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New York appeals court upholds dismissal of defamation suit against Highland Capital

The appellate division of the New York Supreme Court on Jan. 11 upheld an earlier state supreme court decision dismissing a lawsuit by Highland Capital Management against Geoffrey Stern, president of Muirfield Capital Management.

Highland had claimed in a December 2016 lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan that Mr. Stern defamed Highland by knowingly making false statements in an October 2016 news story in the Wall Street Journal. That story regarded a dispute over a eventually liquidated hedge fund managed by Highland. In that story, Mr. Stern alleges that Highland took a secret $30 million fee out of the fund.

The lawsuit claimed Mr. Stern's statement exposed Highland to "public hatred, ridicule and disgrace," the original complaint said. The New York Supreme Court originally granted the motion to dismiss filed by Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP on behalf of Mr. Stern and Muirfield Capital in April 2017.

David S. Rosner, partner at Kasowitz Benson Torres, was not immediately available to provide comment; a Highland Capital spokeswoman declined to comment.