Akin Gump - Excubitor

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1333 New Hampshire Ave., NW
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Phone: 202.887.4000
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Climate Scientist Sues Critic

In what appears to be a novel application of defamation law to disputes within the academic community, one researcher has filed suit against a peer reviewer and an academic journal for criticism made in a peer review article of…more
 /  Civil Remedies, Commercial Law & Contracts, Communications & Media Law, Personal Injury

“Pink Slime” Lawsuit Spins Off into Insurance Dispute

Earlier this year, ABC News, through its parent company, reached a midtrial settlement with Beef Products Inc. in the now infamous “pink slime” lawsuit. Under South Dakota food libel statutes, damages in the case could have…more
 /  Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Communications & Media Law, Insurance

Record Jury Verdict for New Hampshire Defamation Plaintiffs

A New Hampshire jury has awarded nearly $275 million to three men publicly alleged to be drug dealers, money launderers and extortionists by local businessman and radio host Michael Gill. The verdict—thought to be the largest…more
 /  Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Civil Remedies, Communications & Media Law, Personal Injury

Open Questions on Media Company Liability for Statements Made by Talent

A recent case has raised questions about whether or not a media company can be held liable for defamatory statements made by its talent on social media. The case arose after a falling out between two television stars, Mykel…more
 /  Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Communications & Media Law, Labor & Employment Law, Personal Injury

A Potential New Application of Defamation by Implication: Media Layout and Accompanying Images at Issue in ISIS Antiquities Looting Story

On Monday, July 17, 2017, world-renowned antiquities dealer Hicham Aboutaam sued the parent company of a popular newspaper alleging that a story it published defamed him. The article, titled “Prominent Art Family Entangled in…more
 /  Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Business Torts, Personal Injury

Actor James Woods’ Multiple Lawsuits Highlight Dangers of Inflammatory Social Media Postings

Earlier this year, a resident private citizen filed suit against celebrity James Woods, alleging that he defamed her via his postings on a popular short-form social media. The current suit follows a similar case brought by Woods…more
 /  Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Communications & Media Law, Personal Injury

Sarah Palin’s Suit Against The New York Times Faces Some Key Challenges

On June 27, Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate, filed a complaint against The New York Times for defamation in the Southern District of New York. Palin alleges a Times editorial defamed her by…more
 /  Communications & Media Law, Constitutional Law, Elections & Politics, Personal Injury

Coal Executive Has His Feelings Hurt by Television Comedian John Oliver, Sues for Defamation

In a Sunday, June 18, 2017, segment on John Oliver’s news comedy television show, Last Week Tonight, Oliver predicted that the founder and CEO of the largest privately owned coal company in the United States, the litigious…more
 /  Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Communications & Media Law, Energy & Utilities, Personal Injury

U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates Statute Outlawing Disparaging Trademarks

On June 19, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Matal v. Tam that a statute banning registration of disparaging trademarks violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court’s invalidating the statute should…more
 /  Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Communications & Media Law, Constitutional Law, Intellectual Property

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Tosses Out Defamation Case Against Deval Patrick Based on Failure to Plead “Actual Malice”

Last week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court dismissed a defamation case against former Governor Deval Patrick, related to statements Patrick had made about his decision to replace the chair of the State Sex Offender…more
 /  Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Personal Injury

Wisconsin Supreme Court Characterizes Release of Incorrect Criminal History by State Department of Justice as Defamatory, Despite Disclaimers

The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ruled that the state Department of Justice (DOJ)’s release of misleading criminal history files violated an individual’s protected interest in their name and reputation, in a ruling that may…more
 /  Constitutional Law, Personal Injury, Privacy

Jury Selection Begins in “Pink Slime” Defamation Trial

Beef Products, Inc. and ABC News will begin selecting a jury today in South Dakota state court in a case involving an allegedly misleading report about finely textured beef, which ABC News described as “pink slime.” The trial…more
 /  Agriculture, Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Personal Injury

Proliferation of User Generated Fake News Sites Targeting Small Businesses

A recent investigation uncovered two separate networks that together own at least 30 identical sites, each of which allows users to “prank” their friends by creating their own false news stories and post the creations to social…more
 /  Communications & Media Law, International Law & Trade, Personal Injury

Defamation Suit against Buzzfeed Will Proceed in Miami

On May 22, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida denied the motion of Buzzfeed, Inc. (“Buzzfeed”) and its editor-in-chief to transfer to New York a defamation lawsuit involving Buzzfeed’s publication…more
 /  Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Personal Injury

UVA Administrator Opposes Rolling Stone’s Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law

On December 27, 2016, University of Virginia Associate Dean of Students Nicole P. Eramo opposed Rolling Stone’s Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law. On November 7, 2016, following a two-week trial, a jury sitting in U.S…more
 /  Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Communications & Media Law, Education
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