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Second Circuit Unanimously Affirms the Dismissal of All Claims Against Yankwitt LLP’s Client in Defamation and Tortious Interference Action

Yankwitt LLP secured a complete victory in the Second Circuit for its clients, the Irish Dancing Teachers Association of North America Mid-Atlantic Region and affiliated individuals, as the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously affirmed the Southern District of New York’s granting of our motion to dismiss a defamation and tortious interference with business relations actions against Yankwitt LLP’s clients. 

The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants defamed them at a quarterly meeting of the Teachers Association by reading a complaint received about the plaintiffs that they had sent obscenity to minors via Instagram.  The plaintiffs denied having done so and alleged that the defendants’ statements were false and made with malice. 

Yankwitt LLP moved to dismiss all claims in the district court on the grounds that the statements were not actionable because they fell within the common interest privilege, the malice allegations were conclusory, and the plaintiffs failed to state a claim for tortious interference.  In March 2022, the court granted Yankwitt LLP’s motion to dismiss in its entirety.

The plaintiffs pursued their defamation claims on appeal to the Second Circuit.  Following oral argument, the appellate court unanimously affirmed Yankwitt LLP’s win in the court below. 

The case is Hodges et al. v. Lutwin et al., 22-974-cv.