Tyler E. Chapman provided analysis in a news article concerning a federal judge’s dismissal of a defamation lawsuit filed by a Massachusetts ophthalmologist and his wife against a Maryland law firm related to a blog post on its website.
The judge, Indira Talwani of the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, determined that the plaintiffs failed to show that the law firm’s blog post targeted the ophthalmologist specifically, or that the firm knew he lived in Massachusetts or intended to harm his reputation in the state.
The post reported on a New Hampshire medical malpractice verdict against the ophthalmologist.
Other than the fact that the law firm’s website is accessible in Massachusetts, the judge found that the plaintiffs failed to offer any evidence that the firm had any contacts with Massachusetts, including any advertising targeting residents or handling any cases in the state.
Mr. Chapman agreed with the judge’s decision, telling Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly that the ruling “turned on the inability of the plaintiffs to come forward with specific facts to support their allegations.”
He observed that “this case is a reminder that if you’re going to attempt to convince a judge that you have personal jurisdiction, you better be specific and you can’t rely on speculation or conjecture.”
A partner at the firm, Mr. Chapman has a general litigation practice with a focus on commercial and real estate litigation.