Defamation Libel

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

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

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

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

Franklin v. The Daily Holdings, Inc. - New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 1st Judicial Department

In defamation suit arising from report of nightclub confrontation between rappers, New York appellate court holds that plaintiff adequately alleged that published statements taken out of context from his Twitter post were...more

Greene v. Paramount Pictures Corp. - USDC, E.D. New York, September 30, 2015

District court grants defendants’ motion to dismiss invasion of privacy claims, holding that defendants’ film “The Wolf of Wall Street” did not use plaintiff’s actual name or image, and grants in part and denies in part...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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Watler Speaks: Save the Plane – Or Save Yourself From a Libel Suit?

Fear of liability may match fear of flying for many Americans. We all know that commercial aviation is one of the safest forms of modern transportation. But it only takes a gut-wrenching drop of an aircraft in the...more

Speaking Ill of the Dead

Maligning the memory of the deceased has been viewed as a reprehensible act since antiquity. The Latin aphorism “de mortuis nihil nisi bonum” – roughly translated as “speak nothing but good of the dead” – has been traced back...more

The Defamation Act 2013: To sue or not to sue?

The Defamation Act 2013 (“the Act”) reformed the law relating to slander and libel in England. It was heralded by a Justice Minister as “the end of a long and hard fought battle to ensure a fair balance is struck between the...more

Defamation From Beyond the Grave: Using Your Last Will To Get In The Last Word

Halloween is a good time to think about how you want to die. Do you want to leave the world peacefully? Or do you want to go down trash talking, making sure that your enemies know exactly what you think about them, and that...more

Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group DC Circuit Panel

The DC Circuit has announced that the Abbas v. Foreign Policy Group appeal will be heard on October 20, 2014 before Circuit Judges Kavanaugh, Srinivasan, and Senior Circuit Judge Edwards. I thought I would take a quick look...more

Outlook 2014: Untruthful posts to consumer review websites could result in lawsuits

Q. Are customer comments posted on consumer review websites protected speech under the First Amendment or are individuals who post opinions potentially subjecting themselves to a libel lawsuit? A. While the First...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

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

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

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

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