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

Sex, Lies and Defamation

On Monday, July 25, 2016, the Ninth Circuit emphasized the continuing viability of defamation claims in cyberspace, notwithstanding a culture saturated in images and "anything goes," by permitting a defamation claim by an...more

Indian Supreme Court Upholds Criminal Defamation and an Individual “Right to Reputation”

On May 13, 2016, the Indian Supreme Court issued a landmark verdict rejecting a series of petitions that challenged the criminal defamation provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on the basis that they violate free speech...more

3rd Circuit Reinstates Firefighter’s Defamation Claim Against the New York Daily News

On January 29, 2015, the New York Daily News published an article “Heated Sex Scandal Surrounds Philadelphia Fire Department: ‘It's Bad Stuff.’” The article stated that a sex scandal “implicat[ing] dozens of city employees,...more

Quirky Question #285: Potholes on the Ethical “High Road”

Question: We learned that some of our employees may have been engaging in unethical, and perhaps even illegal, behavior. We don’t tolerate this, so we hired a law firm to conduct an investigation, and based on the results...more

Supreme Court of Georgia Affirms Trial Court’s Grant of Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict in Defamation Case

On July 8, 2016, the Supreme Court of Georgia affirmed the judgment of a trial court in a case involving Stanley Cottrell, Jr., who according to the court “engaged in a number of solo running exhibitions with a Christian...more

Gretchen Carlson v. Roger Ailes — Can He Sue Her?

Me and my nerdy mind. It’s too soon for me to have an opinion about who’s right and who’s wrong in the Gretchen Carlson-Roger Ailes sexual harassment case. Some very disturbing allegations have been made about Mr....more

Third Circuit Affirms Employer’s Right To Provide Truthful Information In Response To Reference Request Without Liability To...

In a recent unpublished decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the Court affirmed the lower court and held that a former employee could not maintain legal claims against his former employer, based on truthful...more

Extending the Reach of Octane Fitness Under the Lanham Act **WEB ONLY**

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit adopted and applied the Supreme Court of the United States’ rationale for an award of attorneys’ fees in patent cases to a trademark case. In doing so, the Fifth Circuit aligned...more

Defamation Lawsuit Against Rolling Stone by Former UVA Fraternity Brothers Dismissed

This week, a judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone by three former Phi Kappa Psi fraternity brothers from the University of Virginia. The case resulted from a Rolling Stone article published in 2014,...more

Client Alert: Microwave Ovens in “American Hustle” Constitute a Matter of Public Interest

In Brodeur v. Atlas Entm’t, (No. B263379, filed 6/6/16), the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District held statements regarding the safety of microwave ovens in the hit film “American Hustle” constituted a...more

Federal Judge Dismisses Defamation Suit Against Rolling Stone After Discredited University of Virginia Profile

A New York federal judge recently granted a motion to dismiss a defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone magazine, its publisher Wenner Media, and journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely. Three former University of Virginia (“UVA”)...more

Employment Law Navigator – Week in Review: July 2016

What if employers could read employees’ minds? Cybersecurity firm Stroz Friedberg has developed technology that some might say can do just that. The software, Scout, reads employee emails to determine if an employee is...more

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

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