Appeals court upholds dismissal of defamation suit against Spitzer, Slate

Cindy Gierhart | Libel | News | September 20, 2013
September 20, 2013

In upholding the dismissal of a defamation claim against Eliot Spitzer and Slate on Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City (2nd Cir.) ruled that a broad reference to an organization or “[a company] and its employees” does not give an individual in that company a right to sue for defamation.

Texas state appeals court dismisses defamation suit against television news station

Jack Komperda | Libel | News | July 15, 2013
July 15, 2013

A Texas state appeals court has concluded that a trial court wrongly denied a local television news station’s attempt to dismiss under the state’s anti-SLAPP law a defamation suit filed against it by a former charter school operator.

Court rules that scientific articles are protected from defamation suits

Amy Zhang | Libel | News | June 28, 2013
June 28, 2013

A federal appeals court panel in New York ruled this week that scientific articles are considered "protected opinion" in a defamation suit between two rival drug companies.

Circuit Judge Gerard Lynch, who wrote the 18-page opinion for a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York (2nd Cir.), concluded that a scientific article published in the Journal of Perinatology comparing the effectiveness of similar drugs was protected under the First Amendment.

Federal judge dismisses former Liberian rebel leader's defamation claim using D.C. Anti-SLAPP statute

Jeff Zalesin | Libel | News | June 27, 2013
June 27, 2013

A federal district judge in Washington, D.C., dismissed a former Liberian rebel leader's defamation claim against The Atlantic under the District's anti-SLAPP law Tuesday, rejecting the plaintiff’s claim that the statute did not apply in federal court.

Supreme Court to hear Air Wisconsin defamation caseon immunity in reporting security threats

Amy Zhang | Libel | News | June 18, 2013
June 18, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review a case involving an Air Wisconsin pilot who sued for defamation, which raises the issue of the extent of the airline's immunity from lawsuits when they report potential security threats.

The justices will decide if the Colorado Supreme Court was correct in upholding a $1.4 million damages award to pilot William Hoeper and denying Air Wisconsin Airlines legal immunity after it reported to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that Hoeper could be a security threat. Hoeper was questioned by the TSA but never charged.

Newspaper's statements about school principal are opinion and not defamatory, N.Y. judge rules

Lilly Chapa | Libel | News | May 1, 2013
May 1, 2013

Articles published by the New York Daily News calling a former school principal a “firebrand” and a “principal of hate” are not defamatory because the statements are opinions, a New York Supreme Court judge ruled last week. The Supreme Court is the trial-level court in New York.

Oakland mayoral candidate loses appeal of unsuccessful defamation suit against weekly newspaper

Jack Komperda | Libel | News | April 30, 2013
April 30, 2013

A three-judge California appeals court panel has denied an Oakland mayoral candidate’s appeal of a lower court’s decision to toss out her libel suit against a weekly newspaper concerning coverage of her campaign.

Marcie Hodge, a local politician who ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Oakland in 2010, sued the East Bay Express for defamation soon after a September 2010 column ran in the newspaper questioning the motivations behind her bid.

Lower court should have protected blogger's identity, Mich. appeals court rules

Lilly Chapa | Privacy | News | April 11, 2013
April 11, 2013

The identity of an anonymous blogger sued for defamation does not have to be disclosed, according to the Michigan Court of Appeals.

The appeals court ruled last week that a lower court erred when it refused to protect the anonymous identity of the blogger known only as “Rockstar05.” The trial judge incorrectly applied law from outside the state when it should have used Michigan law addressing anonymous online commenters, the appeals court stated.

Dismissal of N.Y. journalist's libel suit against critic upheld

Lilly Chapa | Libel | News | February 26, 2013
February 26, 2013

A New York appellate panel upheld the dismissal of a defamation suit filed by a journalist against a prominent AIDS activist who criticized her articles about the disease.

N.Y. judge dismisses portion of coach's wife's libel suit against ESPN

Lilly Chapa | Libel | News | February 19, 2013
February 19, 2013

A New York judge dismissed a portion of a libel suit against ESPN because the statements in question were reported from court documents and therefore protected under the state's fair report privilege.