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Florida Court: Blogger Entitled To A Pre-Suit Retraction Demand For Alleged Defamatory Comments

In Comins v. VanVoorhis, a Florida court has addressed the question of whether bloggers should be treated as "publishers" under defamation and libel law...more

The Supreme Court Redefines Standing Requirements for False Advertising Claims

On March 25, 2014, Justice Antonin Scalia authored an opinion for a unanimous United States Supreme Court in Lexmark International, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc., case number 12-873, setting forth a bright-line test...more

Williams v. Cahill

Williams v. Cahill - California Court of Appeal, March 26, 2014: California appellate court affirms denial of defendant’s anti-SLAPP motion, finding that, although defendant’s statements on ABC television show “20/20”...more

Putative Class Members Cannot Establish Damages In Dietary Supplement Case

In Moore v. GNC Holdings, Inc., Southern District of Florida Judge Dimetrouleas ordered partial summary judgment in favor of GNC and against the class as to plaintiffs’ damages claims under Florida’s Deceptive & Unfair Trade...more

Social Media — The Possibilities Are Endless!

Facebook. Instagram. YouTube. Twitter. LinkedIn. SnapChat. Flickr. Google+. Tumblr. WeChat. MySpace. WhatsApp. Reddit. The list of social media and networking sites goes on and on. It’s fairly common knowledge...more

Court Issues Sweet Ruling for Plaintiffs in Mislabeling Action – Ignorance That “Evaporated Cane Juice” Is An Added Sugar Not...

In Morgan v. Wallaby Yogurt Co., Inc., the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California denied defendant’s motion to dismiss a class action complaint alleging violations of the UCL, FAL, and CLRA for...more

District Court Allows Claims to Proceed Against Ripoffreport.com For Copyright Infringement And “Unfair or Deceptive” Acts In...

We previously reported on the unique cyber dilemma faced by Richard Goren, a Massachusetts attorney. Back in 2012, a disgruntled former client of Goren’s logged onto the consumer review site, and posted an outlandish – and...more

Manipulating User Postings Removes Service Provider from CDA Immunity

As detailed on this blog before, the immunity from "publisher or speaker" liability for interactive computer service providers under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) is broad and generally encompasses a wide variety of...more

Cyberlaw: Of Athletes And Video Games

Can a video game company use an athlete’s likeness in a game without his or her permission? The answer is maybe. The Ninth Circuit recently rejected Jim Brown’s Lanham Act Section 43 claim against Electronic Arts, Inc....more

Liability Insurer May Have to Cover Knockoff Jewelry Site for Allegedly Violating Reese Witherspoon’s Right of Publicity

Have you always wanted to own “The One Ring to Rule Them All” of Lord of the Rings fame? Do you dream of an engagement ring just like Kate Middleton’s? Your dreams can come true with a visit to Emitations.com, a website...more

Stacy Allen Speaks: Looking Back 50 Years At 'N.Y. Times v Sullivan' and the Civil Rights Movement

I recently attended the annual ABA Forum on Communications Law, which included an informative panel discussion marking the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in N.Y. Times v Sullivan. While we are...more

U.S. Supreme Court Recognizes Airline Immunity for TSA Reports of Suspicious Behavior

In Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper (Jan. 27, 2014), the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that airlines are entitled to civil immunity for reporting suspicious behavior to the TSA, provided their reports are not “materially...more

ENT surgeons cut into each other – Common law qualified privilege in defamation

The New South Wales Court of Appeal in Prince v Malouf [2014] NSWCA 12 has recently overturned a District Court award of damages. The two parties, Dr Prince and Dr Malouf, were ear, nose and throat surgeons who, in...more

Third Circuit Attempts to Untangle Defamation and False Light Invasion of Privacy

CaptureIn Graboff v. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania found that the defendant’s statement was not defamatory but was a false light invasion of privacy (“false light”). The...more

Courtney Love, Yelp and Internet libel: Nevermind, it’s not a trend

Courtney Love goes to trial, in a suit by her former attorney, based on a social media message that accused the attorney of being “bought off.” A Yelp user and the contractor she criticized go at each other in court over...more

Family of Jack Gibson, founder of the National Association of Radio Announcers for Black Radio DJs, enforces famous mark “Jack the...

Judge Thrash issued a ruling granting in part and denying in part the motion for summary judgment of plaintiffs (Jill Gibson Bell, et. al., hereinafter “Gibson Family”) against Billy Darren Foster (“Foster”) for trade mark...more

Facebook Fishing Expeditions Prohibited

In Root v. Balfour Beatty Const., LLC, 2014 WL 444005 (Fla. 2d DCA February 5, 2014), Florida joined a growing list of courts around the country that expressly prohibit “fishing expeditions” in social media discovery. Root...more

Freedom of Speech on the Internet: The Power of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

Experienced First Amendment lawyers know that websites hosting user-created content are extremely difficult to sue for defamation. This is due to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, codified at 47 U.S.C. §...more

Weekly Law Resume - January 2014: Torts – Defamation and the Anti-Slapp Statute

Anthony K. Hui v. Beth Sturbaum - Court of Appeal, First Appellate District (January 9, 2014)- California’s anti-SLAPP statute (Code of Civil Procedure §425.16) was passed in 1992 because of the legislature’s...more

"You Like 'To-May-Toe,' I Like 'To-Mah-Toe'" – Distinctions Without a Material Difference: Supreme Court Reverses Lower Court...

The events of September 11 were by no means the first examples of terrorism involving aviation, but they unified the U.S., if not the world, in its effort to make air travel safer. It was in the wake of 9/11 that Congress...more

Supreme Court Reiterates that New York Times Actual Malice Standard Requires Materially False Statements

On Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, the Supreme Court unanimously reversed a $1.2 million Colorado defamation verdict in the case of Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper—a notable decision for a court that rarely accepts libel...more

Supreme Court Finds Air Carrier Immune From Defamation Claim For Reporting Employee’s Outburst to TSA

On January 27, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States reversed a nearly $1.2 million jury verdict for defamation against Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation in a case surrounding the airline carrier’s report about a...more

SCOTUS: Airlines Are Entitled to Immunity under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act Unless Statements Are Materially...

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper, 571 U.S. ---, No. 12-315 (2014), holding that immunity for an air carrier under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, 49...more

U.S. Supreme Court Adds "Relevant Reader or Listener" to "Material Falsity" Defamation Analysis

In its decision in Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that "the relevant reader or listener" must be considered in assessing the falsity element in defamation lawsuits. The Air Wisconsin...more

Blurred Lines: Ninth Circuit Applies Same First Amendment Protections to Bloggers as Traditional Media

The Ninth Circuit last week became the first federal court of appeals to find that bloggers are entitled to the same First Amendment protections as traditional print and broadcast media when sued for defamation. Obsidian Fin....more

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