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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

Florida Court finds Workers' Compensation Statute Unconstitutional

Circuit Judge Jorge E. Cueto of the 11th Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida has found that Section 440.11 of Florida's Workers' Compensation Act (the "Act"), which makes the Act the "exclusive" remedy...more

Status Updates - August 2014 #6

..Ahead of the law? In Hidalgo County, Texas, a former sheriff has been sued civilly over allegedly illegal campaign contributions. (He was also criminally convicted of money laundering.) At a civil deposition in the case, a...more

When The Teacher Is The School Bully

Anti-bullying laws may now have a significant impact on what is considered to be “emotional abuse” in schools. Recently, the Connecticut Supreme Court concluded that a teacher’s bullying behavior toward a student met the...more

Social Media Freedom of Expression Cases Pit the Public Against Public Officials

In perhaps the next battleground for government and education, citizens who comment on social media sites are facing off with local government officials public and school administrators who find their online expression...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

BB&K Police Bulletin: Police Order To Stay Put While Conducting Background Check Is A Seizure Under Fourth Amendment

The Command Can Implicate Municipal Liability - Overview: The Ninth Circuit recently held that, when a police officer orders a suspect to “stay put,” that command constitutes a seizure under the Fourth Amendment of 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

Message Board Post Highly Critical of Company is Opinion and Thus Not Defamatory

An essential defense to a defamation claim is "pure opinion." In other words, if the defendant can show that the statements alleged to be defamatory are opinions protected under the relevant free speech laws, the defamation...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

Legal Updates for Government Entities Covering May and June 2014

Arizona Court of Appeals (heading) Immunity under A.R.S. § 12-820.03 Glazer v. State of Arizona, --P.3d--, 2014 WL949114 (Ariz.App. 2014) This case arises out of a cross-over crash on I-10 south of...more

U.S. Court of Appeals Dismisses Almost All Claims of Ecuadorian Provinces and Individual Plaintiffs Against DynCorp

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently affirmed the dismissal of all but three claims brought by individual and government entity plaintiffs against defendant DynCorp based on claims of injury by an...more

Insurance Coverage – Personal & Advertising Injury – Trade Disparagement

Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. v Swift Distribution, Inc. - California Supreme Court (June 12, 2014) - Commercial liability policies provide coverage for “personal and advertising injury.” This term typically...more

Eleventh Circuit Reverses District Court on Application of Noneconomic Damages Cap

Yesterday, the Eleventh Circuit issued an order in Estate of McCall v. USA reversing the district court’s order applying the noneconomic damages cap. The Eleventh Circuit remanded the case for further proceedings consistent...more

Protecting High Profile Reputations - Brownstein's $19 Million Verdict Stands After Appeal

In the modern age of the Internet where “news”—whether or not it’s true—spreads worldwide in an instant, high-profile corporate and individual reputations are under attack every day from business adversaries, disgruntled...more

The Problem with Service by Publication

It was a simple accident. He was simply unable to stop in time in heavy, rush-hour traffic and rear-ended the vehicle in front of him. After the accident was investigated and insurance information exchanged, he assumed the...more

Supreme Court Declines to Consider Madoff Appeal

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take up an appeal brought by Irving Picard, the court-appointed bankruptcy trustee charged with recovering assets on behalf of Madoff’s bankruptcy estate and distributing them to...more

When “Slacker” Was A Dirty Word: Defamation And Draft Dodging During World War I

This summer marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I. The Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated on June 28, 1914 and, by the end of August 1914, Germany, Russia, France and the United Kingdom had joined the...more

PissedConsumer.com SLAPPs Back

From the land of Wayne Newton and Brittney Spears comes news of an interesting lawsuit implicating the Nevada anti-SLAPP statute. Techdirt.com explains that the lawsuit, Opinion Corporation d/b/a PissedConsumer.com v. Nevada...more

Virginia Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Appeal in Yelp Users Defamation Case

Yelp.com (Yelp) labels itself an "online urban guide." Specifically, the website allows users to write reviews about experiences at businesses they've visited. It also permits users to browse the posted reviews. The...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Spring 2014

Right of Publicity? First, Let Me Take a Selfie - “Oh, he wants to do a selfie,” President Barack Obama observed with amusement before gamely posing with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz. Ortiz snapped the...more

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