MediaLawLetter March 2022
A York County Superior Court jury has found in favor of a Maine newspaper and two reporters accused of defamation for reporting on sexual abuse allegations dating back to the 1970s – and spanning decades – against a now retired police captain.
Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of The Most Bizarre Lawsuit Involving The Most Gullible Man in CambridgeJeremy Chase
The convoluted lawsuit of Harvard Law School Professor Bruce Hay against New York Magazine and its reporter over their 2019 article about his tabloid-ready relationship and legal wrangling with Maria-Pia Shuman and her transgender wife came to a fitting conclusion in March as the Second Circuit affirmed Judge Oetken’s decision denying Hay leave to file a second amended complaint and dismissing his first amended complaint with prejudice.
The decision serves to tee up a divide between Appellate Divisions on the issue of retroactivity because the First Department went the other way in Gottwald v Sebert (the “Dr. Luke v Ke$ha” case), holding that the anti-SLAPP amendments should not have retroactive application.
The decision reaffirms the overriding importance of context under New York defamation law, particularly for statements made amid ongoing public controversies.
The claim stemmed from an article that VICE published on April 11, 2020 titled Trump Blacklisted This Chinese Company. Now It’s Making Coronavirus Masks for U.S. Hospitals.
Texas federal courts have sent a clear message to those considering filing a defamation suit over online statements – personal jurisdiction only exists if the statements concern the forum or the defendant is located in the state.
Writing that “Judges should be role models for society,” the Kanas Supreme Court censured recently retired magistrate judge Marty Clark for posting, while still on the bench, nude pictures of himself on an adult sex site.
Minnesota Federal Court Enters Six-Year Permanent Injunction to Stop Abuse of Journalists and ProtestorsIsabella Salomão Nascimento and Kevin Riach
The court approved a six-year monitored injunction which prohibits the Minnesota State Patrol from arresting, using projectiles or chemical munitions against, or otherwise targeting journalists, as part of a settlement agreement reached between the plaintiffs and two State of Minnesota law enforcement agencies.
After almost seven years of litigation, the Ninth Circuit vindicated Katy Perry and other co-defendants by affirming that no reasonable jury could have concluded that Perry’s hit song “Dark Horse” infringed Flame’s song “Joyful Noise” based on the similarities of two 8-note “repeating musical figures” that occur throughout both songs.
The Ninth Circuit ruled that a lawsuit filed by Twitter, alleging that it was the target of retaliation by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in violation of its First Amendment rights, was not “prudentially ripe.”
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