A New York law firm is now paying the price because it knew that their client was lying and they used that lie to try to get a bigger settlement for their client. The firm represented a client in an employment discrimination suit. The firms’ problems arose once they knew that their client had obtained a new job and they not only failed to disclose this information to the opposing firm, they allowed their client to conceal that information under oath. The firm allowed their client to testify during her deposition that she was still waiting for a call back about a new job opportunity even though, two weeks prior to her deposition, she was awarded and accepted the position.
The Court ordered the law firm to pay $15,000 to the opposing firm representing the former employer. The client was also ordered to pay $2,500 to her former employer’s firm. The Court did note in its opinion that although the opposing law firm suffered harm, the real harm was against the judicial system and the judicial process itself. The opposing law firm also filed a motion to dismiss the employment discrimination action which the court denied.
The Court ultimately held that the testimony their client gave under oath was false, and that it was obvious based on the prior questions that the opposing firm was trying to determine whether or not she had obtained new employment. The law firm could have disclosed their client’s new employment to the opposing firm but elected not to in an effort to try to obtain a higher settlement for their client.
This Court is making a point of showing other lawyers that misleading or false statements will not be tolerated and can be quite costly. To read the full story, click here. Contact our office to get more information about your potential legal malpractice claim.