On Demand Audio

Litigating Attorney-Misconduct Claims Under New York's Judiciary Law § 487

(968 reviews)

Produced on November 07, 2017

Taught by
$ 59 Ethics In Stock
Get started now

$299 / year - Access to this Course and 1,500+ Lawline courses


Course Information

Time 51 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate
Categories Ethics

Course Description

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.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explore the ways in which the long history of New York’s attorney-misconduct statute has influenced how courts regard the cause of action today
  2. Identify the elements of a claim under Judiciary Law § 487, and learn how the New York courts have recently developed the statute in such cases as Amalfitano, Melcher, and Facebook. With these cases as background, begin to recognize situations where a § 487 claim might be possible, and appreciate the possible defenses
  3. Discuss what § 487 is not, and what it does not do. Distinguish attorney misconduct under § 487 from other types of lawyerly misbehavior. Develop a conception of § 487  as one of several different tools that courts and litigants use to regulate how attorneys act
  4. Appreciate the current uncertainties about § 487—the issues where courts are disagreeing now over what § 487 will mean for the future

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Jeremy Bates

Elman Freiberg PLLC

Jeremy acts as a lawyer’s lawyer. He has defended many lawyers and law firms in professional responsibility matters. He has represented lawyers and firms in alternative resolutions, and pre-litigation dispositions of various disputes. Jeremy serves as a member of the Committee on Professional Ethics of the New York City Bar Association. He frequently lectures on professional responsibility issues. Aside from representing lawyers and law firms, Jeremy also represents plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of litigation matters. Prior to joining Elman Freiberg, Jeremy worked at Matalon Shweky Elman and at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. He also served as a legislative assistant to US Senator Byron Dorgan, and a Clerk for Jacques L. Wiener, Jr., Senior US Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.


David T.

Very clear and concise.

Bernard Alan S.

Good job

Michael D.

The 700 year old statutory basis, translation, and photo of the original text was quite interesting.

Daniel H.

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

Robert D. S.

very enlightening

Christopher R.

Excellent speaker. Very knowledgeable and also engaging and witty.

David t.

very knowledgeable presenter.

Carl L.

Bates was excellent

Simon Z.

Excellent in all respects.

Michael F.

Instructor was much better then I expected. He was exceptional.

Michael B.


Angela R.

interesting thinking course

Christine D.

Speaker was very articulate, knowledgeable and engaging

Lawrence C.

Fantastic course, great speaker, very well organized and presented!

Janice T.

Thorough discussion.

Judith M.

Excellent presenter? Made material easy to understand.

Charis O.

I learned surprising things, like the fact that receipt by an attorney is punishable criminally.

Charles S.

great legal history for explication

Edgar G.

this was one of the best CLE courses i ever took

Douglas T.

excellent 4's are not high enough one of the best I've ever heard on Lawline

Paul N.

Very good course.

Lori R.

Bates did a very good job

Susan M. B.

Important topic for all attorneys. Well presented , informative and organized.

Stephen C.


Charles K.


Annette P.

Not sure practitioners really care about the historical background of the statute, but the session was definitely educational!

Howard E.

Excellent lecture. Informative and compelling. Bravo to Mr. Bates on his excellent job.

Load More