement or letter of representation, other than a letter
dating back to 1999 when KRZ first started representing SPC.
That letter, however, was limited to the six-month period
following its transmittal, at which point the parties would
then decide ...