Posts from May 2011.
Posted in Defamation

Jeff Greene, who was recently routed in his bid to win the Democratic nomination for the open U.S. Senate seat in Florida, has filed a massive -- in more ways than one -- defamation suit against the St. Petersburg Times and the Miami Herald.  The complaint, which was filed on September 1 and checks in at 54 pages, seeks $250 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages.

According to the complaint, Greene's claim arises, in part, from a series of stories discussing a real estate deal Greene was involved in.  One of the other parties to the deal has been indicted by a federal ... Read More 

Posted in Defamation

North Carolina federal district court Judge Louise Flanagan offered a helpful reminder to lawyers last week that the first month of Civil Procedure class really does matter.   The result of her Order in Dutcher v. Eastburn, Da Capo Press, LLC, and Perseus Books, Inc. was that a libel claim brought in North Carolina against two out-of-state publishers and an author from Colorado was dismissed, relieving the defendants from the substantial cost of taking depositions and attempting to get the case dismissed on summary judgment.

The case arose from the publication in late 2007 of a book ... Read More 

Posted in Defamation

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently revived a defamation suit brought by a prominent California preacher against ABC and reporter John Stossel.  The case, which had been dismissed by the District Court under California's anti-SLAPP statute, arose from a broadcast of ABC's 20/20 in which Stossel reported on the financial dealings of ministers like the plaintiff Frederick Price.  In particular, Stossel's story focused on whether money donated to some churches was being put to good use or simply lining the preacher's own pockets.

The Ninth Circuit ... Read More 

Posted in Wiretapping

In two recent posts, linked here and here, we discussed wiretapping arrests for videotaping or recording the police. One of the potential results of such an arrest is a Section 1983 lawsuit based, in part, on a violation of the arrestee’s First Amendment rights. It is in these cases that the “right to record the police” has been most directly confronted by the courts. 

As discussed below, in some cases courts have looked favorably on such claims, while in others cases they have not.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit dealt with the issue in the recent case Kelly ... Read More 


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