Attorneys and Law Firms
**437 Christopher A. Byrne, Washington, D.C., nonparty-appellant pro se.
MARK C. DILLON, J.P., ANITA R. FLORIO, L. PRISCILLA HALL, and SANDRA L. SGROI, JJ.
**438 *669 In related actions, inter alia, to recover damages for breach of contract, Christopher A. Byrne, an attorney for the defendants in Action No. 1 and for the plaintiffs in Action No. 2, appeals, as *670 limited by his brief, from so much of an order of the Supreme Court, Nassau County (Warshawsky, J.), dated August 12, 2008, as, after a hearing, directed him to pay the sum of $5,000 to the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection as a sanction pursuant to 22 NYCRR § 130–1.1.
ORDERED that the order is affirmed insofar as appealed from, without costs or disbursements.
During discovery, Christopher A. Byrne, who was an attorney for the defendants in Action No. 1 and for the plaintiffs in Action No. 2, asserted that 55 e-mails were protected from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege, a litigation committee privilege, and/or a common interest privilege. After an exhaustive in camera review of those 55 e-mails, the Supreme Court determined that Byrne failed to satisfy his burden of establishing that the documents contained confidential communications between an attorney and a client during the course of professional employment for the purpose of obtaining legal advice or services and that they were primarily or predominantly of a legal, rather than a business, nature (see
Spectrum Sys. Intl. Corp. v. Chemical Bank, 78 N.Y.2d 371, 575 N.Y.S.2d 809, 581 N.E.2d 1055; Rossi v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Greater N.Y., 73 N.Y.2d 588, 542 N.Y.S.2d 508, 540 N.E.2d 703; Matter of Priest v. Hennessy, 51 N.Y.2d 62, 431 N.Y.S.2d 511, 409 N.E.2d 983).
The Supreme Court providently exercised its discretion in imposing a sanction upon Byrne, because his claim that the 55 e-mails were privileged was completely without merit in law and could not be supported by any reasonable argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law (see
22 NYCRR 130–1.1[c]; Lightron Corp. v. J.S.M. Holdings, 188 A.D.2d 641, 591 N.Y.S.2d 853).
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