Category Archives: Defamation

Defamation is Bad, but it Doesn’t Justify Chilling Free Speech

Our neighbors to the North are very American-like, until you get to issues of free speech. Most view Canada as the “least protective of free speech in the English-speaking world.” Reasonable minds can differ on some of Canada’s laws, such … Continue reading

Anti-SLAPP Victory: Reality Television is Free Speech

The reality show “Storage Wars” has created a case that offers some important anti-SLAPP (and litigation) lessons. In December, David Hester filed a lawsuit against A&E Television Networks alleging that producers of Storage Wars rigged the reality-television series by salting storage lockers with valuable … Continue reading

Chink in Armor of Communications Decency Act?

Former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones won her defamation lawsuit against the gossip website TheDirty.com on Thursday in federal court, winning an award of $338,000. Whether she will ever collect any money is a different issue, but some see the … Continue reading

Reporting a Fact is Never Defamatory

It is never defamation to report a fact, even if that fact is that a person was charged with a crime they did not commit. I understand why callers sometimes don’t understand this distinction. The completely innocent caller was falsely … Continue reading

It’s Not Defamation if No One Knows it’s You

As the old saying goes, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?* In the context of defamation law, the saying could be, “if no one knows it’s … Continue reading

Do You REALLY Want to Fight that Case?

Too many attorneys and their clients defend against cases that have no defense. You took out a loan, your financial circumstances went south, and you were not able to repay the loan. Now you have been served with a complaint … Continue reading

Judge Orders Man to Apologize to Ex-Wife on Facebook

Clients sometimes ask me to seek a letter of apology as part of a defamation settlement. I have managed to do so on a number of occasions, but I usually recommend a letter of retraction as opposed to a letter … Continue reading

Some Judges Just Don’t “Get” Defamation

I run into this attitude from judges occasionally. Thankfully, I’ve always been able to turn them around, but when I read about it, it still raises my hackles a little. The attitude of which I speak was most recently illustrated … Continue reading

Australian Defamation Case Illustrates Life Without the CDA

I have frequently written here on the pros and cons of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”). Without it, no website could permit comments, but by the same token it allows unscrupulous website operators to encourage defamatory postings, and then use … Continue reading

Gloating Over $5,000 Settlement Costs Parents $234,011.87

Some callers to my office, wanting to sue for defamation because someone said terrible, false and hurtful things about them, are disappointed to learn that they cannot seek legal action because the speech falls under a privilege. By definition, “privileged” … Continue reading