SUCCESSFUL MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENTIN WRONGFUL USE OF CIVIL PROCEEDINGS CASE AGAINSTLAWYER FOLLOWED BY DEFENDANT’S SUCCESSFULMOTION FOR SANCTIONS
Daniel S. Strick of LUCAS AND CAVALIER, LLC successfully moved for summary judgment in the defense of a wrongful use of civil proceedings claim in Philadelphia County. There were several underlying landlord-tenant cases filed by the defendant lawyer on behalf of his client which were either procedurally or voluntarily dismissed before the final underlying action resolved via settlement. Plaintiff, the underlying defendant, filed a wrongful use of civil proceedings case against the underlying plaintiff and his attorney. After discovery was concluded, Strick filed a motion for summary judgment on behalf of the defendant lawyer asserting the plaintiff could not establish the elements of a wrongful use of civil proceedings case. Specifically, it was argued plaintiff could not establish the underlying cases terminated in his favor because there was never a ruling on the merits. The court agreed and granted the motion for summary judgment filed on behalf of the defendant attorney.
Subsequently, Strick filed a motion pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1023.1 seeking sanctions against the plaintiff and his attorney for filing a frivolous complaint. This motion was set up early in the case by Strick’s letter to plaintiff’s counsel demanding dismissal of the claims providing specific facts demonstrating how the complaint was frivolous. The court agreed plaintiff’s complaint was frivolous and awarded sanctions the form of reasonable attorneys’ fees in defending the case.
Plaintiff has appealed the court’s order granting defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The appeal is pending in the Superior Court.