Deutsch, Levy & Engel, Chartered

DLE defamation attorneys Phillip J. Zisook and Brian D. Saucier recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of our client, Dan Cooney. Cooney was sued for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by Chicago attorney, Kelly Cartwright.Cartwright alleged that Cooney defamed her on three separate occasions: (i) in statements Cooney made in a settlement memorandum submitted to the court in another lawsuit; (ii) in statements Cooney made to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission ("ARDC") concerning Cartwright's professional conduct as an attorney in that prior litigation; and (iii) in statements published in the Chicago Reader which were responsive to statements made by Cartwright on a Reader blog concerning the prior litigation. In her lawsuit, Cartwright alleged that Cooney's collective statements falsely charged her with a lack of ethics as an attorney and constituted defamation per se. In finding the statements in the settlement memorandum and ARDC statements to be protected by an absolute privilege as a matter of law, the court found: "Cooney's comments to [the Judge] and the ARDC clearly were made during the course of a legal proceeding and obviously were related to that proceeding. ... Because Cooney's statements ... are absolutely privileged, they cannot support Cartwright's claims for defamation or intentional infliction of emotional distress. " In finding that summary judgment was also appropriate for Cooney and against Cartwright with respect to the Chicago Reader statements, the Court held that Cartwright "simply rested upon her pleadings instead of submitting evidentiary materials that set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Thus, Plaintiff has failed to establish the existence of an element essential to her case and on which she will bear the burden of proof at trial. Therefore, summary judgment must be granted in favor of Defendant on Plaintiff's defamation claim." You can read the decision here. For more information, please contact Phillip Zisook ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or Brian Saucier ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).