Court Reinstates Defamation Lawsuit Filed by Daniel D. McCaffery Against Philadelphia Board of Ethics

Derived from The Legal Intelligencer

March 17, 2011

Dion G. Rassias of the Beasley Firm Representing Former DA Candidate Daniel D. McCaffery

The Commonwealth Court ruled that a defamation lawsuit filed by former district attorney candidate Daniel D. McCaffery against the Philadelphia Board of ethics and its executive director J. Shane Creamer will proceed and is not allowed to be dismissed. The ruling reflects the decision that the board may not be granted quasi-judicial immunity and that the lawsuit for defamation can continue. Pennsylvania attorney, Dion G. Rassias, of the Beasley Firm is representing Mr. McCaffery.

The lawsuit claims that Mr. McCaffery was defamed by a Philadelphia Board of Ethics announcement seven days before the May 19, 2009 primary election. Mr. McCaffery had been the No. 2 vote getter out of five for Philadelphia district attorney in the Democratic primary.

In reflecting on the strength of the case in McCaffery’s favor, Mr. Rassias stated, “Our position has been resolute since day one. McCaffery did nothing wrong and Creamer and the board know it and now we’ll get our chance to proof that and we will.”

In a formal release, the board alleged that Mr. McCaffery and his campaign treasurer “misstated” the amount a political action committee contributed as a way “to hide” the fact that the campaign received an excessive sum of money from all PACs during the 2008 calendar year. While the action against Mr. McCaffery’s campaign was settled in October for $750 paid in regard to two campaign finance violations, the settlement stated that neither the McCaffery committee, Mr. McCaffery, nor his campaign treasurer, meant to disobey any laws. Moreover, Mr. McCaffery and his campaign treasurer, Joe Fernandes, were withdrawn as individual defendants at an earlier time.

The court has stated that based on the McCaffery complaint, there is concern as to whether Mr. Creamer’s conduct was official or unofficial when making the public disclosure about the campaign finance issue. The court also has questions about whether the board announcement occurred at a press conference or at an official meeting of the board.

In evaluating the legalities surrounding the case, the court concluded that it could not depend on the defendants’ statement of facts highlighted in their preliminary objections as the way to determine if they should be granted quasi-judicial immunity.

As an attorney who has been referred to as a “lawyer’s lawyer” by American Lawyer Media, Dion G. Rassias continues to win courtroom battles for various cases ranging from business disputes, complex litigation(s) and insurance matters, to catastrophic injury. His hearty trial experience and extensive legal knowledge offers the MCaffery case invincible momentum.