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Aug 2021

New York Federal District Court Dismisses Financier’s Libel Case

Robert P. LoBue

The decision covers a number of issues of current interest to the media bar, including the circumstances in which hyperlinking to an earlier, allegedly libelous article is a republication starting a new limitations period, the scope of the “issue of public interest” standard in the recently-enacted amendments of New York Anti-SLAPP statute, and the actionability…

Aug 2021

Ninth Circuit Unanimously Affirms First Amendment Protection for Rachel Maddow’s “Paid Russian Propaganda” Commentary

Nathaniel L. Bach and Marissa M. Mulligan

The Court held that the Southern District of California correctly granted Defendants’ anti-SLAPP motion because Ms. Maddow’s statement that OAN “really literally is paid Russian propaganda”—in the context of her broadcast, in which she employed entertaining and hyperbolic language while commenting on a matter of public concern and fully disclosing the facts—“is well within the…

Aug 2021

Times v. Sullivan, Rosenbloom, and Justice Gorsuch: Where is SCOTUS Heading?

George Freeman

Here are a few personal thoughts on the issue – first, on the need for the continued reliance on the actual malice rule; and, second, dealing with the criticism of the public figure (as opposed to public official) categorization by a return to the Rosenbloom rule.

Aug 2021

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Early Dismissal of ‘Hate Group’ Defamation and Religious Discrimination Claim

Peter Canfield

Alleging “nothing but love for people who engage in homosexual conduct,” no matter how “vile” and “shameful” their conduct, is not enough to legally ground a defamation and religious discrimination lawsuit filed by a media ministry challenging its public branding as an anti-LGBTQ “hate group.”

Aug 2021

What the Zuck! Court Grants USA Today’s Motion to Dismiss Social Media Personality’s Complaint

Michael Pusateri and Michael J. Grygiel

Judge Karsznitz — who presided over a two-hour oral argument on the motion to dismiss — was guided by longstanding precedent holding that the First Amendment is implicated whenever a plaintiff takes aim at speech addressing matters of legitimate public concern, no matter how her claims are styled. 

Aug 2021

The Most Bizarre Lawsuit(s) Involving ‘The Most Gullible Man in Cambridge’ Get Dismissed

Jeremy Chase and Carl Mazurek

These decisions – both of which are now on appeal – serve as vindication for the magazine and its author, Kera Bolonik, and mark a key turning point in this long-running and outlandish saga.

Jul 2021

Forum Selection Clause Blows Case West of the Windy City

George Desh

While 2Pac may have had California love and Tony Bennet left his heart in San Francisco, Windy City Rehab television personality Donovan Eckhardt hoped to keep his recently-filed suit in Illinois.

Jul 2021

Alan Dershowitz’s Libel Suit Against CNN Survives Motion to Dismiss

Amanda Levine

Judge Singhal's decision has potentially far-reaching implications for media organizations reporting on issues of public concern.

Jul 2021

Court Dismisses Roy Moore’s Claims Against Sacha Baron Cohen Satire

Carl Mazurek

Judge Cronan of the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment of defendants Sacha Baron Cohen, Showtime, and ViacomCBS, dismissing with prejudice the defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and fraud claims brought against them by Roy and Kayla Moore. Moore v. Cohen.

Jul 2021

Supreme Court Denies Cert Petition Asking Court to Overrule Public Figure Doctrine

Matthew Schafer and Jack Browning

For the media bar and defamation plaintiffs, Berisha’s implications reach beyond a single book and signify challenges ahead for the Court’s libel doctrine.