Thursday, February 14, 2013
The Florida Supreme Court has held that a qualified, not absolute, privilege applies to alleged dafamatory statements made by an attorney in ex parte, out-of-court statements "so long as the alleged statements bear some connection with the subject of inquiry in the underlying lawsuit."
The plaintiff must show express actual malice to recover.
No privilege attaches to statements unrelated to the lawsuit.
The conduct at issue involved conduct of an attorney who was investigating a defamation action he was hired to defend. The attorney's statements were allegedly made during his investigation.
There are dissents. (Mike Frisch)