Firm Obtains Defense Verdict in Legal Malpractice Defamation Case

January 27, 2010

DANBURY, CT – (January 27, 2010) - RRD Partner Rob Laney obtained a defense verdict on January 21, 2010 in an action alleging defamation against a lawyer.

The plaintiff, a real estate developer, claimed that he suffered economic damages and emotional distress when the lawyer who defended an earlier lawsuit brought by the plaintiff told a local newspaper that the plaintiff had previously faced criminal charges that were “dropped.” In fact, the plaintiff had been tried and found not guilty of the charges.

The plaintiff claimed that the statement constituted libel per se, because anyone who was told that the criminal charges were simply dropped would necessarily conclude that the plaintiff had paid somebody off in exchange for having the charges dropped. The plaintiff sought general damages, special damages and punitive damages.

The jury deliberated for less than 20 minutes before returning a defense verdict, finding that the statement was not defamatory.