Sticks and Stones Will Break My Bones, Etc.

352c45a9a449851d47da3cd61856bca7 In a classic bitter divorce case, a New Jersey lawyer, who ought to have known better, unsuccessfully sued his ex-wife for defamation after she called him names in front of one of his clients.

Mark Kentos of Ocean Township filed a lawsuit against Kelly Kentos after she allegedly called him a “sociopath”, a “psychopath”, a “control freak”, a “sex maniac” and a “pervert” during a visit to the home of one of his clients. She also suggested that he ought to be disbarred.

Superior Court Judge Patricia Cleary said that even if Ms. Kentos had made the statements, which was not proven, the name-calling did not rise to the level of defamation.

Defamation is defined as a false statement that harms a person or business’s reputation. While defamation claims during divorce proceedings are relatively rare, frequently a divorce litigant will query whether they can sue a witness who they claim falsely maligned them during their trial testimony.

The short answer to that perplexing question is “no” and that’s because trial witnesses are granted immunity to ensure they will give evidence without fear of retaliation in the form of a lawsuit against them.

Meanwhile, upon the dismissal of Mark Kentos’ claims, his victorious ex-wife sought sanctions against him for filing a frivolous lawsuit, another action that was tossed by the judge.

Ah, bitterness…”Bitterness is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die.” John Ortberg Jr. (Theologian)

Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang


2 thoughts on “Sticks and Stones Will Break My Bones, Etc.

  1. What can be done in divorce cases where lawyers take sworn affidavits from their clients that they know are untrue, but they submit them to court anyway, thereby knowingly misleading the Court.

  2. Interesting question, and one that I faced last week in court. During the hearing, the wife’s lawyer made an assertion, based on his client’s affidavit, that was, at best, incorrect and at worst, outright perjury. This flawed evidence was used to derail my client’s application for child support.

    After the hearing and a review of certain financial documents it was clear that the wife’s evidence was not accurate. What next? First, a letter to the lawyer setting out the problem…after that, an appeal perhaps…

    One cannot, of course, accuse counsel of knowingly submitting false evidence, as there is no way to prove that allegation. Very frustrating… and expensive….

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