Sunday, April 2, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Attorney’s Drug Comment Was Protected Speech

RALEIGH, N.C. (CN) - A man was not slandered by an attorney's statement that he had been "run out of town for drugs," the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled.

Benjamin Paul Jones claimed attorney William Coward made the statement about him to a potential witness in a court action involving Jones and Coward.

Judge Jackson upheld the trial court's dismissal of the slander complaint, ruling that the comments were fair game because Coward was acting in his standing as an attorney.

"Plaintiff's own evidence is that defendant approached Bracken as a witness, in an attempt to gather evidence for an ongoing suit," Jackson wrote.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.