Steve DeGeorge Quoted in NC Lawyers Weekly on Privileged Testimony



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Jan. 17, 2017

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently upheld the dismissal of a case in which one attorney accused another of defamation for comments made in a disciplinary hearing. Brandon Shelton was called to testify against Lena Watts-Robinson during a disciplinary hearing regarding Watts-Robinson’s handling of client funds. She was ultimately disbarred. Watts-Robinson sued Shelton, claiming that his testimony was defamatory. The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s dismissal of the lawsuit, holding that Shelton’s statements were “absolutely privileged” and therefore protected from the defamation suit. Robinson Bradshaw’s Steve DeGeorge represented Shelton. He spoke to North Carolina Lawyers Weekly about the implication of the Court’s decision.

“Mr. Shelton simply answered a question that was posed to him by the state bar,” DeGeorge said. “The privilege worked exactly like it was supposed to work, and I think the lesson is that if a lawyer is asked by the [Disciplinary Hearing Commission] to testify about some matter they worked on, they can do so freely without fear of facing a civil action for a defamation claim.”

To read “Disciplinary Testimony was Privileged,” please visit North Carolina Lawyers Weekly.

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