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Court of Appeals Denies Partnership in Midtown Assemblage and MSJ Affirmed

November 21, 2012

The Plaintiff participated in assembling and redeveloping more than 50 properties in midtown Atlanta. He was paid several million dollars for his efforts but tried to claim he was a partner in the project. He sued the lawyer who had largely funded the acquisitions as well as the lawyer’s law firm. He claimed they had represented him, breached their fiduciary duty and committed malpractice. He also sought to dissolve the alleged partnership and recover for unjust enrichment.

The trial court noted there was an unsigned Memorandum of Understanding that suggested an intent by the Plaintiff and the lawyer to become partners and that a partnership could be created by oral agreement. It also noted the law firm had stated in several letters that it represented the Plaintiff. Nonetheless, the court held the Plaintiff had failed to demonstrate the parties had agreed to all of the essential terms of a partnership and he could not have reasonably believed the law firm was representing him individually. Thus, all his claims collapsed and summary judgment was affirmed by the Court of Appeals on November 21, 2012.

Billy Newcomb and Joe Kingma represented the law firm.

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