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Defamation

Sep 2022

Blocked or Not Blocked – That Was the Question

Meenakshi Krishnan and Nathan Siegel

Judge William Bertelsman awarded summary judgment to several media defendants (The New York Times, CBS, ABC, Gannett, and Rolling Stone) in a series of long-running defamation cases brought by Nicholas Sandmann. 

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Aug 2022

New York Times Prevails in Two Related Defamation Lawsuits

Dave Heller

The state court found that terms such as "racist" and "white nationalist" are non-actionable opinion and that, even if actionable, plaintiff had failed to show any evidence of actual malice.

Aug 2022

Court Dismisses Trademark & Related Claims Over Product Reference in Fictional TV Show

Kelli L. Sager, Dan Laidman, and Sarah Burns

Reinforcing the strong First Amendment protections for the use of real-life products and brands in expressive works, a Los Angeles federal court rejected a trademark and trade libel suit over an episode of “Evil.”

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Aug 2022

Court Dismisses Defamation Lawsuit Over Holocaust Complicity

Damon Dunn and Seth Stern

A judge dismissed defamation and false light invasion of privacy claims filed by three ethnic Poles who alleged that a Chicago Sun-Times opinion columnist ascribed “felonies under the laws of Illinois and Poland” to the “Plaintiffs and/or their families and Poles in general” when it referred to “widespread collaboration” in the killing of Jews during WWII.

Aug 2022

Court Dismisses Radio Host’s “Liar Libel” Defamation Claim

Steven Mandell, Brian D. Saucier and Lyndsey Wajert

The judge dismissed the lawsuit against the Chicago media company, deciding the company’s statement, merely expressing disagreement with its former employee’s “characterizations,” did not constitute defamation.

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Aug 2022

Orange Crushed: D.C. Court Dismisses Politician’s SLAPP Suit

Matthew Cate, Chad R. Bowman, and Charles D. Tobin

A D.C. politician failed to assert viable claims against a newspaper over coverage of his departure from government service and his “rocky” tenure at the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, a D.C. Superior Court judge ruled in August.

Aug 2022

Michigan Judge Gives Boot to Libel Suit By Man Who Gave Nazi Salute, Shouted ‘Heil Hitler’ At School Board Meeting

Herschel P. Fink

A man who disrupted a suburban Detroit school board hearing with a Nazi salute and shouts of “Heil Hitler!” to protest a proposed mask mandate, and then sued for libel after his actions were widely reported, lost his case against five news outlets.

Aug 2022

Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Protracted Planet Aid Libel Matter

Shawn Musgrave and D. Victoria Baranetsky

The panel affirmed the district court’s granting of a motion to strike under California’s anti-SLAPP law, finding that the lower court correctly determined that plaintiffs, were limited-purpose public figures and that they had failed to satisfy the actual malice standard.

Aug 2022

Texas Court of Appeals Upholds Anti-SLAPP Dismissal of Claims Brought by Suspect in Child Pornography Case

Catherine Robb

FTS filed an Anti-SLAPP Motion arguing that the complained of statements were substantially true, accurate reports of third-party allegations, and privileged under the fair report and fair comment privilege.

Jun 2022

Roy Moore Defamation Claim Over Political Ad Headed to Trial

J. Evans Bailey

The trial will mark the second defamation trial in Alabama in the last six months related to allegations of sexual impropriety which arose during Moore’s 2017 campaign for the United States Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions.

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