Our adversaries are getting more and more comfortable coloring outside the lines. Filing defamation cases based on demand letters, naming us attorneys in litigation to conflict us out, threatening extortion claims, are all creative ways that defense is trying to scare us in a misguided attempt to fend off meritorious cases. New SLAPP legislation can help, but only if you know how to use it. Don’t let sharp practice stop you from making big monetary demands, asserting aggressive claims, or speaking out on your client’s behalf.
In this four-part series, we’ll dive into common extra-meritorious threats and claims that our adversaries have been weaponizing. Panelists include Susan Crumiller, the founder of Crumiller P.C., the feminist litigation firm, and Carrie Goldberg, the founder of C.A. Goldberg, PLLC, the victims rights law firm, plus a special guest in Part IV (read on)……
Part I: Defamation/ SLAPP
1 Skills CLE Credit
January 21, 2021
6 – 7:30 PM Eastern
We’ll discuss the elements of a defamation claim, common trends in defamation litigation like defendants ignoring litigation privilege, as well as practical strategies for avoiding and defending these claims. We’ll examine Cuomo’s new SLAPP legislation and how you can use it, as well as a few recent case studies, including the Arroyave litigation. This will include a collaborative strategy- and resource-sharing discussion.
Part II: Bull[ish] Claims and Counterclaims
1 Professional Practice CLE Credit
February 18, 2021
6 – 7:30 PM
“Faithless servant”? Breach of contract? Are you kidding me? Clients have enough to be scared of in bringing a lawsuit. They can expect every action to be scrutinized under a microscope. Let’s be able to assure them, with confidence, that we have no fear of disposing of any counterclaims that may come their way. In this session we will review the elements of common counterclaims, discuss how and when to move to dismiss them, and how to leverage these claims for additional discovery. Additionally, we’ll demystify the laws around some of the other rando threats unsavory characters like to sling at us: abuse of process, malicious prosecution, tortious interference, motions to disqualify, and sanctions.
Part III: Aggressive Negotiation is NOT extortion
1 Ethics CLE Credit
March 25, 2021
6 – 7:30 PM
What REALLY is extortion? What are you allowed to say in a demand letter? What about if your client made some misguided negotiations pro se before hiring you? Some defense attorneys’ favorite tactic is to respond to an aggressive demand by accusing your client, and sometimes you, of extortion. The reality is that financial demands may track more than just compensatory damages or prior judgments. What is the value of a client not getting to litigate an important case to them or agreeing to an NDA, and how does it relate to the value of our claims? This session will focus on the ethical rules, the elements of extortion, and the federal and state rules governing frivolous conduct.
Part IV: Shenanigans: The View From the Bench
1 CLE Credit TBD
April 29, 2021
6 – 7:30 PM
How should you respond when your adversary is messing around? When should you alert the court and how? What is the best tone to take? Does the judge see what a jerk your adversary is? How can you avoid having the judge throwing up their hands and thinking both of you are just squabbling and that you’re equally responsible? For our final installment, join our very special guest, The Honorable Gerald Lebovits, for an insider view from the court on what judges wish you would do in these scenarios, how to bolster your own reputation, and most importantly, how to walk away with the best results for your clients.