As the New York Court of Appeals held in 2009, New York’s attorney-misconduct statute, Judiciary Law § 487, is “a unique statute of ancient origin in the criminal law of England.” Section 487 is the latest version of a prohibition on attorney misconduct that traces back to the 13th century.
The longevity of the statute speaks to the seriousness of the concerns that it addresses. In feudal times as now, lawyers have always been agents of their clients. Lawyers have special knowledge of the applicable law, of a particular case’s facts, and of the people who administer justice. Lawyers are supposed to use their agency authority and their special knowledge to zealously advocate for their clients in an arena—the court system—that is complex and often byzantine, with substantive rules, procedural quirks, and jargon that clients may not know and may not be able to learn.
What happens, then, if an attorney perpetrates a deceit on the client, on other parties to a litigation, or on the court itself? And how can the client be sure that the lawyer is not delaying the resolution of the client’s claim for the lawyer’s personal gain?
Section 487 addresses those concerns. In this program, attorney Jeremy Bates will provide an overview of the law. The program will include a discussion of the statute’s history, its purpose and intent, the elements of a Section 487 claim, potential defenses, and recovery of damages under the statute. The program will also discuss various cases that have interpreted Judiciary Law § 487.
Jeremy Bates is Counsel at Matalon Shweky Elman PLLC, where he acts as a lawyers’ lawyer. At MSE he has defended lawyers and law firms against Judiciary Law § 487 claims—most recently against a $36-million claim that the trial court dismissed.
Jeremy has also represented law firms and attorneys in other professional-responsibility matters:
Jeremy currently serves as a member of the Committee on Professional Ethics of the New York City Bar Association.
Aside from representing lawyers and law firms, at MSE Jeremy represents plaintiffs and defendants in a wide array of litigation matters. In a federal case that was another NYLJ “Decision of Note,” the court denied dismissal of his client’s electronic-discovery counterclaims. He has secured the dismissal of federal RICO, trademark, and computer-fraud claims. He was lead counsel in a pro bono case that successfully challenged a federal drug-reimbursement regulation, and produced substantial recovery for two Medicare beneficiaries. He also second-chaired a FINRA arbitration that resulted in a complete vindication for MSE’s clients.
Jeremy joined MSE in 2009 after spending six years at the New York office of Sullivan & Cromwell. There he represented major financial institutions. He drafted winning briefs to appellate courts, argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, earned trial-level dismissals of complaints in several states against a private equity fund, and shepherded financial institutions thorough investigations by the SEC, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the New York Attorney General’s Office.
Jeremy has a special interest in voting rights. He successfully sued the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics for miscounting votes in a city election. In 2008 he volunteered as a voter-protection attorney for the Obama campaign in North Dakota and Michigan. Jeremy also brought an action against his church for denying its members’ right to vote against board nominees and for failing to give its members its financial statements. The church’s resulting financial disclosure was reported on the front page of The New York Times.
Jeremy graduated cum laude from Harvard College and with honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was Editor in Chief of the University of Chicago Legal Forum and edited a volume on antitrust law. Before law school, Jeremy served for five years as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan. After law school, Jeremy clerked for U.S. Circuit Judge Jacques L. Weiner, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
The 700 year old statutory basis, translation, and photo of the original text was quite interesting.
The statute in question I never knew existed but is very relevantlto my practice as a trial lawyer. I need to do further research on it
Excellent speaker. Very knowledgeable and also engaging and witty.
very knowledgeable presenter.
Bates was excellent
Excellent in all respects.
Instructor was much better then I expected. He was exceptional.
interesting thinking course
Speaker was very articulate, knowledgeable and engaging
Fantastic course, great speaker, very well organized and presented!
Excellent presenter? Made material easy to understand.
I learned surprising things, like the fact that receipt by an attorney is punishable criminally.
great legal history for explication
this was one of the best CLE courses i ever took
excellent 4's are not high enough one of the best I've ever heard on Lawline
Very good course.
Bates did a very good job
Important topic for all attorneys. Well presented , informative and organized.
Not sure practitioners really care about the historical background of the statute, but the session was definitely educational!
Excellent lecture. Informative and compelling. Bravo to Mr. Bates on his excellent job.
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