Any deterrent to complete information about a candidate for admission to the bar is contrary to the public welfare. A conditional privilege is an affirmative defense, which must be pleaded and proved. Not until the defendant rests his case, after what may be a long and expensive trial, does he know where he stands on such a defense, and it is generally left to the lay jurors to decide, under "instructions." Life being what it is, only a few courageous lawyers will have the hardihood to run the risk of exposing themselves to a libel jury trial, with its uncertainties and expenses, by giving defamatory information which it is imperative the court should obtain concerning an unworthy candidate for admission to its bar.
Laurence H. Eldredge,
Practical Problems in Preparation and Trial of Libel Cases,
15 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vlr/vol15/iss4/3