Case Law Alerts
Wrongful prosecution of a contempt proceeding against opposing counsel within a civil action could give rise to liability under Pennsylvania’s wrongful use of civil proceeding statute.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted allowance of appeal from the Superior Court’s determination that a motion for contempt proceeding prosecuted against opposing counsel constituted a civil proceeding as contemplated by Pennsylvania’s Wrongful Use of Civil Proceedings statute, 42 Pa.C.S. § 8351, et seq. (Dragonetti Act). As the respondent attorney and her firm were the defendants in the contempt proceeding, it was determined that they had standing to assert a wrongful use of civil proceedings claim against the attorneys who prosecuted the sanctions motion.
Typically, wrongful use of civil proceedings claims brought under 42 Pa. C.S. § 8351, et seq. arise from an attorney’s wrongful prosecution of a civil action. In Raynor, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that a wrongful prosecution of a contempt proceeding against opposing counsel within a civil action could give rise to liability under Pennsylvania’s wrongful use of civil proceeding statute.
Case Law Alerts, 1st Quarter, January 2020 is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. Copyright © 2020 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, all rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm.