No part of the law of lawyering in New York has changed more dramatically in the past decade than the law of litigation misconduct. For many years, our attorney-misconduct statute, Judiciary Law § 487, was overlooked as a historical curiosity. But recent appellate decisions have interpreted the statute differently, and § 487 has new vigor as a result. More lawyers are being sued for allegedly perpetrating deceits in litigations. And as the statute allows, those lawyers are being sued for treble damages, yet important aspects of the statute remain unclear. In key areas, courts are explicitly disagreeing over how to interpret § 487.
The recent decisions and the continuing disagreements create both risks and opportunities for lawyers, their law firms, and their clients. All attorneys need to know what a § 487 violation looks like and how a § 487 claim might be advanced or defended.
In this program, attorney Jeremy Bates will give an overview of the statute. He will cover the statute’s history, its purpose and intent, the elements of a § 487 claim, potential defenses, and permissible damages. The program will also emphasize recent cases interpreting § 487 and will place the statute in the context of other rules that regulate attorney conduct in New York.
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.