AUGUSTA – A man whose sex assault conviction was overturned after 31 months in prison is suing the lawyers and law firm that represented him.

Denny M. Collyer of Richmond filed a civil suit in Kennebec County Superior Court against Sean Farris, Tammy Ham-Thompson; and Farris Law of Gardiner, their firm.

In the lawsuit, Collyer, now 38, says he suffered $220,000 in damages and that he should receive at least $1 million in special damages.

Collyer is charging legal malpractice, breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud and unfair trade practices. He is represented by Daniel Skolnik of Portland.

“The only reason Denny Collyer lost 21/2 years of his life is due to the malpractice of these two attorneys,” Skolnik said.

Greg Farris, who founded Farris Law, said the firm and the two lawyers are being represented by Wendell Large.

Farris said the defendants deny Collyer’s allegations.

Large said he expects to file a response in July.

“Farris Law denies any liability, expects to tell its side of the story through the court system, and expects in the end to be fully vindicated,” he said.

Skolnik was Collyer’s attorney during the postconviction review process that resulted in a judge overturning Collyer’s jury conviction in October 2009.

In March, the District Attorney’s Office decided not to bring the case to trial again.

He was convicted by a jury in Kennebec County in June 2006 of two counts of unlawful sexual contact between July 1, 2001, and Sept. 12, 2003, with the same boy, who was between 8 and 10 years old.

Collyer initially pleaded guilty, then was allowed to withdraw that plea.

The alleged victim, now 17, said Wednesday he continues to maintain that Collyer abused him.

Collyer was sentenced Feb. 5, 2007, to five years in prison, with all but three years suspended and eight years of probation.

He served 31 1/2 months and was released Jan. 23, 2009.

The civil lawsuit says Farris and Ham-Thompson failed to meet the standards of care in representing Collyer, which led to him being wrongly convicted of a felony. He lost his home to foreclosure and his job with the U.S. Postal Service.

Sean Farris represented Collyer at the jury trial, and court records show Collyer consulted Ham-Thompson about his criminal charges as well.

Separately, Ham-Thompson handled Collyer’s divorce, bankruptcy and a protection-from-abuse matter.

Sean Farris received a public reprimand from the Board of Overseers of the Bar two years ago for mishandling three cases — none of them Collyer’s.

Justice Nancy Mills, who presided at Collyer’s jury trial, cited in her ruling on the postconviction review that Farris’ “failure to make any reasonable investigation of the case and the failure to interview (a witness) and (Collyer’s doctor) constituted ineffective assistance of counsel that likely deprived” Collyer of a defense.