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

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

Employer Not Responsible for Employee Defaming Customer on Facebook

In Howard v. Hertz Global Holdings, Inc., a Hawaiian Federal Court found that Hertz Rent-a-Car could not be held responsible for its employee’s Facebook comments about one of its customers. While employers should welcome the...more

Ninth Circuit Finds First Amendment Protects Against Right Of Publicity Claim Involving Film “The Hurt Locker”

The Ninth Circuit has confirmed that right of publicity claims purporting to arise from expressive works, like films, are content-based restrictions on speech that are presumptively unconstitutional, and generally should not...more

Sarver v. Chartier (USCA, Ninth Circuit, February 17, 2016 )

Ninth Circuit affirms district court’s dismissal of Army sergeant’s lawsuit alleging that main character in film “The Hurt Locker” was based on his experiences without his consent, holding that film spoke to issues of public...more

Defamation: Internet Crisis Control

Arriving at his warehouse last week Knott Faire, owner of Faire Carpet Cleaning, discovered yet another complaining critique posted on WELP: “Lots of hype, a mediocre cleaning and a hassle at the end. Don’t get tied up with...more

Loving Thy Neighbor & the Defamatory Flyer

Pete Kusdel was walking his dog through his neighborhood one morning when he saw papers strewn all over one of the streets—it looked like a recycling truck had lost its load! Mad as heck and ready to call the local garbage...more

Oklahoma Appellate Court Rules New anti-SLAPP Statute Does Not Apply Retroactively

From the state “where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain” comes an appellate decision that might seem familiar to readers of this blog. In March 2013, three Oklahoma plaintiffs filed suit against a media entity,...more

Advertising Law - February 2016 #3

EU, U.S. Reach Data Deal—Not a Harbor, but a Shield - After the deadline expired to reach a deal on a new Safe Harbor for the transatlantic transfer of data, the European Union and the United States reached an agreement...more

California’s Correction Statute Amended to Protect Online and Weekly Publications

The California Legislature recently amended Civil Code § 48a to make clear that California’s correction statute applies to weekly and online publications performing the same news-disseminating function as a daily newspaper,...more

Employment Law Navigator – Week in Review: February 2016 #2

We’ve written a lot about employee health data and the inherent risks of requesting and maintaining this sensitive information. Last week, Forbes published a post arguing that employee health data could be the next business...more

Do Your Employees Hate Trump? Comb-over Your Social Media Policy before the Caucus

The media is buzzing about presidential candidates, and it is only revving up as the Iowa caucuses—the first to be held in the country each year—draw near on February 1st. Following closely on Iowa’s heels will be New...more

Will the Zippo sliding scale for Internet jurisdiction slide into oblivion?

Though Internet communications seem to occur in a mystical electronic ether (which we once called cyberspace), authors of Internet messages can be held accountable for them in that very traditional physical place known as a...more

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