FILED: NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 12/07/2016 04:15 PM INDEX NO. 158224/2016 NYSCEF DOC. NO. 12 RECEIVED NYSCEF: 12/07/2016
SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF NEW YORK
Plaintiffs, by and through their undersigned counsel, for their Verified Amended Complaint against Defendants, allege as follows:
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Cedeño made use of especially sensitive personal information learned in the context of the attorney-client relationship, not to advance Atesa’s legal interests but in an ultimately successful effort to develop a sexual relationship with Atesa. To further this objective Cedeño delayed the proceedings, lying to the court and to the parties in the process. He used the delays he wrongfully created to get closer personally to Atesa. And Cedeño’s efforts to further a sexual relationship with Atesa only intensified after Cedeño learned that the Plaintiffs were trying to reconcile. But Cedeño never developed, and given his role and the inherent power imbalance in the relationship could never develop, a consensual sexual relationship with Atesa. Instead Cedeño sexually assaulted Atesa.
The sexual assault, the intentional delays which preceded it, and the deliberate interference with Anthony’s and Atesa’s efforts to reconcile have caused the Plaintiffs to suffer immense emotional and financial damages. Indeed, Cedeño’s ongoing flirtation with his client, and his quest to develop a sexual relationship with her, demonstrate that he placed his own personal interests ahead of those of his vulnerable client, a breach of his fiduciary obligations. Accordingly, Cedeño and his law firm should be held liable for sexual assault/battery, breach of fiduciary duty, violations of Judiciary Law §487, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and loss of consortium, and be required to pay commensurate actual and punitive damages.
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Cedeño’s Initial Efforts to Develop a Sexual Relationship with Atesa
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Cedeño Delays the Case to Further His Relationship with Atesa
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The Flirtation Continues Although Anthony and Atesa Are Seeking Reconciliation
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Cedeño: Btw why does it take u so long to respond to texts? Can’t figure that one out
Atesa: I’m a busy busy girl counsel : )
Cedeño: Well I shouldn’t be last on the list
Atesa: So work your way up
Cedeño: Interesting. Any advice?
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The Late July Text Messages
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Cedeño: Be absent.
Atesa: I don’t even know what that means…
Atesa: You want me to sign waivers…give you more retainers…you’re all business.
Cedeño: U know
Atesa: U know too
Atesa: Don’t pretend
Cedeño: Ur pretending.
Atesa: Just SAY it.
Cedeño: Did you hear me?
Atesa: Use the little audio function…button to left of “space” : )
Atesa: Or just write it…
Cedeño: Hmm. U first.
Atesa: Well what if…
Cedeño: Now that’s cryptic.
Atesa:…what if I’m annoyed I haven’t seen you in almost a month.
Cedeño: Who’s fault is that?
Cedeño: What should I do?
Atesa: What do you want to do?
Cedeño: What u need me to do.
Atesa: Everytime you talk to me you’re all business. Stings
Cedeño: Read again.
Atesa: Next week
Cedeño: Why so far
Atesa: My Mom is in town [“smiley face” emoji]
Atesa: No wait I can’t Sunday woods
Cedeño: What would u have planned?
Atesa: Have to think on it…
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Atesa: Can I shut down the lawyer for a night? Or is that asking too much
Cedeño: Shut it down
Cedeño: What u doing
Atesa: I’m out tonight w friends. It’s my bday silly.
Atesa: July 22nd, the best day of the year : )
Cedeño: Wow no invite. Incredible. Enjoy.
Atesa: Like you’d have come
Atesa: See! You’re asleep! And I’m here in some random club…and everyone is wasted off their assess, and one of my dumb friends is even puking…and it’s the perfect moment for you to say hi.
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Cedeño at 3:52 p.m.: What r u doing home?
Atesa at 3:53 p.m.: Oh so you DO pay attention to what I write
Cedeño at 3:53 p.m.: Get out there!
Atesa at 3:53 p.m.: Lol gotcha
Atesa at 3:53 p.m.: I told you where I was going today…quick…do u remember???
Cedeño at 3:54 p.m.: U busted early?
Cedeño at 3:54 p.m.: Who’s the friend?
Cedeño at 3:54 p.m.: Where
Cedeño at 3:54 p.m.: Omg u r so disruptive
Atesa at 3:56 p.m.: Still here; still playing
Cedeño at 3:58 p.m.: In your apt?
Atesa at 3:59 p.m.: At the poker tourney. That pic’s from earlier
Atesa at 4:03 p.m.: What are you doing??
Cedeño at 4:05 p.m.: Showering
Cedeño at 4:21 p.m.: I really hate your delays.
Cedeño at 4:22 p.m.: It causes unnecessary friction
Cedeño at 4:22 p.m.: U want friction?
Atesa at 4:43 p.m.: I’m in the middle of a tournament mr. Impatient : ) …
Cedeño at 4:49 p.m.: Don’t make me second place to anything. That becomes problem number 1.
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Cedeño: Saw [Star Trek] at 11:00 a.m. Also I like to get in fist fights. I cry during some movies. …
Cedeño: I also like to out run cops. Did it twice this year.
Atesa: Omg what?
Atesa: And what’s this about fist fights?? Like w anyone or someone specific over and over again?
Cedeño: Usually someone who deserves it. Always someone who seems tough. I’m pretty good so I show up as a surprise.
Cedeño: Also another thing u don’t know. After my second drink I have no filter.
Atesa: Meaning you say whatever’s on your mind?
Atesa: After only 2 drinks?
Cedeño: Yes. And yes I’m a light weight
Atesa: So what you’re saying is I need to get you drunk. Which apparently isn’t very hard : )
Cedeño: That and that I’m also very protective and loyal. U r loyal too due to your sign.
Cedeño: We don’t like being crossed but know how to defend ourselves. …
Atesa: Though I tone it down. Most people can’t handle me as I really am. Too intense.
Cedeño: Hmm. Should be interesting
Atesa: So far!
Cedeño: How on earth will u ever have time for anything else?
Atesa: 1 x / month. I manage my vices v [very] carefully
Cedeño: Thank u for telling me.
Cedeño: What other vices exist?
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Atesa: Can’t tell you all my secrets now can I
Cedeño: You will and u should start now.
Cedeño: Say yes to my FB [Facebook] friend request BF [before] I chg [change] my mind
Atesa: You’re very bossy
Cedeño: Yes but I reward obedience
Atesa: OMG you’re ridiculous
Cedeño: It shouldn’t be so bad
Atesa: Is that what you tell all the girls
Cedeño: Is that what u believe?
Atesa: No. Not really. But don’t forget that I don’t really know you, despite 18 pages of texts b/t [between] us : )
Cedeño: Time will cure that.
Atesa: Has my selfie game improved? You be the judge…On my way to “bang it out”, as they say ; ) [a picture of Atesa in gym attire was attached to this text message]
Cedeño: Much improved
Atesa: I’m a fast learner
Cedeño: My god u r super slim
Atesa: Not your style?
Cedeño: Didn’t say that.
Cedeño: Let me tell u where my style begins. Brain power. Humor. Sensitivity. U have those in abundance. The other stuff u don’t need me to tell u what u already know.
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Cedeño: I’m not willing to open myself up for a law suit in what could conceivably be the worst deal I have ever seen. You don’t even get child support for gods sake!
Atesa: He’s going to kill this deal and I’m going to hold you responsible.
Atesa: Your edits are all about covering yourself and that is not ok with me. If you want another waiver, another release, I’ll sign it.
Cedeño: I want an email making it clear that you are insisting signing this deal despite not having received or reviewed his statement of net worth. That I did not participate in the negotiations. That you know I am not recommending that you sign this agreement. That I am against you not receiving child support. You send that and we are then good.
Atesa: Check your email
Cedeño: Ok. We’re good.
There is an additional letter you will have to sign on wed…
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The Events at the Execution of the Settlement Agreement
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Cedeño Solicits a Sexual Relationship with Atesa
Atesa: Hmmm yourself
Cedeño: My hmm is worth more than yours
Atesa: Confused? Disappointed? Intrigued? Something else? Use your words.
Cedeño: Those are all good words.
Atesa: You’re confused…I’m confused too.
Cedeño: How can u be confused
Atesa: Apparently I missed a few key details
Cedeño: U also forgot about dinner
Atesa: I didn’t just long stressful day. Exhausted
Atesa: You’re on my to do list
Cedeño: Never heard it put that way.
Atesa: Saucy today aren’t we
Cedeño: Yes. Tmrw back to “I don’t know u”
Atesa: Not like that at all. I text you bc I’m thinking about you.
Cedeño: I like it. It’s sweet.
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The Sexual Banter Continues
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The Attempted August 5 Tryst
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Cedeño: What time u done w work?
Atesa: I can meet up around 7
Cedeño: Why so late?
Cedeño: I figured 5.
Cedeño: Hey u alive?!
Atesa: What’s up?
Cedeño: Can we meet earlier?
Cedeño: Usually on Friday I leave at 3 in Summer today I’m staying late bc of trial prep. 7 will leave me basically doing nothing for two hours
Atesa: No worries Peter, some other time.
Atesa: If you really wanted to see me, nothing would stop you. You wouldn’t care if you had to wait 2 minutes or 2 hours, you would make it happen. You wouldn’t take no for an answer. You know this, I know this. Remember what I told you a few weeks ago about not doing things halfway? About not screwing around? You should take that to heart. As far as tonight goes, I made plans. And I’m not cancelling.
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Atesa and Cedeño Consummate Their Sexual Relationship
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Atesa: Of course I do.
Atesa: You’re ignoring me
Cedeño: by thinking about u and keeping it to myself so as to avoid being hurt?
Atesa: I don’t want you to keep it to yourself
Cedeño: I have to bc u r so easily capable of hurting the vulnerable.
Cedeño: I was crushed on Friday. Like a stupid boy.
Atesa: Who asks their dinner date to meet up at 5? Seemed like u were trying to get out of it
Cedeño: Could be that bc of my age and lack of experience I see things happening a little earlier. I’m up at 4:45 every day.
Cedeño: I also don’t live in the city.
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Atesa Displays Her Confusion and Vulnerability
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Cedeño Continues to Represent Atesa until August 19, 2016
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Cedeño Resists the Implications of His Actions
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Anthony Learns the Full Extent of Atesa’s Sexual Relationship with her Attorney
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COUNT I (Breach of Fiduciary Duty)
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COUNT II (Violation of Judiciary Law §487)
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COUNT III (Battery/Sexual Assault, In The Alternative)
COUNT IV (Battery/Sexual Assault, In The Alternative To Count III)
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COUNT V (Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress)
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COUNT VI (Loss of Consortium)
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Dated: December 6, 2016
FRANKFURT KURNIT KLEIN & SELZ, P.C.
Ronald C. Minkoff/DLA Ronald C. Minkoff 488 Madison Avenue New York, New York 10022 Tel: (212) 980-0120 Fax: (212) 593-9175 firstname.lastname@example.org
LAW OFFICE OF DANIEL L. ABRAMS, PLLC
Daniel L. Abrams 31 Penn Plaza, 15th Floor New York, New York 10001 Tel.: (646) 821-4575 Fax: (646) 536-8905 email@example.com
Attorneys for Plaintiffs Anthony and Atesa Pacelli
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