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Gubarev v. BuzzFeed

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  1. Libel and Privacy

The Reporters Committee and 32 media organizations filed an amicus brief in Gubarev v. BuzzFeed, a defamation action currently before the 11th Circuit. The case arises from a January 2017 BuzzFeed article that published the “Trump-Russia dossier,” also known as the “Steele dossier.” The amicus brief argues that the BuzzFeed article at issue reported on an “official proceeding” subject to New York’s fair report privilege, and that the district court’s dismissal of the case under the fair report privilege should be affirmed.  Specifically, it argues that New York’s fair report privilege applies to reports of unverified allegations that are part of official proceedings, protects reports on non-public official investigations, and protects reporting on documents subject, even in part, to government investigation.  In addition, the amicus brief argues that the context of BuzzFeed’s article provided a sufficient basis to extend the fair report privilege protection to the defendants.  The amicus brief was written by attorneys at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, who represented the Reporters Committee and media coalition on the brief.

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