Former Paradise Owner Sues Lawyers Over Failed Suit

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Former owner of the Paradise Rock Club in Boston, MA, has sued the DiMento & Sullivan law firm for legal malpractice for allegedly letting four lawsuits he filed against the city languish until they were dismissed by the court.

Restaurant and nightclub owner Seth A. Greenberg sold the popular concert venue six years ago, after city officials suspended its liquor license. He alleges that the firm’s neglect left him with no recourse against the city, which he accused of unfairly targeting his club for liquor and entertainment violations. He also claims that due to the firm’s mishandling of the cases, he suffered more than $1.5 million in revenue and operating losses, sold his ownership stake six years ago for more than $1 million less than fair value, and incurred unspecified legal fees, according to the Boston Globe.

“Basically, they took the cases, they touted the case to the client, they did some good early work on the case…and it looks like they didn’t do much of anything else,” Boston attorney Charles P. Kazarian, one of several lawyers representing Greenberg, told the paper. “We’re trying to understand what the heck happened.”

In 1997 and 1998, DiMento & Sullivan filed four lawsuits on Greenberg’s behalf, alleging that the Mayor’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing had “suddenly and without legitimate reason” targeted the rock club for investigation and punishment, including several revocations of its liquor and entertainment licenses. The suits accused the city of a “pattern of discriminatory enforcement actions” against the complex.

City officials claim the Paradise, and attached club M-80, had become a source of concern for neighbors and police due to overcrowding, underage drinking, and rowdy patrons.

A 1997 incident in which former New England Patriots players Drew Bledsoe and Max Lane jumped off the Paradise stage during an Everclear show and allegedly injured a woman also drew negative attention toward the complex by city officials.

In September 2000, after the club’s liquor license had been suspended for six months, Greenberg sold his interest to new owners, who continue to operate it as the Paradise and Paradise lounge.

Despite DiMento & Sullivan winning a ruling by a Superior Court judge who found that Greenberg’s cases had a “substantial possibility of success on the merits,” the firm’s lawyers later neglected the cases and “consistently obscured their professional failures, according to the complaint. Those included failing to appeal the club’s license suspensions, failing to notify Greenberg that the cases had been dismissed, and failing to appeal the dismissals in a timely manner, the suit said.

Last October, Greenberg’s suits against the city were dismissed, when a Superior Court judge found that no action had been taken on one of the cases in more than six years. A month later, Greenberg asked the lead attorney in the case, Carolyn M. Conway, for an update on the cases, and received an email from her saying that “we got screwed,” according to the Globe. Soon after, Greenberg met with firm owner Francis J. DiMento, who “expressed his outrage at the delay and lack of attention demonstrated by Conway and informed [Greenberg] that they would have to contact DiMento & Sullivan’s malpractice carrier,” according to the suit. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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