Statements in settlement offer immune from defamation liability

A lawyer’s letter making a settlement offer contained a paragraph accusing the other side of giving a witness money for favorable testimony.  The accused party then sued for defamation.  In Lehman v. Holleman, applying Mississippi law, the Fifth Circuit affirmed that such statements are absolutely privileged from liability because they are “plainly related” to an underlying judicial proceeding.  No. 12-60814 (April 15, 2013, unpublished).

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