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Tort Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

by Zigadto, Janet


SC20492 - Scholz v. Epstein (Litigation privilege; absolute immunity from statutory theft claim; "In this certified appeal, we are asked to determine the scope of the litigation privilege, which provides absolute immunity from liability, in relation to a lawyer's conduct in a foreclosure proceeding. The plaintiff, Stephen W. Scholz, appeals from the Appellate Court's judgment affirming the trial court's dismissal of the statutory theft claim he brought against the defendant, Juda J. Epstein, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the ground of absolute immunity. Epstein, an attorney licensed to practice law in Connecticut, represented Benchmark Municipal Tax Services, Ltd. (Benchmark), in the underlying foreclosure proceeding. The plaintiff claims that, under the circumstances of this case, the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the defendant enjoyed absolute immunity from the plaintiff's claim of statutory theft, specifically, by determining that (1) public policy considerations were served by affording the defendant this immunity, and (2) all of the defendant's alleged conduct occurred within the scope of the underlying foreclosure proceeding. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")