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Lee Prevails on Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction in Defamation Suit for Internet Post

February 8, 2022

Matthew Lee (Partner-McLean, VA) obtained a motion to quash for lack of personal jurisdiction on behalf of the firm’s dentist client in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit of Virginia (Loudoun County). The plaintiff alleged that the dentist defamed him in statements the dentist made in a closed Facebook group of other dentists. The dentist lived in worked in Maryland. Whereas, plaintiff was located in Virginia.   Plaintiff asserted long-arm jurisdiction against the dentist and argued that the dentist had caused him tortious injury by an act or omission in Virginia. The Virginia Supreme Court has not directly addressed this specific issue.  Matt argued that since the dentist posted her remarks in her Maryland residence, and there was no evidence of where the server for her internet link was located, the plaintiff had not presented prima facie evidence that the dentist committed an act or omission in Virginia.  The Court, in the attached decision, agreed and granted the motion to quash for lack of personal jurisdiction.

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