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Defamation

Oct 2023

“This Stuff Is Incomprehensible”: Will Mass. High Court Reconsider its Anti-SLAPP Jurisprudence?

Jeffrey J. Pyle

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court may soon simplify its Byzantine interpretation of the Commonwealth’s Anti-SLAPP Law, if the justices’ questions at a recent oral argument are anything to go by.

Oct 2023

Anti-SLAPP and Neuwirth = A Tough Challenge for Plaintiffs in New Jersey

Bruce S. Rosen

New Jersey’s long-awaited version of the UPEPA Anti-SLAPP law becomes effective with filings as of October 9, 2023, but now it has added teeth, not from the Legislature, but because of the Appellate Division’s sweeping published decision in Neuwirth, requiring all “public” defamation cases to plead specific facts supporting an allegation of actual malice.

Sep 2023

Connecticut Supreme Court Clarifies the Scope of Connecticut’s Absolute Immunity Doctrine

Alexa Millinger and Kylie Huff

In a decision clarifying the limits of absolute immunity in defamation claims, the Connecticut Supreme Court held that a former Yale student accused of sexually assaulting a classmate can bring a civil defamation suit against his accuser arising out of a campus disciplinary proceeding.

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Sep 2023

New Jersey Court Rejects Discrimination Claims Based on Newspaper Columns

Elizabeth Seidlin-Bernstein

A state trial court recently dismissed claims under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination arising from newspaper columns that were allegedly motivated by discriminatory animus.

Sep 2023

Essential Elements of a Libel Claim Are Indeed Essential

Jack Greiner

Mr. Weiler attempted to put the cart before the horse here by arguing that the impact of the statements – true or false – harmed his reputation. But a plaintiff can’t proceed without evidence to support an essential element.

Sep 2023

Newsday Wins Defamation Suit Over Wrong Photo Used in News Article

Jesse Feitel and Rachel Strom

Newsday moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that New York’s anti-SLAPP Law applied to the action, that the complaint does not satisfy the heightened pleading standard imposed by the anti-SLAPP Law, and that the complaint should be dismissed because the plaintiff has not and cannot establish that Newsday published the article with actual malice.

Sep 2023

Nicholas Sandmann Blocked on Appeal

Meenakshi Krishnan and Nathan Siegel

The Sixth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s grant of 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 2023

Pennsylvania Legislators Introduce Anti-Slapp Legislation

Michael Berry

HB 1466 builds on UPEPA and the collective experience of states with existing anti-SLAPP laws, while accounting for distinctive features of Pennsylvania legal practice.

Aug 2023

Colorado Court Grants Anti-SLAPP Motions of Media Defendants Sued for Reporting on Health Company Fallout With State

Steve Zansberg and Lauren Russell

On August 15, a trial judge in Arapahoe County, Colorado became the fourth state jurist to dismiss libel claims against media companies applying Colorado’s anti-SLAPP Act, passed into law in 2019.

Aug 2023

Court Affirms Fee Award Against Arizona Lawmakers Who Filed Groundless, Bad-Faith Defamation Lawsuit Against Political Rival

Kennison Lay

Plaintiffs’ pleadings were “riddled with irrelevant allegations” and “irrelevant arguments,” and their appeal was “both groundless and brought in bad faith.” 

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