Sued wrong party, wrist duly slapped

by Walter Olson on July 21, 2008

Brooklyn, N.Y. attorney Regina Felton held a judgment against an outfit named United Equities Corp. which she tried to enforce against an entity named United Equities Inc. Attorneys for the latter informed her repeatedly that despite the coincidence of names the two businesses had no connection to each other. Citing the New York courts’ definition of frivolous conduct, trial judge Arthur M. Schack ruled that Felton’s continued refusal to withdraw the action even after it was “crystal clear” that it was mistaken was “completely without merit in law” and “ignored UEI’s good faith attempts to resolve this matter without resort to lengthy and costly proceeding”. Nonetheless, he granted UEI only about half the $25,000 in attorneys’ fees it sought and “declined to add sanctions, calling the $13,287.50 in costs a ‘sufficient penalty.'” Maybe UEI would have been better off settling her demand for $10,000 at the outset. (Mark Fass, “Lawyer Ordered to Pay Fees After Pursuing ‘Frivolous’ Suit”, New York Law Journal, Jul. 9). Felton, whom New York law blogger Andrew Bluestone describes as “well known” (Sept. 27, 2007; more at Feb. 14, 2007) won notice a couple of years ago when she unsuccessfully argued before the Tax Court that she did not “consider herself” an employee of the law offices of Regina Felton, PC. (RothCPA, Sept. 18, 2006).