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January 2023

MediaLawLetter January 2023

Defamation Suit Against Daily Beast Dismissed; Statements Lampooning Restaurateur for Racist Dress Code Were Nonactionable Satire; Court Enjoins Netflix Prosecution; Ten Questions to a Media Lawyer: Jens van den Brink; and more.
in this issue

Spring Conference Preview

George Freeman

In-person events take center stage as Covid risks ebb.


Lessons Learned Series: Making Strides Toward UK Anti-SLAPP Law and Crackdown on Attorneys Who Bring SLAPP Suits

Laura Prather

The first in a series of articles written by Laura Prather, of Haynes Boone, about things she learned as a Fulbright Scholar researching, advocating, and raising awareness of SLAPPs in the EU, UK, and US

Oklahoma Courts SLAPP Tulsa Police Officer’s Lawsuit Over Police Shootings Statement

Robert D. Nelon

The district court concluded that the text and headlines of each of the defendants’ articles were substantially true and did not materially differ from, and were “a fair representation” of, what Yates himself said.

Washington State Court Issues Nation’s First Appellate Decision on the Uniform Public Expression Protection Act

Caesar Kalinowski IV, Shontee Pant, and Bruce E.H. Johnson

Passed by Washington in 2021 and other states since, UPEPA provides expedited procedures and substantial protections to protect expressive rights against abusive litigation.

Colorado Court of Appeals SLAPPs Dentist’s Defamation Case Over Consumer Review

Lauren Russell

In one of the first appellate decisions interpreting and applying the state’s new anti-SLAPP law, the Colorado Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of the defendant’s Anti-SLAPP motion, dismissing an endodontist’s defamation case against a former patient who posted negative reviews about her treatment, and ordering the trial court to award the patient her attorneys’ fees.

Defamation Suit Against Daily Beast Dismissed

Andrew M. Pauwels

This case should serve as a reminder to media defense attorneys of the many arguments available at the initial motion phase, even in states like Michigan where there is no anti-SLAPP law.


Ohio Court of Appeals: Statements Lampooning Restaurateur for Racist Dress Code Were Nonactionable Satire

Kevin T. Shook

The court found the articles posted on the website to be protected by the First Amendment because a reasonable reader would understand they were satire and did not convey actual facts.

Fourth Circuit Halts “Election Libel” Prosecution, North Carolina Law Likely Unconstitutional

Benjamin Rossi

In a strongly worded opinion, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals last week vacated a district court’s denial of a preliminary injunction against a state prosecution of Josh Stein, North Carolina’s Attorney General.

Minnesota Judge Affirms Application of Shield Law, Orders Privilege Log Production Anyway

Christopher Proczko

Judge Klein’s order is a mixed result. On one hand, it strengthens the protections of Minnesota’s shield law, At the same time, though, Judge Klein explicitly refuses to address the First Amendment issues and orders Unicorn Riot and Georgiades to expend resources producing a privilege log.

Texas District Court Enjoins Netflix Prosecution

Samuel Calkins

Judge Truncale concluded that the film was likely constitutionally protected by the First Amendment and that the claim that the film contains child pornography is flawed.


Section 230 Under Fire: The Supreme Court and Congress Weigh Narrowing Internet Service Providers’ Immunity for Content Posted by Others

Jim Rosenfeld, Adam Sieff, and Shontee Pant

This article reviews how Gonzalez came before the Court, discusses the principal arguments that the parties and amici have raised, and previews proposed Congressional actions.


Ten Questions to a Media Lawyer: Jens van den Brink

Dutch lawyer on his career path, things to do in Amsterdam, and the legacy of Spinoza.