No. 01639 Philadelphia 1983, Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Civil Division at No. 6957 August Term 1982.
William F. Sullivan, Jr., Philadelphia, for appellant.
Daniel E. Murray, Philadelphia, for appellee.
McEwen, Del Sole and Popovich, JJ.
[ 336 Pa. Super. Page 469]
This is an appeal from the order entered by the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in response to a
[ 336 Pa. Super. Page 470]
complaint in trespass filed by the plaintiff-appellant (Barton L. Post, Esquire). We affirm in part and quash in part.
We commence our discussion with the appellant's filing of a 2-count amended complaint against the defendant-appellee (M. Mark Mendel, Esquire). The first count sounded in libel and the second in slander, and in each the plaintiff sought in excess of $20,000 for compensatory damages as well as an equal amount in punitive or exemplary damages.
In particular, the libel section averred the composition of a defamatory letter by the defendant, copies of which were mailed to a Bucks County judge (before whom the two were embroiled in litigation as opposing counsel), to the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and to a William H. Simon, M.D., a supposed client of the plaintiff and a witness in the on-going Bucks County suit. The letter, with the legend "M. MARK MENDEL, LTD." and a listing of the 7-member firm, read:
210 West Washington Square
Re: Your Conduct During The Course of This Trial.
I have allowed the heat of anger to pass and under calm reflection, I have re-assessed what you did during the course of the examination of Dr. Beller when you insinuated that the doctor had two different reports and that there were two different reports, attempted to convey to the jury by use of the reports that the doctor had done an unethical act by writing two different reports when, in fact, you knew that there were two different reports, one being a supplement to the other. One was requested at the insistence of your partner, Mr. Arthur Toensmeir, and while Dr. Beller was ...