News & Analysis as of

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

Can you be sued for posting your opinions on the Internet?

A restaurant tells customers it may sue them if they post unfavorable reviews on the Internet. A flooring company sues a customer who complained on social media that he had an “absolutely horrible experience” with the...more

Hidden Risks? What Liability Can Private Colleges and Universities Have for Their Student Newspapers and Publications?

It is well-settled that public institutions are generally not liable for statements made by their student publications because the First Amendment prohibits them from exercising control over such publications. See, e.g.,...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

Duke of Brunswick rule strikes out for Internet lawsuits

If you publish something on the Internet, would it be fair if someone could sue you for it many years later? Of course not. Because of statutes of limitation, a claimant has only a limited time period after any...more

Critical Regulations and Libel Suit Raise Adverse Publicity Coverage Issues

Brand is everything! The ability and opportunities to extend a brand’s reach are vast, with the smallest companies able to brand globally. Equally important is protecting an established brand. Competitors and consumers can...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

Vanity Fair Prevails in Libel Suit Brought by Oleg Cassini’s Widow

Oleg Cassini, the designer who created Jacqueline Kennedy’s iconic styles, had been linked or married to the most beautiful women of his day – Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Anita Ekberg, Gene Tierney, among countless others....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

Temperatures Rise in Mann Libel Suit

It has been a few months since I wrote about Michael Mann’s libel suit against National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and two contributors. During that time, the parties have been very busy in both 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

Texas Web Publishers Earn Novel Protection Against Stale Lawsuits

In a case of first impression for a state appellate court, a Texas broadcaster was protected against a stale libel suit arising from a news report posted to the Internet. ...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

When Online Behavior Crosses The Line – The Law On Threats, Libel And Just Being Rude

A frequent question we get is what can we do about the online posting about me? Often times, the answer is not much. Lawyers can only help when the online conduct crosses the line into a cognizable cause of action. Figuring...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

Religious Institutions - March 2014

Under state and federal law, "whistleblowers" are a protected class and a broader category of persons than intuitively you might guess. When we imagine the quintessential whistleblower, the individual is usually someone who...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

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