Suit Over Litigation Tactics Revived

A federal appeals court has revived an abuse of process suit against a law firm and lawyer that allegedly used unfair tactics in litigation -- including hiding documents, obstructing discovery and fabricating privilege claims -- after finding that a lower court improperly determined that such conduct was immune from suit under the doctrine of judicial privilege.

In General Refractories Co. v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., a unanimous three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that U.S. District Judge John R. Padova of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania had "interpreted the judicial privilege too broadly" when he dismissed claims against the law firm of Gilberg & Kiernan in Washington, D.C., and one of its attorneys, Andrew Butz.

While most litigation is ugly, the underlying litigation here was really ugly. The Legal Intelligencer reports the story here via