Klotz v. Milbank,Tweed, Hadley & McCloyAnnotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed suit alleging claims for breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy, and legal malpractice, and defendants moved to strike the entire complaint as to the individual plaintiffs Klotz and Spitz because defendants had no independent legal duty to plaintiffs nor did they act for their personal financial gain. Plaintiffs alleged that a former business associate of theirs, Stephen Bruce, who was a client of defendants, conspired with defendants to unlawfully withdraw from plaintiff SageMill and to usurp a nascent business opportunity of SageMill. The trial court denied the motion. The court reversed the trial court‘s order on plaintiffs‘ second cause of action for conspiracy as to the individual plaintiffs Klotz and Spitz, finding that any advice defendants gave Bruce arose from an attempt to contest or compromise a claim or dispute, and thus was within the ambit of section 1714.10. The court affirmed as to the remaining claims.