DelMonico v. Traynor

This case arose out alleged defamatory statements an attorney (Attorney) allegedly took in the course of investigating an underlying defamation action he was hired to defend. The legal issue was whether absolute immunity applied to Attorney's alleged defamatory statements, which were made during ex-parte, out-of-course questioning of a potential, nonparty witness. The court of appeal concluded that absolute immunity applied to Attorney's statements. The Supreme Court quashed the court of appeal's decision and held (1) Florida's absolute privilege was never intended to sweep so broadly as to provide absolute immunity from liability to an attorney under the circumstances presented here; and (2) a qualified privilege instead should apply to ex-parte, out-of-court statements, so long as the alleged defamatory statements bear some relation to the subject of inquiry in the underlying lawsuit. View "DelMonico v. Traynor" on Justia Law