Communications & Media Personal Injury

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
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Trump libel win based on Trump libel loss

President-elect Donald Trump just won a libel case against a critic — for the very same reason that real estate developer Donald Trump lost a libel case against a critic, more than 30 years ago. And yes, the precedent of...more

Fox News Opinions Get Wide Berth Under Defamation Law

Megyn Kelly and other Fox News commenters did not defame a Wisconsin firefighter when they said it was “not right,” “disgusting,” and a “fraud” that he “exploited [a] supposed injury” to collect disability benefits “for...more

A Closer Look at the New Lawsuit By Baylor Football Coach Art Briles

It’s been a tough few months for Baylor football and its former coach Art Briles. Baylor fired Briles in May of this year, after an outside law firm investigated the school’s response to alleged sexual assaults by football...more

Tobacco Marketing Has a Harmful Impact on Society

Statistics on smoking released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show Big Tobacco relentlessly pursuing almost every facet of society to get consumers to light up. The cigarette industry targets children,...more

The Freedom to Yelp: Congress Curbs ToS Overreach

Worried about a company retaliating against you when you post a negative review on Yelp or TripAdvisor? Worry no longer because Congress has your back. Last week, Congress passed a law that will make it illegal for companies...more

Chris Lazarini Discusses Whether Defamatory Statements Constitute Libel Per Se

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini discussed a case where defendant carried out a personal vendetta against the plaintiff following plaintiff's report against defendant for violations of securities laws. Following...more

In a Rough Year for CDA §230, Manchanda v. Google Provides Comfort to Website Operators

As we noted in our recent post on the Ninth Circuit case Kimzey v. Yelp! Inc., in the right circumstances, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) still provides robust protection against liability for website...more

Rolling Stone Rolls With Early Favorable Rulings

Rolling Stone is not the first media outlet to defend itself in a multi-million dollar trial this year. Gawker Media was recently hit with a $140 million judgment resulting from a suit by Terry Bollea (a.k.a. Hulk Hogan) for...more

Using Pop Culture References in Advertisements? Just Do It Right

In this age of smartphone cameras and hashtags, an impromptu remark or a right place-at-the-right-time snapshot can “go viral” and create instant and immense goodwill. Businesses today use social media as a tool to promote...more

When It Comes to Liability, Whose User Generated Content Is It Anyway?

Hospitality industry stakeholders who host sites for online reviews or rely on review sites such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, Urban Spoon, or Oyster, may take comfort in the recent Ninth Circuit decision regarding the liability of...more

Hedge Fund Wins $40 Million Defamation Judgment

Following a three-week trial in New Jersey Superior Court, a jury awarded $40 million to NuWave Investment Corp., a hedge fund based in Parsippany, New Jersey. The case centered around reports provided to prospective...more

John Edwards argues before the Texas Supreme Court on important libel case that started in 2003

Houston partner John K. Edwards recently argued before the Texas Supreme Court on behalf of a newspaper and reporter in an important libel case that started in 2003 concerning an article published in a Fort Bend County...more

Litigation Alert: The Ninth Circuit Leaves Pirate Joe’s Saying “Shiver Me Timbers!”

Late last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit determined a court had jurisdiction to decide a trademark lawsuit filed by a U.S. grocery store against a Canadian reseller where the products at issue were only...more

Controversial California Court Decision Significantly Narrows a Crucial Liability Safe Harbor for Website Operators

A recent California court decision involving Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) is creating considerable concern among social media companies and other website operators....more

Augmented Reality

If you haven’t heard about newest gaming craze yet, it’s based on what is called “augmented reality” (AR) and it could potentially impinge on your home life and workplace as such games allow users to “photograph” imaginary...more

Litigation Alert: The Sixth Circuit Expands Potential Federal Wiretap Act Liability for Developers and Sellers of Cloud-Based...

Last week, the Sixth Circuit expanded potential liability for violations of the Federal Wiretap Act for manufacturers of devices that can be used for wiretapping, like monitoring software, in reversing the dismissal of a...more

You Are the Victim of Defamation: Should You Sue?

It is not unusual to get a telephone call from a client or prospective client (let’s call him John), who says, “Somebody is saying false things about me. I want it to stop, I want an apology, and I want damages.”...more

Risqué Contest Sponsor Sued by Contestant’s Family After Promotion Fatality

This month, contest sponsor PKG Investments LLC d/b/a “Fire & Ice” and others were sued in a Santa Fe, New Mexico County Court by the family of a woman who choked to death during a racy, on-premises corn dog eating contest...more

Third Circuit Finds Photo Placement Sufficient to Permit Defamation, False Light Claims to Go Forward in Suit Alleging Harm from...

In a case demonstrating the difficulties of applying long-established but arguably outdated legal principles to modern technology, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit last week reversed itself to permit a...more

Sex and the Stock Photo*

Despite the high heat of summer, two federal courts have blown a chill wind through the law of online defamation. The courts gave the green light to libel suits over alleged implications from stock or file photos illustrating...more

Keeping Pokémon Go cyber fun from causing real-world liability

Noses buried in their smart phones, armies of Pokémon Go players scour neighborhoods in search of elusive cyber monsters lurking in real locations identified by the wildly popular game. Seeing a way to “lure” (in Pokemon Go...more

Social Links: Twitter’s tough quarter; Yelp warns users about litigious dentist; Pinterest battles Snapchat

Instagram now allows celebrities to block trolls. The rest of us will have to continue trying to ignore Instagram trolls. While Facebook reached new highs last quarter, Twitter continued to stumble. Will adding more live...more

Non-Party Yelp Ordered to Remove Defamatory Reviews

In 2012, attorney Dawn Hassell represented Ava Bird for a period of 25 days related to a personal injury she suffered. Bird expressed dissatisfaction with the representation and Hassell withdrew from the representation....more

Media gulled by prostate cancer study hyped by Windy City windbags

A well-known research university and some excitable journalists have sown confusion about prostate cancer and the value of the PSA screening test. The mess can be traced to a study by physicians from Northwestern University...more

Augmenting Reality: A Pokémon Go Business and Legal Primer

We have become inured to the sight of people staring at their phones rather than engaging with one another or enjoying their real-life surroundings. But, over the past two weeks, enslavement to mobile devices rose to new...more

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