Skip to Main Content
Services Talent Knowledge
Site Search


Our attorneys stay on top of changes in legislation, agency regulations, case law, and industry trends—then craft timely legal alerts to keep clients up to date on legal developments important to their business.

November 13, 2023

The First Department Addresses When a Party Is Entitled to Treble Damages Pursuant to Judiciary Law §487

In its recent decision in Suzuki v. Greenberg1, the New York Appellate Division, First Department addressed the issue of when a party may recover damages from the other side’s attorney pursuant to Judiciary Law §487. The First Department affirmed the lower court’s decision granting the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and awarding her treble damages and denying the defendant’s cross-motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint and for sanctions. 

In Suzuki, during the course of the underlying matrimonial action, the defendant, an attorney representing the plaintiff’s former husband, among other things, intentionally failed to inform the court of the existence of a custody order awarding the plaintiff primary physical custody of their child and prepared an affidavit for his client falsely stating his client had never been a party to a neglect proceeding and asserting that his client was the child’s custodial parent. 
In affirming the lower court’s decision, the First Department concluded that the evidence submitted by the plaintiff, which consisted of proof that the defendant intentionally failed to inform the court of the custody order, sufficiently established “egregious conduct” under Judiciary Law §487. According to the court, recovery under Judiciary Law §487 does not require a plaintiff to show a chronic pattern of delinquency, but rather a single egregious act is sufficient. 

Additionally, the court concluded that the award of treble damages was appropriate, noting that the purpose of Judiciary Law §487 is not to compensate a plaintiff for injuries but rather to punish lawyers for misconduct and to deter them from future misconduct.

The Suzuki decision clarifies, at least in the First Department, that demonstration of a single egregious act will suffice for recovery under Judiciary Law §487. 

If you have any questions regarding the content of this alert, please contact Tara Sciortino, counsel, at; Luke Schiano, law clerk, at; or another member of the Professional Liability Practice Area. 

12023 N.Y. Slip Op. 05455 (1st Dept 2023)


Click here to sign up for alerts, blog posts, and firm news.

Featured Media


The New York FY 2025 Budget – CDPAP FIs Under Threat


Website Accessibility Lawsuits: Several "Tester" Plaintiffs—Anderson, Beauchamp, Murray, Angeles, Monegro, and Bullock—Targeting Businesses in Recent Flurry of Lawsuits


Updated Bulletin on Tracking Technologies in the Health Care Industry


NYS Board of Regents Adopts Regulations on the Mental Health Diagnostic Privilege


First Department Clarifies Pleading Requirements Under NYS Child Victims Act


Beneficial Ownership Reporting Requirements Under the CTA: Quarterly Reminder

We're Growing in DC!

We’re excited to announce Barclay Damon’s combination with Washington DC–based Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram. SLS’s 10 lawyers, three paralegals, and four administrative staff will join Barclay Damon while maintaining their current office in DC’s central business district. Our clients will benefit from SLS’s corporate, real estate, finance, and construction litigation experience and national energy-industry profile, and their clients from our full range of services.

Read More

This site uses cookies to give you the best experience possible on our site and in some cases direct advertisements to you based upon your use of our site.

By clicking [I agree], you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For information on what cookies we use and how to manage our use of cookies, please visit our Privacy Statement.

I AgreeOpt-Out