Southern District of New York Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse at 500 Pearl Street NYLJ/Rick Kopstein

A Southern District judge has thrown out malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty claims against Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman brought by a former employee.

Judge Lorna Schofield ruled that both statute of limitations and insufficient evidence were “independent grounds” for granting summary judgment dismissal of the suit’s remaining claims.

The 2006 suit by plaintiff Amy Gurvey originally levied more than 10 causes of actions against the Manhattan IP firm and other defendants, including for misappropriation of trade secrets.

Gurvey, listed as pro se in documents, worked for the firm briefly in the early 2000s. She later was a client attempting to get a provisional patent on an idea for concert-based ticketing that would enable distribution of live recordings and event merchandise, according to the decision.

Much of Gurvey’s suit focused on the contention that the firm disclosed confidential information to other clients.

Schofield said a three-year statute of limitations applied to Gurvey’s malpractice and fiduciary duty claims. Gurvey had contended a six-year period applied to the fiduciary duty claim.

“The six-year statute of limitations is inapplicable here … because the complaint’s allegations of breach of fiduciary duty are not inextricably bound to a fraud claim,” the judge wrote. Even with applicable tolling, Schofield said Gurvey’s claims were time-barred.

Schofield also explained why the evidence was not enough on both liability and damages points. “Plaintiff’s information was not confidential,” she wrote, adding, “She shared it at a firm meeting where she did not take any precautions to prevent its dissemination.”

Gurvey said Friday the “factual renditions issued [by Schofield] were controverted by documents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office,” and that she intended to appeal.

Schuyler Blake Kraus, a Hinshaw & Culbertson partner in New York, represented the firm.