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Negative Online Reviews- What Amounts to Defamation?

Online review can impact a medical practice more than ever in today’s digital world and no one is policing what patients post online or how truthful it is. All it takes is a cell phone and in a few minutes a review can be...more

The Texas Anti-Slapp Law: Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ch. 27 (Updated October 2014)

In this Publication: - I. Introduction - II. The Texas Citizens Participation Act: What Is It? - III. Application Of The TCPA - IV. Unintended Consequences - V. The TCPA - Conclusions...more

Arizona Court of Appeals Recognizes Right of Publicity While Protecting Free Speech in Precedent Setting Case

For the first time ever, an Arizona state court has recognized that individuals enjoy a right of publicity that protects them from the unauthorized use of their name or likeness for commercial or trade purposes. In its April...more

Shopping Mall Owner Permitted to Sue Union Protesters for Trespass and Nuisance

The Ninth Circuit has revived a Brea shopping mall owner's lawsuit alleging trespass and nuisance claims against union carpenters. The union purportedly picketed and demonstrated disruptively and destructively at a store...more

Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group DC Circuit Panel

The DC Circuit has announced that the Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group appeal will be heard on October 20, 2014 before Circuit Judges Kavanaugh, Srinivasan, and Senior Circuit Judge Edwards. I thought I would take a quick look...more

United States Middle District of Florida Gives Plaintiffs an Option with regard to Premature Bad Faith Claims

In Gianassi v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142600 (M. D. Fla. 2014), the Middle District granted in part and denied in part State Farm’s Motion to Dismiss two counts of Plaintiff’s three-count...more

Section 230 Does Not Apply to Allegations that Website for Models Failed to Warn Plaintiff About Potential for Rape

The 9th Circuit earlier this month decided that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230, does not bar claims that a networking website for models failed to warn a member that a third party might use the...more

David v. Goliath in DC Superior Court

A “David versus Goliath” battle is playing out in the DC Superior Court, with the DC anti-SLAPP statute in the role of the slingshot. Our “David” is the Center for Defense Advanced Studies (“C4ADS”). According to an...more

Executing Noriega?

As some of you may recall, I posted about a lawsuit Manuel Noriega brought against purveyors of the Call of Duty video game franchise arising from his depiction in the game. In essence, I suggested that Noriega’s lawsuit was...more

Nevada Supreme Court Upholds Fraud Verdict Against The California Franchise Tax Board

The Franchise Tax Board’s Shande - This is case that has been more than two decades in the making. It began in the 1990s when inventor Gilbert Hyatt filed a California tax return showing that he relocated from...more

Unmasking the anonymous online critic – first, there is the matter of jurisdiction

On Friday, the Supreme Court of Texas issued a 5-4 decision holding a plaintiff needs to establish jurisdiction over an anonymous blogger before a court will allow pre-suit discovery that would likely unmask the blogger’s...more

What is More Defamatory? A False Accusation of Homophobia or of Homosexuality?

In July 2014, Judge Barbara Jaffe of the New York Supreme Court dismissed the defamation claims in Kramer v. Skyhorse Publications. Kenny Kramer, the real life inspiration for the beloved eponymous Seinfeld character, had...more

Texas Supreme Court Opinions and Orders (8/29/14)

As expected, the last order list of the Supreme Court's fiscal year was a busy one. The Court issued opinions in 12 argued cases, so I apologize in advance for the length of this post. There were no grants and no mandamus...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

City May be Liable for Damage to Residence from Falling Tree Under Inverse Condemnation

When is a tree a “public improvement” for purposes of inverse condemnation? According to one court, when the tree was planted by a city as part of a forestry program and maintained over a period of time. City of Pasadena v....more

Texas Web Publishers Earn Novel Protection Against Stale Lawsuits

In a case of first impression for a state appellate court, a Texas broadcaster was protected against a stale libel suit arising from a news report posted to the Internet. ...more

Texas Supreme Court to Hear Defamation Case Involving Fracking Claims

On August 21, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments in an ongoing dispute between a homeowner and Texas-based oil driller Range Resources Corp. The case is not a typical homeowner vs. oil driller...more

Doctor’s Slapp at Yelp Reviewer Largely Dismissed by DC Superior Court

Yelp, and websites like it, have certainly added to the development of law in the First Amendment area. The Virginia Supreme Court is poised to decide the standard for unmasking anonymous commentators on websites like Yelp. ...more

Texas Supreme Court Enforces Medical Criteria for Claims Involving Asbestos and Declares the Application of Chapter 90...

In a 5–4 opinion issued in Union Carbide Corporation v. Daisy E. Synatzske et al. No. 12-0617 (Tex. July 3, 2014), the Texas Supreme Court held that Chapter 90 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code as applied to the...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

Reviews Posted Under a Pseudonym Could be Defamatory

As written on this blog before, plaintiffs often have difficulty when alleging claims of defamation against anonymous defendants. Unsurprisingly, websites that provide a forum for anonymous commentary are loathe to reveal the...more

Copyright As An Online Reputation Management Tool: A Round Hole For A Square Peg

So, how is copyright law doing as an online reputation management tool? We have written many times recently about the use of copyright law to do what defamation law can’t: take stuff down from the internet. A...more

Prime Minister of Singapore Moves for Summary Judgment in Novel Defamation Lawsuit

In papers filed today with the High Court of Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong moved for summary judgment in his defamation lawsuit against blogger Roy Ngerng Yi Ling. The prime minister’s action is the first...more

A History Of Massachusetts Anti-SLAPP Legislation As A Vehicle For Protecting First Amendment Petitioning Activity From...

Before the passage of anti-SLAPP legislation, citizens engaged in First Amendment petitioning activity often found themselves the targets of retaliatory lawsuits. For example, a group of neighbors might speak out at a local...more

SLAPP’d in Los Angeles: What types of Lawsuits are Protected by California’s Anti-SLAPP Law

This post is the second in a series on California’s anti-SLAPP law from the perspective of Los Angeles appellate and trial attorney, Jeffrey Lewis. In the prior post, I described in general what California’s anti-SLAPP law...more

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