2007_12_celej.jpgWe knew Sean Connery was a tough guy (or so his screen persona and Darrell Hammond's impression would have us believe), so we might have imagined the lawsuits between him and his East 71st Street neighbor would pile up. But who knew that it would get to the point of a judge complaining that the two parties were being too fighty?

Dr. Burton Sultan, who lives on the first four floors of the Upper East Side townhouse, has been claiming that Connery and his wife's renovations (the Connerys are on the top two floors; their son is listed as the owner) were so bad they created "foul odors and rat infestation," not to mention water damage and leaks. Sultan has filed a number of lawsuits, including the the one where he says that Connery is a "foulmouthed, fat old man," who plays "loud music all the time while stomping about". Oh, and Connery also allegedly slammed a door in Sultan's daughter's face.

Connery, in turn, has said the Sultans are after their apartment and have blocked their efforts to do proper renovation work. Connery has countersued a few times, with lawsuits in both Manhattan and Nassau County courts (Sultan has a home in Nassau County). Since 2005, when the first lawsuit was filed, there have been nine other lawsuits between the two parties!

Recently, Manhattan judge Marcy Friedman blasted both sides, writing, "Regrettably, both parties to this dispute have engaged in a 'slash and burn' litigation strategy that has at times been duplicative and exceedingly burdensome to their adversaries and the courts." According to the Post, Friedman criticized that Connery's "blunderbuss" court attacks on Sultan, but then also "fined Sultan $1,000 for repeatedly filing lawsuits on claims he's already lost." Blunderbuss - that could be a new Bond movie!

Sultan's $30 million lawsuit can proceed, but the claims have been narrowed and the warring neighbors will need the judge's permission before they sue each other again.