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Everything MLRC has published, in any publication, since 2017.

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Mar 2024

Prosecutor’s Defamation Suit SLAPPed On Appeal

Cam Ruk

The Supreme Court of Texas granted a newspaper’s anti-SLAPP motion, dismissing a state prosecutor’s claim that he was defamed in an article discussing a wrongful murder conviction.

Mar 2024

Massachusetts High Court: Motive is Irrelevant Under Anti-SLAPP Law

Jeffrey J. Pyle

In Bristol Asphalt v. Rochester Bituminous Products, the court overturned a controversial 2017 decision that required evaluation of the SLAPP filer’s “primary motivating goal” for bringing suit. The court also held that appellate review of anti-SLAPP decisions will henceforth be de novo, not for abuse of discretion.

Mar 2024

Anti-SLAPP Developments in the UK and Europe and What It’s Like Being Slapped in Greece

David Hooper

There are things to learn from the markers set out by the EU and Council of Europe as to the identifying features of SLAPPs and how to produce a draft law acceptable to a wide spectrum of differing approaches to anti-SLAPP law.

Mar 2024

RFK, Jr. Loses In New Hampshire

Jack Greiner

Kennedy's effort to have that court exercise jurisdiction over his defamation suit failed out of the gate.

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Mar 2024

D.C. Court Affirms Anti-SLAPP Dismissal, and Attorneys’ Fees, in Case About Newsroom Manager’s Workplace Conduct

Alia Smith

The D.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a pair of lawsuits, under the D.C. Anti-SLAPP Act, alleging claims of defamation, employment discrimination, false light, and tortious interference arising from expressions critical of a newsroom manager’s conduct at public radio station WAMU. This is the first case counsel is aware of extending the D.C.…

Mar 2024

Calling Someone Racist Not Defamatory

Michael S. Anderson

In affirming dismissal, the Court of Appeals held that the characterization of a particular statement as “racial” or “racist” constitutes non-actionable opinion protected by the First Amendment.

Mar 2024

Jury Awards $25M in Damages, Including $20M in Punitive Damages, for The Oklahoman’s Misattribution of Racial Slur

Michael Norwick

Actual malice finding and massive punitive award comes notwithstanding the Gannett-owned newspaper’s correction of the error within two and a half hours.

Feb 2024

Happy Slam, Happy Conference

George Freeman

Executive director on MLRC's dynamic inaugural conference in Sydney.

Jan 2024

FOIA Case for Records Could Mean Mexican Journalist Finally Wins Asylum in U.S.

Adam A. Marshall and Chuck Tobin

A federal FOIA case could be the key to a successful resolution of a Mexican journalist’s and his son’s decades-long fight for permanent U.S. asylum after fleeing their home country.

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Jan 2024

Fifth Circuit Affirms Preliminary Injunction Against Texas Prosecution of Netflix

Miranda A. Cassidy

The Fifth Circuit concluded that the rule which ordinarily requires federal courts to abstain from interfering in state criminal prosecutions did not apply, due to the evidence that Netflix’s prosecution was the product of “bad faith” on the part of Tyler County District Attorney Lucas Babin.

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Jan 2024

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms That Texas Book Rating System Is Unconstitutional

Laura Lee Prather

Unlike the oral argument which focused primarily on the unconstitutional definitions and the workings of the rating scheme, the ruling leaned into a surgical analysis of standing, ripeness, and sovereign immunity that dissected each of the State’s arguments as to government speech, the government operations doctrine, and warning labels in great detail.

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Jan 2024

Controversial Politician Kari Lake Loses Anti-SLAPP Motion, Showing Flaws in Arizona Statute

Gregg Leslie

The recent denial of a controversial Arizona anti-SLAPP motion by politician Kari Lake has demonstrated the flaws and unanswered questions hidden in the Arizona Anti-SLAPP law, which was amended in 2022 and has yet to be the subject of an appellate decision.

Jan 2024

Questions and Predictions for ’24

George Freeman

MLRC executive director has questions on what the new year will bring in law, politics, sport, entertainment, and whether his column might benefit from an AI assist.

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Jan 2024

Dismissal of Golfer’s Defamation Suit and Fee Award Tees Up 11th Circuit’s Consideration of Anti-SLAPP in Federal Court

Linda Riedemann Norbut

The availability of Florida anti-SLAPP protection in federal court is teed up for resolution by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals following the award of sanctions to media defendants who prevailed on claims by professional golfer Patrick Reed.

Jan 2024

PEN America, Penguin Random House First Amendment Lawsuit Over Book Removal Moves Forward

Ojasvinee Singh

The lawsuit challenges the removal and restriction of books from school libraries on First Amendment free speech and Fourteenth Amendment equal protection grounds.

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Jan 2024

2023: A Year in Prior Restraints

Seth Stern

Freedom of the Press Foundation’s U.S. Press Freedom Tracker documented 11 prior restraints against journalists in 2023 (plus an 12th issued in January 2024) — the highest number since it began tracking them in 2017.

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Jan 2024

Lawsuit Over Alleged CIA Spying on Assange Visitors May Proceed in Part

Matt Kristoffersen

Four Americans may now proceed with their lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency for allegedly copying data from their devices while visiting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Jan 2024

Virginia Media Win Access to Report on School Shooting

David B. Lacy and Harley J. McClellan

The Circuit Court held that the Virginia Freedom of Information Act required disclosure of a school board’s investigation report into a graduation shooting even though a law firm conducted the investigation and prepared the report.

Jan 2024

Ohio Supreme Court Finds Amusement Park’s Private Police Force Is Subject to Public Records Law

Ryan W. Goellner

The television stations’ requests first required analysis of a novel issue under Ohio law: whether a private police department created pursuant to a city ordinance and by agreement between the amusement park and the city was subject to Ohio’s Public Records Act.

Jan 2024

It’s “OK” To Call a Police Officer Racist

John C. Greiner and Darren Ford

The court had little trouble concluding that the allegedly offending statements were opinion protected under Ohio law.

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