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Mar 2023

Tennessee Journalists Prevail in Reverse Public Records Dispute Regarding Naomi Judd’s Death

Robb S. Harvey and Quynh-Anh D. Kibler

The procedural battles were unique, to say the least. Ultimately, the media’s requests were fulfilled, and the Judd family voluntarily dismissed their lawsuit.

Mar 2023

Celebrating Sullivan’s 59th Anniversary; MLRC White Paper’s First

George Freeman

Executive director takes a second look at MLRC's landmark White Paper "New York Times v. Sullivan: The Case for Preserving an Essential Precedent."

Feb 2023

Colorado Court Affirms Dismissal of Anti-Abortion Activist’s Libel Suit

Steve Zansberg

The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s granting of defendant’s anti-SLAPP motion terminating the libel case brought by anti-abortion activist David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress against Dr. Savita Ginde, the former medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountain Region.

Feb 2023

California Court of Appeal Affirms Tarantino Movie Does Not Violate Actor’s Right of Publicity

Elizabeth L. Schilken

Affirming a bright line exemption for expressive works from California’s post-mortem right of publicity statute, the Court of Appeal upheld the dismissal of right of publicity claims against the Quentin Tarantino movie Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.

Feb 2023

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Defamation Complaint Based On Fair Report Privilege

Michael J. Grygiel

Both the District Court’s decision and the Second Circuit’s affirmance reinforce that Section 74 provides appropriate grounds for upfront dismissal of a defamation complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) where the application of the privilege is clear on the face of the allegations.

Jan 2023

Oklahoma Courts SLAPP Tulsa Police Officer’s Lawsuit Over Police Shootings Statement

Robert D. Nelon

The district court concluded that the text and headlines of each of the defendants’ articles were substantially true and did not materially differ from, and were “a fair representation” of, what Yates himself said.

Jan 2023

Colorado Court of Appeals SLAPPs Dentist’s Defamation Case Over Consumer Review

Lauren Russell

In one of the first appellate decisions interpreting and applying the state’s new anti-SLAPP law, the Colorado Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of the defendant’s Anti-SLAPP motion, dismissing an endodontist’s defamation case against a former patient who posted negative reviews about her treatment, and ordering the trial court to award the patient…

Jan 2023

Washington State Court Issues Nation’s First Appellate Decision on the Uniform Public Expression Protection Act

Caesar Kalinowski IV, Shontee Pant, and Bruce E.H. Johnson

Passed by Washington in 2021 and other states since, UPEPA provides expedited procedures and substantial protections to protect expressive rights against abusive litigation.

Jan 2023

Fourth Circuit Halts “Election Libel” Prosecution, North Carolina Law Likely Unconstitutional

Benjamin Rossi

In a strongly worded opinion, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals last week vacated a district court’s denial of a preliminary injunction against a state prosecution of Josh Stein, North Carolina’s Attorney General.

Jan 2023

Ohio Court of Appeals: Statements Lampooning Restaurateur for Racist Dress Code Were Nonactionable Satire

Kevin T. Shook

The court found the articles posted on the website to be protected by the First Amendment because a reasonable reader would understand they were satire and did not convey actual facts.