defamation

As promised in this earlier post on Related Group v. Stranahan House, I have reviewed the complaint in this matter. My conclusion? Garbage. There are some points in the complaint, that (if true) might theoretically support a cause of action, but they are few and far between. Finding bits of merit in this complaint to say it is a proper lawsuit is like picking undigested corn out of feces in order to find nutrition. Theoretically possible, but I'd rather starve.
One does not need to be too close to me to know my opinion about defamation actions. Most of these cases are frivolous, unfounded, and the result of a plaintiff abusing the legal system (and a lawyer ignoring his professional responsibilities). Some free speech absolutists go even further than I do and advocate the complete abolition of the torts of libel and slander as being inconsistent with the First Amendment, no matter how well founded the case may be.
"The First Amendment is clear about robust protection of freedom of expression," said [First Amendment attorney] Jon Katz. "I do not see any way the First Amendment can go uninjured if libel and defamation suits are allowed. "Fortunately, the courts have set high hurdles."
This is probably the only legal issue that Katz and I would quibble over. I do agree that the First Amendment may very well prohibit libel suits by public officials or public figures. However, I also believe that when a private citizen is defamed, and that defamation causes real, articulable, and demonstrable damage, perhaps the case could be meritorious.

Here we go again. A developer is whining (through its lawyers) that community activists who blocked a condo project cost them millions of dollars. Related Group has filed what appears to be yet another Florida SLAPP suit. I haven't read the pleadings yet, so I will only...

I will not comment upon this litigation, as it is ongoing and I am one of the attorneys handling the case. Nevertheless, for your education and edification, I will provide the documents pertinent to the Veranda Partners v. Giles case that are already matters of public record. News...

As a follow up to my posting on "Prinz" von Anhalt. I was forwarded this email from a source that will remain confidential. From: EMAIL ADDRESS REDACTED Sent: Monday, July 24, 2006 6:06 PM Subject: Re: question from journalist Dear Sir, In our homepage www.anhalt-askanien.de you can find all the details about the...

This is interesting from an internet jurisdiction perspective - but also as another reminder that there is no better way to make sure that lies about you are repeated, ad nauseum, than by filing a lawsuit over them. Nevertheless, this stuff is probably defamatory and the defamed individual certainly...

How many defamation suits do you think need to be filed before plaintiff-side defamation lawyers remove their heads from their colons? CNET reports: (full story here) A Pennsylvania school principal has filed a lawsuit against four former students, claiming they falsely portrayed him as a pot smoker, beer guzzler and pornography lover...

This is a pretty funny lawsuit. Family Guy used Carol Burnett's likeness (well, a cartoon depiction of her "Charwoman" character) in one of its episodes. The depiction shows Charwoman working as the janitor in an adult bookstore. She is shown mopping the floor next to a bin...

Presentation slides Murphy v. Boston Herald Smith v. Stewart Toffoloni v. Hustler Veranda v. Giles ...