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

Texas Anti-SLAPP Law: The Expanding Scope of the Texas Citizen’s Participation Act – Part 5 (the conclusion)

To conclude the series, we look at one more opinion — Serafine v. Blunt, No. 03-12-00726-CV, 2015 WL 2061922 (Tex. App.—Austin May 1, 2015). This case dealt with a property dispute, but the real interest comes from the...more

Defamation and the Common Interest Privilege in the Construction Industry

Construction projects often involve a complex array of contractors, subcontractors, banks, bonding agents, architects, engineers and so on. With that many parties depending on each other to complete a project, negative...more

Virginia Shooting Raises Questions About Background Checks

First, let me say that most shootings (including the recent incident in Virginia) are random acts of violence by crazy people. It is difficult, if not impossible, to predict when an employee will snap, or whether an...more

Status Updates: Appeals court upholds anti-cyberbullying law; better marketing through neural networks; restaurant owner turns the...

Cruel intentions. Laws seeking to regulate speech on the Internet must be narrowly drafted to avoid running afoul of the First Amendment, and limiting such a law’s applicability to intentional attempts to cause damage usually...more

Summary of California Appellate Decisions -August 2015

Insurance; Duty To Defend; Insurance Coverage; Intentional Acts; Sexual Misconduct - Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 1220, 184 Cal.Rptr.3d 394 (WL 960927) - Facts: This is an...more

Be Careful What You Say: Allegations Of Worker Misconduct Might Be Defamation

Healthcare institutions have a moral and legal obligation to promote patient safety as an essential component of patient care. Supervisors and managers must be supportive of their staffs while remaining vigilant about the...more

What’s the Impact of the DC Circuit’s Abbas Decision?

The DC Circuit’s Abbas decision, holding that the DC anti-SLAPP statute does not apply in a federal court diversity case, is beginning to have real-world consequences for litigants in the District of Columbia. Since the...more

Washington State Court Refuses to Unmask Anonymous Online Reviewer

In a precedent-setting ruling, the Washington Court of Appeals in Thomson v. Doe refused to grant a motion to compel brought by a defamation plaintiff who had subpoenaed the lawyer-review site Avvo.com seeking the identity of...more

California Supreme Court Permits Restitution Claim By Insurer Against Independent Counsel

In its recent decision in Hartford Casualty Ins. Co. v. J.R. Marketing, L.L.C., — (Cal. Aug. 10, 2015), the Supreme Court of California had occasion to consider an insurer’s right to reimbursement from Cumis counsel for...more

Who is John Doe? Actor James Woods Brings “Twibel” Case Against Anonymous User “Abe List” for Calling Him A “Cocaine Addict”

Last week, renowned film and television actor James Woods brought a defamation claim against an anonymous Twitter user who tweets from the handle “Abe List,” alleging that Abe List falsely accused Woods of being a cocaine...more

Bernstein Shur Business and Commercial Litigation Newsletter #53

We are pleased to present the 53rd edition of the Bernstein Shur Business and Commercial Litigation Newsletter. This month, we highlight recent cases regarding compelled turnover of Facebook data, a revived securities class...more

Texas Anti-SLAPP Law: The Expanding Scope of the Texas Citizen’s Participation Act – Part 2

It is easy to see how this applies to your straightforward defamation case assuming the defendant engaged in the “exercise of the right of free speech” which means “a communication made in connection with a matter of public...more

Litigation and Dispute Resolution in Canada

This Guide provides an introduction to Canada’s civil litigation and dispute resolution system. It describes the procedures followed in Canada’s civil courts and administrative tribunals, and discusses alternatives to dispute...more

Courts Assess Whether Client and Lawyer Agents are Inside or Outside Privilege Protection: Part II

Last week's Privilege Point discussed a court's consideration of privilege protection for communications with client and lawyer agents. Two weeks later, another court analyzed Debevoise & Plimpton's argument that the...more

If You Can't Say Anything Nice: Criticizing Contractors Can Be Costly

Construction projects can turn acrimonious — and bad feelings often survive dispute resolution. But think twice before voicing thoughts or opinions about a fellow project participant. A false statement about another’s...more

Clark v. Viacom - USCA Sixth Circuit, July 8, 2015

Sixth Circuit affirms dismissal of defamation claims brought against Viacom by former American Idol contestants, holding that Tennessee’s “single publication rule” applies to online speech and thus majority of allegedly...more

June Court Decision Round-Up

JDS Technologies, Inc. v. Avigilon USA Corp., Case No. 15-10385, 2015 WL 3603525 (E.D. Mich. June 5, 2015) - U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn denied Avigilon’s motion to dismiss for failing to adequately plead allegations...more

Jury Awards Ex-Intern $18 million for Attacks by her CEO Boss

In recent headlines, private equity CEO, Benjamin Wey, was found liable for defaming, sexually harassing and retaliating against former New York Global Group Intern Hanna Bouveng. The jury awarded her $2 million in...more

Texas Anti-SLAPP Law: The Expanding Scope of the Texas Citizen’s Participation Act – Part 1

The Texas Anti-SLAPP law is known as the Texas Citizens Participation Act (the “TCPA” found at Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code at § 27.001, et seq.). “If a legal action is based on, relates to, or is in response to a party’s...more

Texas Supreme Court Applies Absolute Privilege to Statements in FCPA Investigations

You may remember the 2013 Texas Court of Appeals case involving Shell Oil Company and Robert Writt. We covered it here, and it left FCPA internal investigations based in Texas in an awkward spot. To recap very briefly, in...more

Accused Student Sues Columbia University Over Mattress Case

It looks like the “mattress case” will not be going to bed anytime soon. On Thursday, April 23, 2015, Paul Nungesser, the accused student at the center of the internationally renowned “mattress case” (“Nungesser”)...more

Entertainment and Media Litigation Update

Garcia v. Google: “Doubtful” Copyright Ownership Claim in Film Performance Does Not Outweigh First Amendment Right to Free Speech - Why it matters: In a closely watched case that tests the limits of copyright protection,...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: June 4, 2015

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions on June 4, 2015 during its June term. This term resulted in two opinions affecting Virginia local government law. These opinions addressed defamation alleged from statements by a...more

When Bad Things Happen to Good People...On the Internet

The internet has generated countless new ways to communicate and share thinking. Some posted information is negative, which can still be useful when messages are truthful, in good taste, and constructive. But some negative...more

Employee Defamation Claims: Why The Truth May Not Set You Free

A recent article posted by the ABA Journal highlighted the increased prominence of defamation claims in lawsuits brought by employees against their current or former employers. (“Fired workers increasingly add defamation...more

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