May 2, 2019

NY Appellate Division Affirms Discovery Order in High-Profile Defamation Case

The legal team from Thomas & LoCicero represented the Geragos & Geragos law firm in this appellate victory which upholds the trial courts’s decision in its entirety.

The New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department, today affirmed a decision in favor of the law firm of Geragos & Geragos, a defendant in a defamation action being prosecuted by well-known record producer Lukasz Gottwald (professionally known as “Dr. Luke”).  Representing the Geragos & Geragos firm, Thomas & LoCicero attorneys prevailed in the trial court on a motion to compel Dr. Luke to produce a variety of important documents about his reputation, his status as a public figure, and his other lawsuits.  The Appellate Division unanimously affirmed the trial court’s decision in its entirety.

Dr. Luke’s defamation claims relate to a statement that Defendant Mark Geragos allegedly made about Dr. Luke on Twitter.  Dr. Luke claims that the statement accused him of having sexually assaulted Lady Gaga.  Defending against this claim, Thomas & LoCicero attorneys served discovery on Dr. Luke seeking important documents about his reputation, his public notoriety, his previous lawsuits, and other issues of significance in the case.  Affirming the trial court, the Appellate Division explained its decision by stating that “[w]e find no basis for disturbing the [trial] court’s discovery order directing [Dr. Luke] to comply with the Geragos defendants’ requests for production.”  Dr. Luke’s lawyers also sought additional discovery responses from Geragos & Geragos, but the Appellate Division found Dr. Luke’s arguments “unavailing.”

“We’re very pleased with the decision, which we believe rightfully prevents a defamation plaintiff from seeking affirmative relief while avoiding the burdens of fully participating in discovery,” said Thomas & LoCicero partner James J. McGuire, who argued the case on behalf of the Geragos & Geragos firm.  “With this decision in hand, we should be able to move this case forward on its merits and effectively challenge Dr. Luke’s claims.” 

With offices in Tampa and Fort Lauderdale, Thomas & LoCicero is a Florida law firm that is widely known and respected for its commitment to free speech and a free press.  The firm represents the industry’s leading electronic and traditional publishers, as well as individual journalists, bloggers and influencers of social media on issues ranging from news gathering to invasion of privacy, from defamation to pre-publication review.  At the heart of the firm’s mission is to champion free speech and defend journalism every day.

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