Communications & Media Personal Injury Civil Remedies

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Extending the Reach of Octane Fitness Under the Lanham Act **WEB ONLY**

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit adopted and applied the Supreme Court of the United States’ rationale for an award of attorneys’ fees in patent cases to a trademark case. In doing so, the Fifth Circuit aligned...more

The Supreme Court Sends Spokeo Back

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided one of the Term’s most closely watched cases: Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins. The 6-2 decision, while far from sweeping, creates a hurdle for plaintiffs in “no-injury” class actions....more

Congress acts on opioid drug epidemic as judge unseals OxyContin files

Here are some developments worth watching in the nation’s battle against the epidemic of opioid drug misuse that killed 28,000 Americans in 2014 alone...more

Social Media Defamation: the #creeper decision

A dispute between suburban neighbours escalated and spilled over into social media when one of the neighbours vented on Facebook. The Facebook posts suggested that the plaintiff was a “nutter” and a “creep” who deployed a...more

Debt collector, Portfolio Recovery Associates, to pay $18 million to settle TCPA violations

Portfolio Recovery Associates LLC (Portfolio Recovery) agreed to pay $18 million to end multi-district litigation against the debt collection company for its alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)....more

Paul Watler Speaks: Texas Supreme Court Opinions Firm Up Anti-SLAPP Rights For Online Journalists

Online journalists and scholars from the Americas and around the globe recently gathered at the University of Texas at Austin to assess the state of internet-based journalism. The keynote address of the 16th annual...more

Pediatric Surgeon at Florida Hospital Sues CNN for Defamation

On February 16, 2016, Dr. Michael Black—former head of the pediatric cardiac surgery program at St. Mary’s Medical Center—sued CNN, Anderson Cooper and four other individual defendants in response to CNN’s allegedly false and...more

GAME OF (STICKS &) STONES – Prior Restraint & Online Defamation

In previous posts, we have explored several aspects of internet defamation – including suing anonymous internet and twitter users and the protections afforded to internet users and providers for re-publishing content under...more

Michael Jordan Testifies He Doesn’t Do Deals For Less Than $10 Million: Jury Awards Him $8.9 Million In Lawsuit Over Use Of His...

A jury awarded Michael Jordan $8.9 million this week after he testified he doesn’t do deals for less than $10 million and he would never have done a deal with the grocery store chain Dominick’s Finer Foods, LLC, as it wasn’t...more

Jordan $8.9M – Dominick’s 0: Star Wins Over Unauthorized Use of Name

For years, Michael Jordan dominated opponents on the basketball court. Now, he seems to be doing the same in legal courts. Last week, a jury ordered Chicago grocery chain Dominick’s (now owned by Safeway) to pay the former...more

If You Can't Say Anything Nice: Criticizing Contractors Can Be Costly

Construction projects can turn acrimonious — and bad feelings often survive dispute resolution. But think twice before voicing thoughts or opinions about a fellow project participant. A false statement about another’s...more

The Bermuda Triangle of Online Defamation: Copyright, Clickwrap and the CDA

We have written many times about attempts to use copyright law to do what defamation law can’t: take stuff down from the internet. Because Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) prevents a defamation plaintiff...more

Media Companies Snipe at Potential Expansion of Defamation Risk in Ventura v. Kyle

“A Navy SEAL and a professional wrestler walk into a bar and begin to argue politics …” sounds like the beginning of a pretty good bar fight story. The story only gets more promising when you learn that the SEAL was the...more

Bob Marley and Federal False Endorsement Claims

Since his death in 1981, reggae superstar Bob Marley and his “image” continue to be broadly popular and command millions of dollars each year in merchandising revenue. ...more

Three Point Shot - February 2015

Will Johnny Be Good, or Will Name Games Go up in Flames? Johnny Gaudreau, left wing for the Calgary Flames, is attempting to high-stick potential interlopers by locking up rights to his now-popularized nickname – Johnny...more

Status Updates - December 2014

Between a lock and a hard place. Should search engines be responsible for verifying the legitimacy of the companies they include in their search results? A locksmith in Lorton, Virginia, is claiming that they should. Mark...more

Appellate Court Affirms Anti-SLAPP Dismissal of Defamation Lawsuit by Political Candidate

On October 30, in Goral v. Kulys, the Illinois First District Appellate Court affirmed dismissal of a defamation suit pursuant to the Illinois Citizen Participation Act, 735 ILCS 110/1 et seq. (the “Act”). The Goral decision...more

The State and Local GMO Regulatory Landscape – Post-Election Edition

The November election changed the regulatory landscape for genetically modified organisms (“GMO”). Though none of the proposed GMO labeling laws on state ballots succeeded, two counties were successful in passing either a ban...more

Ghomeshi Claim Faces Significant Challenges

The controversial firing of former CBC radio host and personality Jian Ghomeshi has captured the public’s attention in recent days for many reasons, most of which have nothing to do with the law. In terms of the legal issues...more

A New Remedy for Online Defamation

In the United States it is enormously difficult to remove allegedly defamatory information from the internet. A victim can take the expensive and time-consuming step of suing the author for defamation in court. However,...more

The Supreme Court of Texas Rules Injunctions for Defamation Not Proper and Requires Proof of Damages

On Friday, the Supreme Court of Texas issued two important defamation rulings. The first, Kinney v. Barnes, held that injunctions to prohibit defamatory speech do not pass constitutional muster. ...more

Renowned Architect Wins Retraction From The New York Review of Books

On August 25, 2014, The New York Review of Books issued a retraction in response to a defamation suit filed in New York State Court by well-known architect Zaha Hadid. Hadid was selected to design one of the stadiums for the...more

The costs of social media

Misuse of social media can prove expensive. The New South Wales District Court’s recent decision in North Coast Children’s Home Inc v Martin [2014] NSWDC 125 demonstrates that defamatory remarks posted on social media...more

False Advertising, Section 75-1.1, and A Seven-Figure Verdict

In a recent federal case, section 75-1.1 made the difference between the plaintiff recovering nothing and recovering almost two million dollars. This outcome underscores two key features of section 75-1.1...more

Dealing with the Dangers of Online Reviewing

Law tries to find the line between protecting speech and punishing defamation - Online review websites, such as Yelp or Angie’s List, have become a common forum for griping. They give a voice to past customers to...more

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