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

Twitter Ordered by Irish Court to Disclose Information about Author of Tweet

Twitter International Company (TIC) in Dublin, Ireland was reportedly ordered by a High Court to disclose data about the source of tweets about a whistleblower. The tweets, which included allegations of insurance fraud, are...more

Jeepers, Creepers: The Launch of the New “Peeple” App and Privacy Concerns

It’s 12:43 in the morning, and you have had a tough day at work. You are tired, thinking slowly, and feeling a little anxious that you should already be in bed to catch some rest before a 6 a.m. wake-up call. And then you get...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Franchise Systems Can Fight Online Negativity

One of today's challenges faced by franchisors and franchise systems is negative remarks posted online by a customer, ex-employee, or even a dissatisfied franchisee. Negative comments appear in sites created specifically to...more

Stacy Allen Speaks: Newsroom Victories During the 2015 Texas Legislative Session

Sometimes, killing a bad bill can be as important as enacting a good one. So it was for newsrooms during the 2015 session of the Texas Legislature. My partner Paul Watler and I were privileged to assist the Texas Association...more

Are You Sure This Isn’t About Copyright? Chicken Sandwiches, Monkey Selfies and the Boundaries of Copyright Law

Last week, a wild crested macaque named Naruto (but really People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against photographer David John Slater in the Northern District of California. The...more

4 Defenses to Employee Defamation Claims

The Recorder reports an uptick in defamation claims by fired employees. These claims are often in the form of plaintiffs saying that their bosses gave others false reasons for their firing. These types of claims strike fear...more

Georgia Court Holds Coverage Triggered for Product Disparagement Claim

In its recent decision in Foliar Nutrients v. Nationwide Agribusiness Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125528 (M.D. Ga. Sept. 21, 2015), the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia had occasion to...more

Marshmallow Justice: 10 Tales of Legal Fluff and Other Stuff

Just about one hundred years ago, Archibald Query of Somerville, Massachusetts invented the first commercial marshmallow cream, which he pedaled door-to-door in Union Square. Around 1917, he sold the recipe for $500 to two...more

Businesses rejoice but poster beware: Yelp ordered to identify anonymous reviewer

Many business have suffered the misery and frustration of a harshly negative, anonymous online review. That anonymity, critics argue, frees the reviewer from worries about the need for accuracy and, worse yet, encourages the...more

Taylor Swift’s in legal trouble, trouble, trouble when accusation leads to DJ’s firing

Taylor Swift’s complaint that a DJ grabbed her derriere while a photograph was being taken before a concert has led to a federal lawsuit. The DJ claims he got a bum wrap (pun intended) and that it was actually someone else at...more

Judge Orders Yelp to Identify Anonymous Negative Commenter

On September 15, a judge in Boston ruled that Yelp must reveal the identity of an anonymous commenter who wrote a negative review of a jeweler on the online review site. The order to non-party Yelp in the attempted...more

CFPB files amicus brief in U.S. Supreme Court Article III standing case

The CFPB, together with the DOJ, has filed a second amicus brief in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, the case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court in which the issue is whether a plaintiff who cannot show any actual harm from a...more

Serving Proceedings in Russia under the Hague Convention

The English High Court has clarified one aspect of service of English proceedings in Russia under the Hague Convention. The English Courts remain an attractive venue for Russian related litigation. A claimant wishing to...more

GAME OF (STICKS &) STONES – Prior Restraint & Online Defamation

In previous posts, we have explored several aspects of internet defamation – including suing anonymous internet and twitter users and the protections afforded to internet users and providers for re-publishing content under...more

Keeping Confidences

One of our very favorite cartoons is part of the “Ballard Street” collection by Jerry Van Amerongen. It depicts an earnest soul working away at his desk (we like to think he’s an HR professional) beneath a prominently-posted...more

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 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

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