A New York state judge has dismissed a lawsuit in which Manhattan lawyer Kenechukwu Okoli accused Paul Hastings partner Allan Bloom of slander and assault following a contentious 2011 deposition that ended with Okoli slapping Bloom for accidentally spitting in his face.

Justice Cynthia Kern of state trial court dismissed the suit, in which Okoli sought more than $1 million in damages, in a decision issued Wednesday. In her decision [PDF], Kern ruled that Okoli had failed to state a cause of action against Paul Hastings and Bloom—the cochair of the firm’s New York employment practice—for either the slander or assault charges.

As The Am Law Daily reported in June, Okoli and Bloom were on opposite sides of the heated deposition, which was related to a 2009 employee discrimination suit. Okoli claimed in his complaint that at one point during the deposition Bloom “began yelling at the top of his lungs and shaking his pointed index finger” near his face when “spittle from Bloom’s open mouth hit Okoli’s face.” Okoli claimed that he responded by slapping Bloom “to protect himself.”

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