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.

4 comments:

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.

BudManJr89 said...

I agree with what anonymous said to a certain point. The malice rule is something that is very important because the law firm is in jepoardy. However if this is such a prestigious law firm and they have done something unethical should their clients not know about it. You better believe that if im paying for the services of a law firm and they have done something unethical then I want to know about it. I feel that if im paying for their services to defend me then I should be able to make a decision as to whether or not I agree with what they have done. I would rather have to make the decision as to keep them as my law firm or not to then to be lied to by them.

Jennifer Mazza 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.

MissFatima 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.