In a brisk and unequivocal grant of a CPLR 3211 motion, Justice Borrok makes some sweeping findings of fact in Walk v Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, 2022 NY Slip Op 50031(U) [74 Misc 3d 1203(A)], Decided on January 20, 2022, Supreme Court, New York.
“Upon the foregoing documents and for the reasons set forth on the record (1.18.22), the motion to dismiss pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(1) and (7) must be granted. The gravamen of the complaint against Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP and Marc E. Kasowitz (collectively, hereinafter, the Defendants) is that Charlie Walk alleges that he entered into a certain Settlement Agreement (hereinafter defined) without being fully informed by counsel as to the meaning of the Settlement Agreement and his alternatives for not settling such that if he had been fully informed he would have restored his reputation and would have gone on to earn approximately $60 million over the course of the next few years. At its core, Mr. Walk complains that the Defendants did not make certain arguments to Universal Music Group (UMG), his former employer, when they were investigating serious public sexual harassment and assault claims made against him and otherwise advised him to accept the Settlement Agreement which he now thinks was inadequate. The arguments fail. Dismissal is required because the entire premise of this lawsuit is based on a false narrative. The substantial documentary evidence in the record consisting of emails sent by Mr. Walk or letters sent by the Defendants on his behalf is such that the facts are simply not as Mr. Walk alleges.
To wit, the documentary evidence (CPLR 3211[a]) unequivocally establishes (i) that [*2]the Defendants did in fact make the very arguments that Mr. Walk asserts were not made to UMG, (ii) that the Defendants were not the only lawyers providing advice to him when he entered the Settlement Agreement, and (iii) that he has failed to state a claim (CPLR 3211[a]) because, among other things, his interpretation of his rights under his Employment Agreement (hereinafter defined) is wrong. He was not entitled to his 2017 bonus in the event of a for cause firing by UMG. Additionally, the emails and letters in the record firmly establishes that Mr. Walk was well aware of the very issues that he now feigns a lack of knowledge of and that these very issues were discussed with the Defendants and his other lawyers. Mr. Walk also fails to allege facts which would suggest that he could prove his case within a case and achieve a better result than the Settlement Agreement (Katz v Essner, 136 AD3d 575, 576 [1st Dept 2016]).
Although Mr. Walk may allege today that he wishes that he pursued a different legal strategy, and further contested the many detailed sexual harassment and assault claims made against him, this is not actionable (Brook Plaza Ophthalmology Assoc., P. C. v Fink, Weinberger, Fredman, Berman & Lowell, P. C., 173 AD2d 170, 171 [1st Dept 1991]). His decision can not be said to have been uninformed or based on faulty advice. The fact that he resigned from his employment from the television program The Four: Battle for Stardom prior to hiring the Defendants and in the wake of these detailed allegations against him highlights the speculative failure of his claim against these Defendants. Finally, Mr. Walk’s envious allegation that others accused of misconduct have received more money in their settlements with their employers is simply not a fact leveled against these Defendants that they gave him bad advice to settle based on the specific allegations made against him and the shroud of predatory conduct with which he was cloaked.”