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Trials and Litigation

Real Estate Entrepreneur Who Says Bad Legal Advice Cost Him $6M Faces Uphill Malpractice Battle

Posted Feb 16, 2012 1:41 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Hit with a nearly $6 million judgment after he lost a lawsuit over a land deal in which the defendant successfully counterclaimed, a former municipal councilman in Alabama sought to have his lawyers pay.

However, Greg Kennedy, who is now representing himself in the Baldwin County matter, appears to be fighting an uphill battle, the Press-Register reports.

A special judge brought in to hear the case has dismissed it, with leave to refile in 10 days, according to the article.

“One, it makes no sense,” said Judge Edward McDermott during a hearing yesterday. "Two, it appears it is barred by the statute of limitations.”

Kennedy says he sought advice from attorneys Britton Bonner and Rick Kingrea after a man to whom he had sold property on a land contract sought to pay off the entire loan, apparently because he had arranged to resell to a third party.

Although inclined himself to take the payment for the balance due in the $3.7 million deal, Kennedy says, he was told by his lawyers not to do so. At issue was an oral agreement Kennedy says he had with his buyer, Ian Boles and Boles Investment Inc., that he himself could match any third-party purchase offer and retain the property.

Boles, who denied there was any such oral agreement, filed a counterclaim arguing that he had lost the opportunity to resell the property after Kennedy and his lawyers filed a Baldwin County probate court lien saying that ownership rights concerning the property were in litigation.

Kennedy was ordered to pay Boles $3.65 million and legal fees of up to $1.5 million. Hence, Kennedy says, the bad legal advice he got from his own counsel cost him nearly $6 million.

“I’ve lost what I was going to give my children,” he told the newspaper. “I lost everything.”

Attorney Julian “Buddy” Brackin represents Bonner and Kingrea. He declined to comment.

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