On August 18, 2016 Justice Edmead in New York County Supreme Court dismissed a defamation and trespass claim filed by a law firm against its former client. What happened? Well, the client was angry. He claimed that his lawyers abandoned his personal injury case. The client was so angry that he went to the law firm's offices and publicly stated, in front of other clients, that the law firm was irresponsible and caused him to lose his case.
The client sued the law firm for legal malpractice in Civil Court and won a small judgment. Not content with that outcome, the law firm then filed a defamation and trespass claim against their former client. Sound fair to you? The Court in a 7 page decision, dismissed the law firm's defamation claim for several reasons, including, it was filed more than 1 year after the incident complained of (as any first year law student would know). Moreover, the Judge pointed out that both the defamation and trespass claims could have been raised in the legal malpractice case litigated in Civil Court but weren't. That's a fatal flaw under a general rule of law called "res judicata" so the law firm lost again.