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 -
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Managing a Company’s Online Reputation Doesn’t Need to be Risky Business

Research shows that positive reviews on online review sites such as Yelp are actively driving consumer’s buying behaviors. And there’s no surprise that negative reviews have also have an impact. ...more

Catholic Priest Permitted To Conceal Non-Privileged Nature Of Defamatory Communication Until Statute Of Limitations Runs

In a recent unanimous decision in Harrington v. Costello, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) held that the statute of limitations had run out on a Catholic priest’s defamation claim against his colleague, even...more

New “Twibel” Defamation Opinion Suggests Online Speech May Be Special After All

Many lawyers smirked and scoffed a few months ago when the popular press began touting the Courtney Love “Twibel” trial as a “landmark” case that would set a “major precedent.” In fact, as discussed further elsewhere, it was...more

Florida Court: Blogger Entitled To A Pre-Suit Retraction Demand For Alleged Defamatory Comments

In Comins v. VanVoorhis, a Florida court has addressed the question of whether bloggers should be treated as "publishers" under defamation and libel law...more

Williams v. Cahill

Williams v. Cahill - California Court of Appeal, March 26, 2014: California appellate court affirms denial of defendant’s anti-SLAPP motion, finding that, although defendant’s statements on ABC television show “20/20”...more

The Case Of The Defamed Doctor – SLAPP’ing Down Defamation Cases In Texas

While on a date to the Laugh Factory Comedy Club, Terry Tellsall busted a gut laughing and was rushed to Texas General Hospital. Incensed by the treatment and bedside manner he received from Dr. B.D. Manner, Terry barraged...more

Spanish Supreme Court orders Le Monde to pay damages to Real Madrid and FC Barcelona

The Spanish Supreme Court has ordered French daily newspaper Le Monde to pay damages of €300,000 to Real Madrid and €15,000 to FC Barcelona for linking the Spanish football clubs to a doping plot....more

Stacy Allen Speaks: Looking Back 50 Years At 'N.Y. Times v Sullivan' and the Civil Rights Movement

I recently attended the annual ABA Forum on Communications Law, which included an informative panel discussion marking the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in N.Y. Times v Sullivan. While we are...more

Should an employer have a written social media policy? [Video]

Phoenix business law firm Jaburg Wilk's Employment law attorney Kraig Marton discusses whether an employer should have a written social media policy. He also talks about whether an employee can get in trouble for what they...more

ENT surgeons cut into each other – Common law qualified privilege in defamation

The New South Wales Court of Appeal in Prince v Malouf [2014] NSWCA 12 has recently overturned a District Court award of damages. The two parties, Dr Prince and Dr Malouf, were ear, nose and throat surgeons who, in...more

Third Circuit Attempts to Untangle Defamation and False Light Invasion of Privacy

CaptureIn Graboff v. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania found that the defendant’s statement was not defamatory but was a false light invasion of privacy (“false light”). The...more

Courtney Love, Yelp and Internet libel: Nevermind, it’s not a trend

Courtney Love goes to trial, in a suit by her former attorney, based on a social media message that accused the attorney of being “bought off.” A Yelp user and the contractor she criticized go at each other in court over...more

New York Federal Court Dismisses Derivative Suit Against Sons of Norway Executives

On February 6, the US Court for the Eastern District of New York dismissed a derivative suit against the CEO, general counsel and former international president of Sons of Norway, a fraternal organization. Former members of a...more

Freedom of Speech on the Internet: The Power of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

Experienced First Amendment lawyers know that websites hosting user-created content are extremely difficult to sue for defamation. This is due to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, codified at 47 U.S.C. §...more

Legal Perspective on Negative Online Reviews: What Both Sides Should Consider Before Jumping Into the Fray

We recently asked: for customers and businesses alike, what should we know about libel and defamation (and the legal pitfalls of online rants in general) before we post negative comments online? Here’s what we heard back....more

Weekly Law Resume - January 2014: Torts – Defamation and the Anti-Slapp Statute

Anthony K. Hui v. Beth Sturbaum - Court of Appeal, First Appellate District (January 9, 2014)- California’s anti-SLAPP statute (Code of Civil Procedure §425.16) was passed in 1992 because of the legislature’s...more

"You Like 'To-May-Toe,' I Like 'To-Mah-Toe'" – Distinctions Without a Material Difference: Supreme Court Reverses Lower Court...

The events of September 11 were by no means the first examples of terrorism involving aviation, but they unified the U.S., if not the world, in its effort to make air travel safer. It was in the wake of 9/11 that Congress...more

Supreme Court Reiterates that New York Times Actual Malice Standard Requires Materially False Statements

On Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, the Supreme Court unanimously reversed a $1.2 million Colorado defamation verdict in the case of Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper—a notable decision for a court that rarely accepts libel...more

Top questions fashion brands should consider before conducting social media marketing

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram…the list of social media tools for the promotion of your fashion brand is ever increasing. While social media is an effective and immediate way to reach your customers, there are some...more

Back From The Land Of Trial Mode: January Quicklinks

There has not been much activity on the blog because we have been engaged in a long copyright and misappropriation of trade secrets trial. So, we share with you some of the articles we have been reading, but just haven’t had...more

Supreme Court Finds Air Carrier Immune From Defamation Claim For Reporting Employee’s Outburst to TSA

On January 27, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States reversed a nearly $1.2 million jury verdict for defamation against Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation in a case surrounding the airline carrier’s report about a...more

SCOTUS: Airlines Are Entitled to Immunity under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act Unless Statements Are Materially...

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper, 571 U.S. ---, No. 12-315 (2014), holding that immunity for an air carrier under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, 49...more

U.S. Supreme Court Adds "Relevant Reader or Listener" to "Material Falsity" Defamation Analysis

In its decision in Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that "the relevant reader or listener" must be considered in assessing the falsity element in defamation lawsuits. The Air Wisconsin...more

Blurred Lines: Ninth Circuit Applies Same First Amendment Protections to Bloggers as Traditional Media

The Ninth Circuit last week became the first federal court of appeals to find that bloggers are entitled to the same First Amendment protections as traditional print and broadcast media when sued for defamation. Obsidian Fin....more

Ferreting Out the Frauds: a Virginia Court Orders Yelp To Identify Anonymous Users

Social media is widely used in the hospitality industry for everything from promoting sales to recruiting new talent. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Foursquare, and a number of other sites provide hoteliers and restaurateurs...more

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