Thursday, August 5, 2010

Absolutely Privileged

A statement made in response to a bar complaint filed by an opposing party against counsel is absolutely privileged, according to a decision of the New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department affirming the dismissal of a defamation claim:

Here, the allegedly defamatory statements contained in a letter to the Grievance Committee written in response to a letter submitted by the plaintiff were made in the course of a quasi-judicial proceeding and, as a matter of law, were material and pertinent to the issue to be resolved therein. Thus, the Supreme Court correctly concluded that those statements were absolutely privileged. Therefore, the Supreme Court properly granted the motion of the defendants Law dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against them. (citations omitted)

(Mike Frisch)

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