Novack and Macey attorneys obtained a complete dismissal with prejudice of all claims against its law firm client (including purported claims for conversion, trespass and intrusion on privacy) pursuant to the absolute attorney litigation privilege.
This privilege had been recently explained by the Illinois Appellate Court in O’Callaghan v. Satherlie, 2015 IL App (1st) 142152. The application of the privilege thwarted an effort by the defendants in pending litigation to sue their adversaries’ law firm.
Our client, a large international law firm, was representing the plaintiffs in a Cook County action involving money allegedly stolen from an estate and related trusts. During the litigation, the defendants filed another suit in Kane County against our client, who was representing the plaintiffs in the pending Cook County action, alleging that our client had acted improperly in obtaining information about the defendants in the run up to litigation. Stephen Novack, Richard G. Douglass and Yvette V. Mishev successfully transferred the new suit to the Cook County judge presiding over the underlying lawsuit and obtained dismissal with prejudice of all claims on the ground that all of the law firm’s pre-suit conduct was absolutely privileged because it was taken on the client’s behalf and in connection with threatened litigation.