New York Lawyer Sues Law Blogger for Reporting on Malpractice Lawsuit

Brooklyn attorney Marina Tylo filed a lawsuit against Andrew Lavoott Bluestone of the New York Attorney Malpractice Blog last week. According to the Summons with Notice, Tylo seeks $10,000,000 in damages for libel, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and tortious interference with prospective contractual relations, all arising out of the following statement on Bluestone's blog

Here is the full text cite for a legal malpractice case in which plaintiff's attorney served a summons before buying the index number. Khlevner v. Tylo, 10733/07.

Unless I'm missing something, this looks like a purely frivolous case, perhaps a situation where sanctions against Tylo are appropriate. As explained in our legal guide, section 74 of the New York Civil Rights Law codifies the fair report privilege. Under the statute, speakers cannot be held liable for giving a "fair and true report of any judicial proceeding, legislative proceeding or other official proceeding."

The fair report privilege would apply to Bluestone's minimal, neutral commentary on the lawsuit and his link to the court opinion, unless he mischaracterized the nature of the underlying malpractice suit in a way that materially harmed Tylo's reputation.  I can't tell for sure because the link on Bluestone's blog leads to the New York Law Journal site, which requires a subscription, but it is hard to imagine he botched his reading of the case that badly. Defamation law provides Tylo no support whatsoever for suing Bluestone simply for reporting on her malpractice case, absent some kind of false statement of fact. 

Hat tip to the South Carolina Criminal Defense Blog for drawing out attention to this case.  We will monitor its progress in our database entry, Tylo v. Bluestone


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