Fair Report & Other Privileges
Article Tying Nursing Home Magnate to Human Trafficking, Medicaid Fraud & Elder Abuse Protected As Fair Report, True, and OpinionAlia Smith
Judge Azrack held that the challenged statements – concerning the poor quality of some of Landa’s nursing homes and alleged financial and other improprieties – were fair reports under N.Y. Civil Rights Law § 74, were substantially true, or were non-actionable opinions.
The judge’s decision to dismiss any argument based on the neutral reportage privilege was a lost opportunity. It could have corrected one of the few areas where good journalism and the law diverge.
The Southern District of New York held that twenty-one of the twenty-two statements were not defamatory as a matter of law.
A defendant who prevails on an anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss may recover its attorneys’ fees without the need to file a counterclaim or a separate lawsuit.
The Court of Appeals of North Carolina affirmed the dismissal of a libel suit against WRAL over its coverage of Crystal Mangum’s murder conviction.
The court had no difficulty concluding the article was a matter of legitimate public concern, a fair report of the prior proceedings, and published without actual malice. The significance of the decision, however, also lies in its approach to the recovery of legal fees under the New York SLAPP statute.
A pair of recent decisions from a New Jersey trial court highlights the state’s strong legal protections for freedom of speech and the press.
Delaware Court Upholds Dismissal of Libel Suit by Former Trump Campaign Adviser Against Yahoo News and HuffPostJeff Grossman
In upholding the manner in which Yahoo News reported on aspects of the government’s investigation related to what later came to be known as the “Steele Dossier,” the 4-1 decision represents an affirmation of the legal protections for reporting on government investigations.