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Front, Inc. v. Khalil, 19

In this case, defendant Khalil was terminated from his employment at plaintiff architectural and engineering firm for allegedly stealing project information and client information, and for interfering with business relationships. A letter from plaintiff's attorney was sent to Khalil, which stated the various legal violations they believed Khalil to made, and which demanded that Khalil cease and desist from using the proprietary information, return the information, and refrain from contacting plaintiff's clients. The attorney then sent a letter to defendant Eckersley O'Callaghan (EOC), a competitor firm, referencing the earlier letter sent to Khalil and stating that he believed Khalil to have conspired with EOC to breach his fiduciary duty to plaintiff, and that EOC was diverting business away from plaintiff to itself. Khalil commenced a third party action against the attorney for libel per se based upon the statements made in the letters. Dismissal of the third party action against the attorney is affirmed, where: 1) at the time the letters were sent, plaintiff's attorney had a good-faith basis to anticipate litigation and the statements in the letters were pertinent to that anticipated litigation; and 2) the letters at issues were properly found to be privileged.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 02/24/2015
  • Published 02/24/2015

Judges

  • Abdus-Salaam

Court

  • Court of Appeals of New York

Counsel

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