In Marc Randazza’s latest First Amendment victory, he once again fended off censorship in favor of wide open debate. In this appellate victory, the 11th Circuit Court of appeals upheld an earlier anti-SLAPP win, and a lower court decision that held that a plaintiff could not use a bogus “false advertising” claim in order to stifle free speech.
This case centers around a dispute between two doctors, Dr. Steven Novella and Dr. Edward Tobinick.
Marc Randazza represented Novella, a Professor of Neurology at Yale School of Medicine and the editor of Science Based Medicine, a website that promotes scientific debate in the medical community. Dr. Novella published negative opinions about Dr. Tobinick’s off-label use of a drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Although Dr. Tobinick could have engaged in the debate, he opted to sue Dr. Novella for defamation and claimed that because the website hosted ads, that the ads transformed it into commercial speech. In a case that would have had a far-reaching impact on publishers everywhere (including newspapers that sustain themselves through advertising), Mr. Randazza successfully SLAPPed these questionable legal claims and protected Dr. Novella’s right to free speech and debate.
Read more on the Pissed Consumer blog.