Litigation Privilege

Litigation Privilege as a Defamation Defense

Litigation privilege is an absolute privilege to a defamation defense recognized in Illinois and nationwide, in state and federal courts. The absolute litigation privilege provides that a plaintiff cannot state a cognizable defamation claim against a defense counsel for alleged statements made by defense counsel in a communication directly or indirectly related to advancing a client’s interests.

When a court rules on a motion to dismiss a defamation claim for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted based on the litigation privilege, the court will resolve all doubts in favor of a finding that the absolute litigation privilege applies, even if a defamatory statement goes beyond the scope of the pending litigation, and even if it is not confined to specific issues related to the litigation.

There are important public policy reasons for the litigation privilege to be an absolute privilege, unlike some qualified defamation privileges, which can be lost from abuse. The absolute litigation privilege protects any statements that bear on the subject at issue in a lawsuit, regardless of the speaker’s motive or the unreasonableness of his or her conduct regarding the truth of a particular statement.

Attorneys have an absolute privilege to publish defamatory matter concerning another person in preliminary communications that lead up to to a proposed judicial proceeding, in the filing of the proceeding, or during the course and as part of a judicial proceeding in which the attorney participates as counsel, if it has some relation to the proceeding. This privilege is intended to provide attorneys with the utmost freedom in their efforts to secure justice for their clients.

This absolute litigation privilege applies no matter which legal theory a plaintiff may asset to in an attempt to impose liability for the statements. For example, the litigation privilege can barred a plaintiff’s claims for invasion of privacy, negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, breach of written contract, and breach of oral contract.

The attorneys at Lubin Austermuehle have over thirty years of experience defending and prosecuting defamation, slander libel and cyber smear lawsuits. We are knowledgeable regarding the changes and complexities of this evolving area of the law. We are committed to fighting for our clients' rights in the courtroom and at the negotiating table. Conveniently located in Chicago and Elmhurst, Illinois, we have successfully litigated non-compete and trade secret and covenant not to compete cases for clients all over the Chicago area. To schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys, you can contact us online or give us a call at 630-333-0333.

Client Reviews
I was referred to Peter Lubin from someone in the car business to handle a law suit. From the moment I made the appointment Peter and his staff were outstanding. This wasn't an easy case, most lawyers had turned me down. However, Peter took the time to meet with me and review everything. He took on the case, and constantly communicated with me about updates and case information. We beat this non-compete agreement case in record time. I would use him again and recommend him to my closest family and friends. 5 stars is not enough to thank him for his service. Sebastian R.
I worked on two occasions with Peter Lubin and his staff. They took their time with me and discussed each and every item in detail. The group makes you feel like you are part of the family and not just another hourly charge. I recommend Peter to anyone who asks me for a referral. If you are looking for a top notch attorney at a reasonable rate, look no further than Lubin Austermuehle. Kurt A.
Excellent law firm. My case was a complicated arbitration dispute from another state. Was handled with utmost professionalism and decency. Mr. Peter Lubin was able to successfully resolve the case on my behalf and got me a very favorable settlement. Would recommend to anyone looking for a serious law firm. Great staff and great lawyers! Albey L.
I have known Peter Lubin for over 30 years. He has represented me on occasion with sound legal advice. He is a shrewd and tough negotiator leading to positive outcomes and averting prolonged legal hassles in court. He comes from a family with a legal pedigree and deep roots in Chicago's top legal community. You want him on your case. You need him on your opponents case. He won't stop fighting until he wins. Christopher G.
Peter was really nice and helpful when I came to him with an initial question about a non-compete. Would definitely reach out again, recommended to everyone. Johannes B.