This lovely 1500 year old phrase starts the case of Long Island Real Props., Ltd. v US Bank N.A. 2019 NY Slip Op 30954(U) April 2, 2019 Supreme Court, Suffolk County Docket Number: 621122/2017. Judge James Hudson quotes the medieval writer Tribonian to the effect that “A great number of unskilled practitioners ruins a Court. (2 Inst. 219) He then goes on to catalog the errors in a Long Island real estate law suit, weaving in a discussion of Judiciary Law§ 487, itself a 750 year old part of the common law.
“If it is shown that the frivolous behavior misled the Court and was offered for the
purpose of deceiving same, the law provides a stem response. Judiciary Law §487 states in
salient part that ” … An attorney or Counselor who … [i]s guilty of any deceit or collusion, or
consents to any deceit or collusion, with intent to deceive the court or any party .. .is guilty of
a misdemeanor, and in addition to the punishment prescribed therefor by the penal law, he
forfeits to the party injured treble damages, to be recovered in a civil action.”
Liability for attorney deceit existed at New York common law before the first New
York statute governing such behavior was enacted, and thus, is subject to the six year statute
of limitation’s for actions for which no limitation is specifically provided by law (Melcher
v. Greenberg Traurig,LLP, 23NY3d19, 988NYS2d101, 11NE3d174,reargumentdenied
23 NY3d 998, 992 NYS2d 763, 16 NE3d 1241 ). Applicable case law interpreting
Judiciary Law §487 demonstrates that the additional element “intent to deceive” is the factor levating it in opprobrium as compared with 22 NYCRR 130-1.1. (Tenore v. Kantrowitz,
Go/dliamer & Graifman, P.C., 121 A.D.3d 775, 776, 994 N.Y.S.2d 171 (2″d Dept. 2014);
see Lawrence Ripak Co., Inc. v. Gdanski, 143 AD3d 862, 39 NYS3d 223 [2d Dept 2016)). ”
Read the entire decision for Judge Hudson’s description of what he considers to be frivolous litigation.