Bar Counsel v. Farber

G. Russell Damon filed with bar counsel a complaint regarding attorney Peter Farber's alleged fraudulent misrepresentation of certain facts in connection with a real estate purchase. After bar counsel filed a petition for discipline against Farber, Damon testified as a witness before a hearing committee of the board of bar overseers (board) on the matter. The hearing committee made findings consistent with the allegations in the petition for discipline, and the board adopted the committee's factual findings. Thereafter, the Supreme Court issued an order of public reprimand. Farbert subsequently filed a civil suit against Damon asserting, inter alia, claims of defamation and wrongful instigation of civil proceedings based on statements made in the complaint, in follow-up communications with bar counsel, and in the testimony Damon gave. Bar counsel filed this action for declaratory judgment to resolve controversy between the parties relating to the proper interpretation of S.J.C. Rule 4:01, 9. The Supreme Court held that, under section 9, a bar discipline complainant is entitled to absolute immunity from civil liability with respect to his complaint filed with bar counsel or the board and his sworn testimony given or communications made to bar counsel or the board or any hearing committee thereof. Remanded. View "Bar Counsel v. Farber" on Justia Law