FKB’s Andrew R. Jones and Aaron M. Barham obtained a pre-answer dismissal of a Judiciary Law 487 claim brought against a professional liability defense firm which had successfully represented an estate attorney in an underlying legal malpractice action. In its pre-answer motion to dismiss, FKB established entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by demonstrating that its client did not commit deceit or collusion upon the court or any party. The Court (Justice William G. Ford) also held that plaintiff’s claims were barred by collateral estoppel based on the identity of issues and claims arising out of the underlying proceedings.
The Court also granted FKB’s application for sanctions, noting that prior to moving to dismiss, FKB requested a voluntary discontinuance and provided counsel with certified court documents refuting the plaintiff’s allegations. However, rather than withdrawing the complaint, plaintiff amended her pleadings and the matter proceeded.