David Bergstein wins $50 Million Jury Award for in Legal Malpractice Case against Former In-House Counsel

Los Angeles jury sides with David Bergstein, finds his longtime attorney liable for providing confidential information to creditors and forcing his companies into bankruptcy, verdict secured by MS&K

LOS ANGELES, Aug 24, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- After less than two days of jury deliberations, a team of litigators from Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp (MS&K) LLP, led by Lucia E. Coyoca, prevailed this week in a ten-day jury trial that resulted in a $50 million jury award for their client, David Bergstein.

Bergstein, an independent film financier and business entrepreneur, filed a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit in 2010 against his former in-house attorney, Susan H. Tregub (Bergstein v. Tregub, BC434558, L.A. Super. Ct., filed March 25, 2010). At trial, Coyoca argued that Tregub "switched sides" and worked with Bergstein's adversary, entertainment hedge fund Aramid Entertainment Fund, to help launch involuntary bankruptcy proceedings and three federal lawsuits against Bergstein and several of his companies.

The jury found Tregub breached her fiduciary duties and committed professional malpractice by collaborating with Aramid and its lawyers, providing them with confidential and privileged information. They awarded more than $50 million in damages -- including $500,000 in punitive damages -- to Bergstein and certain film companies that he and his one-time business partner Ron Tutor own.

"We're very pleased with the verdict in this case," said Coyoca. "This is the first step in a process that will be unfolding in other courtrooms to hold other parties responsible for what happened to Mr. Bergstein."

There are several other pending lawsuits being litigated on behalf of Bergstein relating to his disputes with Aramid: a lawsuit against Aramid Entertainment Fund Ltd., the lead creditor in the bankruptcy proceedings against Bergstein's companies; a separate $100 million lawsuit against Aramid's outside law firms - Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and Levene Neale Bender Yoo & Brill - for using the assistance and confidential information provided by Tregub; and the involuntary bankruptcy proceedings, which are still ongoing. The Stroock/Levene Neale lawsuit is still in the pleadings stage of the litigation.

MS&K's successful trial team included Coyoca, Andrew Spitser and Christopher Elliott.

For more than 100 years, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP has maintained a reputation for excellence in providing sophisticated legal and business solutions for its clients in areas that include: Entertainment & New Media, Labor & Employment, Intellectual Property & Technology, Litigation, Immigration, Corporate Transactions, Homeland Security, Tax, Trust & Estates, Real Estate and International Trade. Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP has offices in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit http://www.msk.com  .


SOURCE: Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP




        Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP

        Iris Falk, Director of Marketing


        [email protected]

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