Defamation Lawsuit Dismissed
August 6, 2020
TDR partners Christopher D. Liguori, Timothy A. Hudson and John M. Fitzgerald and TDR associate Amanda N. Catalano successfully represented an attorney and her law firm in a defamation lawsuit, obtaining dismissal of the lawsuit at the pleading stage in the Circuit Court of Cook County. In that lawsuit, Rose McGowan’s former criminal defense lawyer — Jose Baez — alleged that he was defamed by statements made about him and his connection to Harvey Weinstein in a federal lawsuit filed in California alleging violations of Civil RICO, even though he was not a named defendant in that case. While the complaint itself was absolutely privileged, Mr. Baez alleged that the privilege was lost when the complaint was republished without comment on the defendants’ LinkedIn page. He also claimed that the Attorney Defendants conspired with Ms. McGowan to defame him, thus making the Attorney Defendants responsible for Ms. McGowan’s separate statements to the press and others.
The Attorney Defendants and Ms. McGowan separately moved to dismiss on multiple, independent grounds. The TDR team successfully argued that none of the alleged statements were defamatory per se as a matter of both Florida and Illinois law. The court also dismissed the complaint as it concerned Ms. McGowan. The case is Jose A. Baez v. Rose McGowan, et al., No. 2020 L 00768 (Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois).
TDR regularly represents both plaintiffs and defendants in defamation litigation in state and federal courts in Illinois. TDR also routinely defends attorneys, accountants and other professionals in professional liability litigation.