Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Law firm ruled public figure in defamation suit

A New York judge has ruled that a politically connected Long Island law firm is a public figure and must meet the actual malice standard in a defamation suit against a legislator who publicly accued the firm of over-billing and trying to cover up misconduct, Law.com reports. The judge noted that even though well-known lawyers representing famous clients are not generally held to be public figures, she found this firm to meet the standard because of its lawyers' prominence in local public affairs and steps the firm had taken to draw public attention to itself.


Anonymous said...

I feel the actual malice rule in this case is important because the reputation of this law firm is in jeopardy. The actual malice rule was not just for public individual figures, but for all public officals. Considering this law firm is prestigious and has a lot to lose if their clients found out they were unethical.

Anonymous said...

I agree with BudManJr89 as well. The malice rule is not just for public figures, but for public entities, presitigous and noticable law firms included.

The judge's decision is a fair one, especially since she found that the firm specifically takes steps to draw public attention to its cases, clients and the firm itself.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the judge's decision. The law Firm's reputation is at stake so actual malice should be present since the law firm is considered a "public person" and is a prestigious firm and all this attention being draw to them can cause some damage to not just their reputation but business.