Vanderbilt Law Review

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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.

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