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Jul 2023

Free Speech in the “Free State”

Rachel Fugate and Sarah Papadelias

Florida's distorted First Amendment reality stems from a “war on woke” that attempts to eliminate certain viewpoints and has infected Florida’s legislative and executive decisions. Fortunately, federal courts have pulled Florida back from the First Amendment "upside down." However, there still is a long way to go.

Jun 2023

How AI “Hallucinations” Could Inflict Real-World Pain for Users

Lyndsey M. Wajert

In filing a complaint many have dubbed “the first of its kind,” a radio host in Georgia recently sued for defamation the company behind the much-buzzed-about artificial intelligence chat platform ChatGPT. And while the concept of suing an AI developer for an intent-based tort may be quite novel, the facts at issue highlight some familiar…

Jun 2023

Second Time Around, Florida Trial Court Applies Anti-SLAPP Statute to DJ’s Defamation Claims

Minch Minchin

A Florida trial judge dismissed a Tampa disc-jockey’s SLAPP suit against a local radio station and rival DJ because the defamation count was based on nonactionable statements, and the additional claims were barred by Florida’s single-action rule.

Jun 2023

Pennsylvania Judge Called “QAnon-Linked” Loses False Light Lawsuit Against The Daily Beast

Seth Berlin, Kaitlin Gurney and Leslie Minora

The Court dismissed the Complaint on actual malice pleading grounds, finding that Judge Patrick had failed to allege facts that, if proven, would constitute clear and convincing evidence “that Defendants acted with actual malice when they described her as a QAnon-linked judge.”

Jun 2023

Music Producer Is a Public Figure in High Profile Case Against Pop Star

Benjamin E. Marks and Krystel Delauney

The Court held that Gottwald is a limited-purpose public figure and must show by clear and convincing evidence that Sebert acted with actual malice when she accused him of sexual assault. It also granted summary judgment to Sebert with respect to five of the allegedly defamatory statements on the ground that they fell squarely within…

May 2023

Connecticut Supreme Court Affirms Right of Immediate Appeal of Anti-SLAPP Decisions

Alexa Millinger

Connecticut joins 16 states in holding that anti-SLAPP motions to dismiss may be immediately appealed rather than waiting for the conclusion of the case.

May 2023

A Texas-Sized Battle to Protect Citizens Rights to Speak Freely

Laura Lee Prather and Reid Pillifant

The quiet end for SB 896 came after a noisy lobbying effort by media, advocacy, consumer, and business groups to kill the bill.

May 2023

Virginia Court Dismisses Homeowners’ Case Over B-Roll Footage in Jan. 6 News Story

Hilary Oran

Though courts rarely find that a party has been fraudulently joined, the court did so in this instance.

May 2023

Virginia Federal Court Grants Gannett’s Motion to Dismiss Defamation Lawsuit Brought by Prominent Anti-Vaxxer and Covid Critic

Michael J. Grygiel

The threshold dismissal was particularly welcome — and appropriate — because the Complaint targeted the newspaper’s reporting on a newsworthy community event implicating vitally important public health issues.

May 2023

Proposed Florida Defamation Legislation

Sarah Papadelias and Rachel Fugate

One proposal that was introduced during the session was an effort to overhaul defamation law in Florida by making it “easier” to sue media outlets in Florida.