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Yankwitt LLP Successfully Defends Legal Services of the Hudson Valley in Pro Bono Defamation Case

Yankwitt LLP’s pro bono team secured the complete withdrawal of a perjury and defamation case brought against the Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (LSHV) by a landlord who had been adverse to LSHV’s tenant client.

Following LSHV’s successful prevention of the tenant’s eviction, the landlord turned around and sued LSHV and its staff attorney based on unidentified statements LSHV purportedly made in that underlying proceeding.  Associate Connor Hilbie moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing the landlord failed to plead defamation as a matter of law because LSHV’s statements in the underlying proceeding were truthful and absolutely privileged, as they were made in the course of judicial proceedings.  The motion also asserted that the “perjury” claim was invalid on its face because no perjury was committed, and there exists no private, civil cause of action for perjury under New York law.

Almost immediately after the landlord received our motion – and before the court could even rule on it — the landlord withdrew the case entirely.  Yankwitt LLP was both thrilled with the result and honored to represent LSHV pro bono as part of its attorney mentoring program, reflecting the firm’s dual commitment to associate development and pro bono representation.