Firm News

Abuse of Process Case Against Fox Rothschild Withdrawn

Gina Passarella, The Legal Intelligencer

The remaining claim for abuse of process in a suit against Fox Rothschild and two of its partners has been withdrawn on the eve of trial, the firm said.

Jury selection was set to begin today in 22 Front Street v. Gorodetzer, a case filed by a condo owner who alleged the law firm and attorneys Robert S. Tintner and Brett A. Berman had interfered with its sale of several units.

The parties agreed to a mutual release of claims against one another, under which Fox Rothschild would not pay any damages to plaintiff 22 Front Street, the firm said.

Fox Rothschild General Counsel Thomas D. Paradise said 22 Front Street’s withdrawal of the remaining claim with prejudice was a “total vindication” for the firm.

“From the outset we were very confident that there was no merit to this action,” Paradise said. “We take these claims seriously and when we believe that we’ve done nothing wrong we will defend them to its ultimate conclusion, and in this case the conclusion was their withdrawal on the eve trial.”

Paradise said the firm had never offered to settle for anything other than a mutual release and the firm’s agreement not to sue 22 Front Street or its counsel for abuse of process or wrongful use of civil proceedings.

Fox Rothschild was represented in the case by George Bochetto of Bochetto & Lentz. Bochetto characterized the matter as a withdrawal by 22 Front Street, though he noted Fox Rothschild did give 22 Front Street a release of any claims against the condo owner or its counsel. Bochetto said he got word late Friday that the last remaining claim would be withdrawn.

“We consistently told them, and I repeated on Friday, that Fox Rothschild would never pay them a penny on their claims because they were frivolous claims and we were defending the case for however much and however long it needed to be defended,” Bochetto said.

Kevan F. Hirsch of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein represented 22 Front Street. He did not immediately return a call for comment.

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Gary S. Glazer granted in June 2013 Fox Rothschild’s summary judgment motion on plaintiff 22 Front Street’s tortious interference and slander of title claims against the firm, Tintner and Berman.

Finding there were still issues of fact in dispute on the plaintiff’s claim for abuse of process, Glazer had denied summary judgment motion on that count.

The case stems from an underlying lawsuit Fox Rothschild filed on behalf of several homeowners in the luxury condo building who were upset 22 Front Street was billing a number of the units as “retirement” units.

The docket for the case against Fox Rothschild now notes that the matter has settled.

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