Producer and financier David Bergstein suffered a legal defeat today as a judge shut down his $100 million lawsuit against two law firms. Bergstein claimed the firms — Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and Levene Neale Bender Yoo & Brill, who represent Aramid Entertainment’s David Molner and other creditors in their bankruptcy cases against him — gained confidential information about Bergstein and his companies from his former in-house counsel Susan Tregub while she was still working for him. Judge Michael Linfield agreed with the firms’ separate motions of privileged litigation activities and said they were simply doing their jobs for their client, Molner. This afternoon’s ruling was not unexpected: Last week, the judge released a tentative decision indicating his leaning in the case. Linfield added today that Bergstein’s actions were restricted by the one-year statute of limitations for legal malpractice. Bergstein’s lawyer Alex Weingarten said he plans to file an appeal. “I feel very confident we will win on appeal,” he said.
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Bergstein sued the law firms in April for their part in Tregub switching sides. On August 22, a jury awarded Bergstein $50 million in damages against Tregub for breach of fiduciary duty and legal malpractice. On September 4, a judge tossed out Bergstein’s $50 million suit against Teri Zimon, another of his former lawyers, based on the statute of limitations. Bergstein’s lawyers plan to appeal that ruling too.