March 23, 2011

Rent-A-Husband founder sues law firms

From staff reports

PORTLAND — Kaile Warren Jr., founder of the Rent-A-Husband home repair business, said he is seeking $200 million plus punitive damages from his former attorneys, whom he alleges gave him poor legal advice.

Warren filed a civil suit in Cumberland County Superior Court late Tuesday afternoon against two Portland-based law firms -- Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau & Pachios, plus Marcus, Clegg & Mistretta -- as well as Ace Hardware Corp.

Warren, who said the criminal charges adversely impacted his "emerging media career" as well as his business, said the suit is an effort to recoup the revenues he could have earned had he not been prosecuted by the state on allegations of securities fraud and theft by deception. The Maine Attorney General's Office dropped all criminal charges against Warren last month.

In exchange for dismissing the charges, Warren agreed to a civil judgment that orders him to pay almost $2 million to the state to reimburse investors.

As part of a complex legal arrangement, Warren also agreed to seek civil damages against Preti, Flaherty, the law firm that Warren says guided him through the process of seeking and obtaining investments.

At the time the charges were dismissed, Warren and his attorney, Daniel Lilley, said they would sue Marcus, Clegg & Mistretta, the firm that provided legal services to Warren, and Ace Hardware, which collaborated with Rent-A-Husband on a business venture that fell apart in 2008.

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