October 9, 2015

Hip Hop Producer Failed To State A Claim Against Her Former Attorneys In An Earlier Copyright Action

Boone v. Codispoti & Assocs., No. 15-cv-01391 (S.D.N.Y. filed Oct. 7, 2015).

The Court held that a hip-hop producer, proceeding pro se, did not state a claim for fraud, conspiracy and denial of due process arising from her former attorney's prior representation in a copyright infringement action.  Plaintiff alleged that her former attorneys falsely led her to believe that a jury trial would occur, and to amend her pleadings, knowing that almost all copyright infringement actions do not survive summary judgment.  The claim failed because the alleged statements were a mere expression of future expectations that did not constitute actionable fraud.  Moreover, the alleged actions were not fraudulent representations or omissions.  The claim was also time-barred.  Lacking a fraud claim, her conspiracy claim also failed.  The due process claim, under 42 USC 1983, failed because there was no statement of a constitutional violation.  The summary judgment decision dismissing her earlier case was affirmed on appeal.  Nor did defendants act under color of state law.  The defendants were private attorneys who represented plaintiff in federal court in a copyright action.  Leave to amend was denied, and the complaint was dismissed.