Defamation

Defamation is a false statement, either written or oral, that harms the reputation of another person. In order to recover for defamation, a victim must establish that 1) the statement was false 2) the statement... more +
Defamation is a false statement, either written or oral, that harms the reputation of another person. In order to recover for defamation, a victim must establish that 1) the statement was false 2) the statement was communicated or published to a third party 3) the defendant caused the statement to be communicated or published, either intentionally or at least negligently 4) some harm was suffered as a result. less -
News & Analysis as of

The Death Of Alexander Hamilton And The Birth Of The American Free Press

Alexander Hamilton has more to do with American independence than you might think. His efforts as a Founding Father (the hottest Founding Father on Broadway, it should be noted) helped the United States achieve political...more

Coal Plant Shutdowns: Operators Need to Manage Community Relationships

Imagine this scenario: A company operates a coal ash landfill. Local citizens protest and organize an advocacy group against it and create a Facebook page. The company responds by suing the individual members of the group for...more

A Little “Mayhem” Reveals Limits to Immunity Provision of Communications Decency Act

As a general rule, a website is not held liable for the content its users post on its platform. The Communications Decency Act (CDA) immunizes websites from lawsuits by not treating the website as the publisher or speaker of...more

Brodeur v. Atlas Entertainment Inc. - Calif. Appeal Court, 2nd Dist., Div. 8, June 6, 2016

Appellate court reverses denial of anti-SLAPP motion brought by producers and distributors of “American Hustle,” holding that film dialogue regarding environmental author’s statement about microwave ovens was in connection...more

Former Yale Basketball Captain Sues University Over Sexual Misconduct Expulsion

Jack Montague, who was expelled from Yale University earlier this year following his involvement in an alleged sexual assault, recently filed a lawsuit against the University for allegedly mishandling the investigation and...more

Disgruntled Online Reviews of Attorney by Disgruntled Former Client Ordered Removed from Yelp.com

The Court of Appeal of the State of California – First Appellate District in Hassell v. Bird (6/7/16 – Case No. A143233) affirmed an order from a judgment in favor of an attorney and her firm and against a disgruntled former...more

Rejecting First Amendment And Communications Decency Act Arguments, California Appellate Court Affirms Order Requiring Non-Party...

In a published decision filed on June 7, 2016 in Dawn Hassell v. Ava Bird, Case No. A143233, the Court of Appeals for the State of California, First Appellate District, determined that the trial court’s order requiring Yelp...more

Private Bankrolling of Defamation and Privacy Suits

The New York Times recently reported that famed Silicon Valley investor and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel has been secretly bankrolling “Hulk Hogan’s” (real name Terry Bollea) invasion of privacy suit against Gawker Media....more

Pitfalls in Managing Online Reputations

Whether you represent sports stars and high-profile entertainers, or hometown doctors, architects, and restaurateurs, you have almost certainly gotten calls in the past several years asking for your help in dealing with...more

When Is Internet Speech Protected Petitioning Activity? Federal Court Grants Anti-SLAPP Motion In FIRE CIDER Trademark Suit

On May 12, 2016, the District of Massachusetts held that that an online campaign in support of the cancellation of a registered trademark (FIRE CIDER) was protected petitioning activity, even though the campaign was organized...more

Social Links: Publishers claim ad blockers violate FTC rules; Twitter bags its “buy button”; has the IoT gone too far?

The Newspaper Association of America has filed a first-of-its-kind complaint with the FTC over certain ad blocking technologies. Is it “Internet” or “internet”? The Associated Press is about to change the capitalization...more

New York Court Dismisses Defamation Suit Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

On May 2, 2016, the New York Supreme Court for the County of Westchester granted defendant Seeking Alpha, Inc.’s motion to dismiss plaintiff Mark Nordlicht’s (“Plaintiff”) defamation complaint in the case styled as Nordlicht...more

Convicted Felon’s Defamation Suit Triggers Multiple Anti-SLAPP Motions

In late March, David Pitts filed suit against two local television stations (Channels 4 and 7), their parent companies, and Patch Media, which runs hyperlocal websites. According to the Superior Court Complaint, Pitts was...more

Lessons from eMerge: The Communication Decency Act, A Tool Against Cyberbullying

The 3rd annual eMerge conference hosted a list of speakers as diverse as Miami. Among them, Colin Powell, Tony Hawk, Pitbull, and Monica Lewinsky. Just last year, Ms. Lewinsky broke her public silence when she gave a...more

Avoiding a Messy Break-Up: How a Firm’s Investigation Can Deflect a Financial Advisor’s Form U-5 Defamation Claim

Breaking up is hard to do. In the investment industry, it can be even harder because one half of the couple needs to publish the reasons for the break-up. When a registered representative separates from a broker-dealer...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

Automotive Law Group News: Appellate Court Win for Massachusetts State Auto Dealers Association

Murtha Cullina's automotive industry team achieved a victory on behalf of the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association on March 17, 2016 when the Massachusetts Appeals Court voted unanimously to affirm the dismissal...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

Still Cookin’ In California Court: Bakery Employer Survives EEOC Motion For Summary Judgment

In what has become an oft-used recipe in the EEOC cookbook of Title VII retaliation litigation, the government has once again utilized the strategy of taking an employer’s deposition and thereafter moving for summary...more

Blake Shelton Says Magazine Wrong About Rehab & Survives Anti-SLAPP Motion

Last year, country music superstar Blake Shelton filed suit in federal court against the creators and publishers of In Touch Weekly, bringing claims of libel per se and false light invasion of privacy after the magazine...more

Media lawyers: Böhmermann could become a case for the Constitutional Court

What is satire, what is a criminal offence? With his Erdogan poem, Jan Böhmermann is walking a very fine line. For legal professionals, the case raises issues that may need to be clarified by the Supreme Court....more

Negative Reviews? Call A Lawyer – But Maybe Not Right Away

In our increasingly narcissistic culture, not only is everyone a critic, but everyone thinks their opinion is of the utmost importance. Smartphones permit us to instantaneously inform everyone of our day-to-day activities via...more

DC Court of Appeals Affirms February 2012 Denial of Anti-SLAPP Motion in Newmyer v. Huntington

Waaaaaaay back in early 2012, after a defendant (Huntington) filed a counterclaim against a plaintiff (Newmyer) for defamation, false light and related torts, Newmyer responded by filing an anti-SLAPP motion. Newmyer’s...more

The Truth of the Matter – A Successful Defense to Defamation and Product Disparagement Claims

Years ago, a potential client called to ask if she could be successfully sued for libel if she published a tell-all memoir, revealing the details of a marital affair with a gentleman she intended to identify. My first...more

Social Media Fail: Sometimes Even Employers Memorialize Bad Decisions on the Internet

Don’t deny it: you scroll through your social media feeds past the mundane photos, click-bait, and “humble brags” in search of explosive drama. Eventually, you might land on a status update from one of the reliable...more

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