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Court of Appeals - Attorney Not Liable Under Judiciary Law 487 On Claim Induced Client to File Frivolous Suit

On March 31, 2020 the Court of Appeals ruled that an attorney who was claimed to have wrongfully induced a client to file a frivolous lawsuit in order to generate a legal fee could not be held liable under New York State Judiciary Law Section 487. A violation of this statute by an attorney is a crime and results in treble damages awarded to a successful plaintiff and recovery of their attorney's fees. In light of these harsh penalties the Court applies a strict standard. The Court stated: "Given the requirement that the conduct involve deceit or collusion and be intentional, liability under the statute does not extend to negligent acts or conduct that constitutes only legal malpractice...." Moreover, the Court stated that a Section 487 claim must be alleged to have occurred - not before an action is filed - but during ongoing litigation.

The plaintiff/client did not allege that the attorney made any fraudulent statements to the Court, only that the attorney made false representations to them regarding their legal rights which induced them to file the suit which had been dismissed.Bill Birds, Inc v. Stein Law Firm, PC, 2020 WL 1521903

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts of 2011" and "Top New York Settlements of 2012." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He is a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!

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