Complaint: In Dec 2016, I emailed Pamela S. (Susan) Chestek to inquire about retaining her to pursue my copyright infringement claim. I made perfectly clear that I was interested in retaining her as a litigator in S.D.N.Y. Court: u201cI understand that you are a litigator. I see from your website that you are admitted in NY. In S.D.N.Y. U.S. District Court?u201d And closed with, u201cIs this something you can help me with? If so, please provide your hourly rate and availability.u201d In her Dec reply email, she wrote, u201cYes, I am admitted to the Federal Court for the S.D.N.Y.u201d and provided her hourly rate. From her reply, I understood that she (1) is admitted to S.D.N.Y. Court, (2) is a litigator, and, hence, (3) was in a position to pursue my claim in that court. In Jan, Ms. Chestek requested comparisons Iu2019d drawn up of the infringing titles for her u201cfirst step.u201d At no time did she inform me that she intended to keep them. Based on her above assurances, I provided four confidential files with a copyright notice at the bottom and appended Confidentiality and Legal notices. The confidentiality notice stated that my email and attached files contained information that was privileged, confidential, and exempt from disclosure under the law; I did not waive any rights or privileges by sending the message; any unauthorized downloading was strictly prohibited by law. The legal notice stated that the information was protected from disclosure by N.C. Bar Rules 1.6 and 1.18. In a phone meeting, she asked several questions re: how to interpret the documents, which told me she had not reviewed them in the 2 days since I sent them. Further, not until the end did Ms. Chestek tell me that she was in fact not a litigator and therefore could not pursue my claim in S.D.N.Y. court. Dumbfounded, I asked what alternative she gave her clients if her negotiations were unsuccessful and I had to resort to litigating in S.D.N.Y. Court. She brushed off my concern by saying dismissively, u201cOh, I could probably find someone in New York.u201d Her blithe, cavalier attitude was cause for concern. By then I had contacted hundreds of NY lawyers without success. Her response showed that she had intentionally deceived me by omitting the fact that she is not a litigator despite my specifically asking if she was. I immediately emailed her for the names of NY lawyers to whom she could refer me and instead of complying with my request, she immediately replied, u201cI suspect I am not the lawyer you are looking for, so I will be declining your case.u201d Her response told me that she could not in fact refer me to any such lawyers. From her failure to be forthcoming on two critical points on four separate occasions, I understood that she had repeatedly deceived me and I no longer trusted her. Her responses showed greed at the clientu2019s expense and that if negotiations failed she intended to abandon my case. I immediately emailed her, requesting she delete the confidential files I had provided at her request. She did not reply. After repeating my request, she refused to do so. Her Jan email stating she would protect the confidentiality of my files failed to include the following: how she would do so, for how long before deleting them, when I could expect confirmation of same, whether or not she had abided by Rule 1.18 by not using or revealing my confidential information to any other parties, or acknowledgment that her actions were in violation of my Confidentiality Notice. In Jan, I repeated my demand and reminded her that I had provided the files for the purpose of retaining her. Since I would not retain her, she had no basis for keeping them. She asserted that she has a legal obligation to u201cpreserve evidence as soon as I am on notice that there may be litigation,u201d citing McLain v. Taco Bell Corp., 137 N.C. In a Jan email, Ms. Chesteku2019s wrote that I was u201cquite clearu201d that I believed I had a claim against her, which left her u201cno choiceu201d but to keep my documents. But at no time did I state or infer that I had a claim against her. Instead, I very clearly stated the truth: u201cI asked if you were a litigator, which you no longer are. However, you withheld that information prior to the end of our phone meeting, which borders on deceit.u201d Then I politely requested that she delete my confidential files, which she refused to do so 10 days later. Also, as noted on each file, I am the copyright owner and The U.S. Copyright Act gives me exclusive rights to their content and their use. At no time did I authorize her use of my files for any other purpose than representing me, which she declined mere hours after reviewing them. Every other lawyer to whom I have lent the files but not retained has deleted them upon request. Ms. Chestek is the only one who adamantly refused to do so. I approached Ms. Chestek in good faith and she responded with lack of transparency, failure to be forthcoming with information a client should have (prior to sharing confidential information) in order to make an informed decision, deceitfulness, greed, and bullying. That she would further abuse an already embattled victim is unconscionable. Her actions suggest that she has veered far from the facts, the truth, and the law in her professional dealings as she is unable to perceive that her actions caused this problem. SHE IS TRICKY, DECEITFUL, UNFORTHCOMING, AND SHOULD BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS!
Address: 200 S. Dawson St Raleigh, North Carolina USA