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Deanna L. Koestel and Dominique Kilmartin Author Article in New York Law Journal, “Striking a Balance: Exploring Legal Consequences of Frivolous Claims”

New York Law Journal

Deanna L. Koestel, Partner in the firm’s Commercial Litigation practice and Chair of the Construction Law practice, and Dominique Kilmartin, Associate in the firm’s Litigation and Appellate Advocacy practices, co-authored an article for the New York Law Journal titled, “Striking a Balance: Exploring Legal Consequences of Frivolous Claims.” The article discusses the delicate balance attorneys must maintain between zealously advocating for their clients and upholding their ethical obligations to the judicial system in light of the First Department’s recent decision in 13 E. 124 v. J&M Realty Services et al., 222 A.D.3d 446, 202 N.Y.S.3d 31 (2023). 

In the case of 13 E. 124 v. J&M Realty Services et al, the court imposed sanctions against the plaintiff for filing a frivolous lawsuit notwithstanding the fact that the plaintiff had already dismissed the action, reasoning that courts have jurisdiction to sanction litigants for frivolous conduct irrespective of the status of the underlying case:

Koestel and Kilmartin noted, “One of the primary risks associated with filing frivolous lawsuits, applications or continuing such actions is the imposition of legal sanctions. These sanctions, which can be imposed even after the lawsuit’s resolution, range from monetary penalties to adverse judgments against the party responsible for the frivolous claim. In extreme cases, attorneys may face disciplinary action for their involvement in pursuing baseless claims.”.

The article goes on to discuss the broader impact of frivolous litigation on the legal system as a whole:

Frivolous litigation not only wastes valuable judicial resources, but also undermines the credibility of the legal profession as a whole. When attorneys fail to uphold their duty to promote the fair and efficient administration of justice, they erode public trust in the legal system and perpetuate a culture of litigation abuse,” they wrote.

To read the full New York Law Journal article, click here.

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