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February 2022

MediaLawLetter February 2022


in this issue

From the Executive Director’s Desk: Palin v. New York Times: Testing the Actual Malice Standard

George Freeman

Instead of focusing on whether this litigation will be used to overrule Sullivan, its real significance was as a test of whether Sullivan works.


Roy Moore #MeToo Libel Suit Results in a “Dogfall”

Dennis Bailey

The jury verdict concluded: “[N]either party recover from the other.”  However, both sides claimed victory and neither side said they will appeal. 


Texas Federal Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Defamation and §1983 Case Over Academic Freedom

Kayla Bright

The debate regarding First Amendment rights on college campuses – especially in today’s contentious environment over the boundaries of acceptable speech – is well illustrated in the recent decision Jackson v. Wright.


Nevada Court SLAPPs False Light and Right of Publicity Claims Against ‘Confronting: O.J.’ Podcast

Michael Beylkin, Michael Twersky and Colleen McCarty

A Nevada court has granted, in full, the anti-SLAPP motion filed by a host of media defendants seeking dismissal of all claims brought by Malcolm LaVergne, O.J. Simpson’s civil lawyer and self-appointed spokesman, in connection with a 2019 podcast.

Texas Court Affirms Denial of Anti-SLAPP Motion to Dismiss

Storm Lineberger

The Texas anti-SLAPP lawhas broadly safeguarded the constitutional rights of the press to publish freely on matters of public concern. The decision in Polk County Publishing Company v. Coleman, however, provides an example of the outer limits of the TCPA’s protection.

Court Orders Disclosure of Redacted Briefs in Constitutional Challenge to Substance Use Treatment Law

Jack Greiner and Darren Ford

The Kentucky Supreme Court recently held that a news organization was entitled to redacted copies of briefs filed in appeals raising constitutional challenges to a Kentucky substance use disorder treatment law.


Ninth Circuit: FCC Stymied Its Own Ability to Block State Net Neutrality Rules

Jeff Hermes

In a precedential opinion, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the denial of a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of California’s state net neutrality rules, as set forth in the California Internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act of 2018.


Texas Special Court of Review Vacates Sanction Against County Judge on First Amendment Grounds

Randee Williams-Koeller

After a complaint was filed concerning Eckhardt’s ability to make unbiased decisions based on her partisan political views, the Commission publicly admonished Eckhardt for two separate instances where she allegedly “engag[ed] in willful conduct that cast public discredit upon the judiciary in violation of Article V, Section 1-a(6) of the Texas Constitution.”