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Freundlich & Littman, LLC v. Feierstein

157 A.3d 526 (2017)

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Freundlich & Littman, LLC v. Feierstein

Pennsylvania Superior Court

157 A.3d 526 (2017)

Facts

The parties in this case were all attorneys. Freundlich & Littman, LLC, and Gregory Creed Littman, Esquire (collectively, Littman) (plaintiffs) were attorneys for a client in a negligence case against a client represented by Edward T. Feierstein (defendant), as well as Bruce Chasan and the Law Office of Bruce Chasan LLC (collectively, Chasan) (defendants). At the same time, an unrelated criminal matter was pending against Feierstein, and Littman’s brother was a key witness against Feierstein in that matter. Feierstein and Chasan filed a meritless counterclaim against Littman’s client in the negligence action. The judge in that case dismissed the counterclaim with prejudice, and Chasan and Feierstein did not appeal. At the same time, Feierstein sent two emails to Littman insulting Littman and his brother numerous times. The negligence case went to arbitration, Littman’s client won the arbitration, Feierstein and Chasan filed appeals, and the parties eventually settled. During this process, Feierstein and Chasan continued to send many threatening and insulting emails to Littman. Littman then filed suit against Feierstein and Chasan, alleging that the counterclaim was not filed as a litigation strategy but was instead intended to retaliate against Littman’s brother for testifying against Feierstein and to intimidate Littman into dropping the negligence case against Feierstein and Chasan’s client. Littman asserted claims for wrongful use of proceeding under Pennsylvania’s Dragonetti Act and a common-law claim for abuse of proceedings. Feierstein and Chasan sought a demurrer of the complaint, arguing that judicial privilege applied. The trial court dismissed the complaint, and Littman appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Bender, J.)

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