Trials & Litigation

Federal judge axes suit against law firm in sunken-treasure hoax, sets sanctions hearing for partner

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A well-known Delaware law firm is no longer facing a civil lawsuit over a sunken-treasure hoax.

But a sanctions hearing has been scheduled later this week by a federal judge in Florida for partner Bruce Silverstein of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, Delaware Law Weekly (sub. req.) reports.

Silverstein is accused by a salvage company of prolonging admiralty litigation over who had rights to explore a claimed sunken-treasure find. Motivation Inc. contends the lawyer concealed a report showing that emeralds a novice diver said he had discovered undersea about 40 miles from Key West were coated with an epoxy resin. That meant the jewels, which diver Jay Miscovich had portrayed as being from a 17th-century shipwreck, had to be modern.

Silverstein has denied any wrongdoing and said he and his firm also suffered financially because of Miscovich, who committed suicide last year. Court documents show he invested $100,000 of his own money in the sunken-treasure venture, Delaware Law Weekly says.

Silverstein, his law firm and a spokeswoman for the firm declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment after the recent rulings, the legal publication reports.

A second federal lawsuit in Florida, which was brought by Azalp LLC investors who put money into the sunken-treasure venture and makes similar claims, is still ongoing, the article notes.

The News Journal also has a story.

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