Tag Archives: Defamation

Dentist Defamation: Privilege & Case Law

dentist-v-dentist-defamation-sm
What do you think when you hear or read the word “privilege”? Do you picture a person with F.U. money? Or maybe visions of royal bodies dance in your head. Answers vary, but when it comes to law, privilege means that one party has a legal right to engage in a given action, and, as a result, cannot be held liable for said action. When it comes to dentist defamation lawsuits, privilege often dictates who wins and who loses. First Things First, What is Dentist Defamation? Before we delve deeper into the legal concept of privilege, let’s first define defamation. In basic terms, defamation occurs when one party publicly lies about another party. In cases where a dentist is suing for slander or libel related to their professional capacities, the dentist most prove that: The defendant published — or publicly ...
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Celebrity Defamation: Dance Mom v. Dance Maven

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Gather round celebrity defamation fans; another reality show slander suit is afoot! I’m always skeptical of these cases, because one can’t help but wonder, “Is it for real or ratings?” But alas, our law demands assumptions of innocence. So, let’s take a look at the reality show defamation case of Dance Mom v. Dance Coach. [Insert Law and Order beats]. A ‘Dance Mom’ Stunt Results In A Celebrity Defamation Suit The fracas began when Abby Lee and Kelly got “up in each other’s’ grillz” (tm Lucy Watson) at a dance competition in the Bronx. The show was being taped for their reality show, “Dance Moms.” Apparently, shouts were hurled and slaps exchanged. In the end, someone [*cough* realityshowproducers *cough*] called the police and Hyland ended up turning herself in – though she was never handcuffed. As is the case with ...
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A-Rod’s Lawyer Files Multi-Defendant Defamation Suit

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One of A-Rod’s lawyers, Joseph Tacopina, filed a defamation lawsuit against former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, two reporters for the New York Daily News and the paper itself. His complaint states that two reporters — Nathaniel Vinton and Michael O’Keefe — fabricated wrongdoings so that Keric would reprimand Tacopina. According to Tacopina, the writer duo then published a negative article about the incident. Tacopina’s complaint accuses the reporters of being unethical and convicted felon Keric of being a liar. Vinton and O’Keefe — who both had a reputation for shading A-rod — also wrote up a piece slamming Tacopina as an amoral attorney. To further thicken the plot, Kerik is a disgruntled former client of Tacopina’s law practice. Keric, who did time in federal prison for a Homeland Security scandal and tax fraud, is accused of trying ...
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Nancy Grace Defamation: The Almost-Kennedy Case

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In the words of attorney Stephan E. Seeger, Nancy Grace may have finally “put [her] foot in [her] mouth” a little too far. And to sensationalize matters a tad more, a previously convicted member of The Kennedy Clan may be the one to nail Nancy Grace for defamation. Uh oh, ya’ll! A defamation lawsuit landed on Nancy Grace’s anchor desk. Michael C. Skakel – a Kennedy cousin – wants to punish the HLN star for stretching the truth a little too far. What happened? In short, back in 1975, teenager Martha Moxley was murdered in Connecticut. For years, the case went unsolved. In 2000, Michael C. Skakel, Ethel Kennedy’s nephew, was convicted of the crime. In 2013, however, a judge overturned the ruling and granted Skakel a new trial. As you might suspect, Nancy Grace has been on the case. ...
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Defamation By Implication

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Where do U.S. courts fall on the issue of defamation by implication? Do First Amendment rights render defamation by implication impossible under United States law? We’ll answer these questions by applying a recent “lawsuit that never was” involving everyone’s favorite (allegedly) crack-smoking mayor from Toronto, Rob Ford. Toronto’s drug-smoking, death-threatening, lady-part mentioning mayor, Rob Ford, recently conjured another shit-storm. During a televised interview with ex-con-turned-talk-show-host, Conrad Black, Ford insinuated that Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale was a pedophile. The neutered mayor quipped, “He’s taking photos of little kids. I do want to say that word, but you start thinking ‘what’s this guy all about.’” Soon after the interview aired, Dale sent Ford a libel notice demanding an apology and retraction. At first, Ford played it as you might expect him to play it, badly. At a press conference, Ford said ...
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Satire v Defamation: What You Need To Know

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“With cases involving outrageous parody and satire, the path of least resistance has been to find the ‘speech’ non-defamatory as a matter of law. The rationale used to justify this conclusion is that no reasonable reader could understand the publication as an assertion of fact. The presumption is that satires so outrageous as to preclude belief is incapable of harming reputation” – From Constitutional Law-Satire, Defamation, and the Believability Rule as a Bar To Recovery – Falwell v. Flynt by Kevin M. Smith Satire v defamation: what is the difference? Is Satire legal in the United States? What should you do if someone deems your satirical work defamatory? Is there a defamation line exist that satirists can’t cross? We’ll discuss the answers to these questions below, plus take a look at two lawsuits – one recent and one from back ...
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Arizona’s Attorney General Is Suing Citizens: Deserved or Dumb Move?

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Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is crying defamation, y’all. The state’s polarizing legal chief filed an action against the Arizona Public Integrity Alliance (AZPIA) – a citizen watchdog organization – over an advertisement on the group’s Facebook page. In the ad, AZPIA claimed Horne was under investigation by the FBI. It also highlighted Horne’s failure to remunerate a $400,000 fine handed down for inappropriate campaign fundraising. Horne insists, however, that the group has their facts messed up. The attorney general points out that, technically, he is no longer the subject of an FBI investigation. As a result, he’s suing for defamation. Questionably, Horne filed as a private citizen despite being a public official. Can he do that? Well, yes, he can do it. But the question is: will it work? Horne Is An Attorney General; Can He Claim To Be ...
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Can A Business Enforce A Contract Defamation Clause In Customer Agreements?

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In 2010, Jen Palmer’s husband ordered her a “desk toy” from Klear Gear. It never arrived. Eventually, however, the Palmers got a refund. Nevertheless, they added a negative review to Klear Gear’s Ripoffreport page after not being able to connect with a customer service representative from the company. After venting their feelings online, presumably the Palmers got back to their lives. Then, out of the blue, two years post-incident, the couple received an official letter in the mail. It was from Klear Gear, and the company was demanding that the Palmers pay $3,500 for violating a non-disparagement clause in the customer contract. WHA!?!?! Yeah, that’s what the Palmers said, too. But sure enough, Klear Gear’s “buyer’s contract” prohibits customers from trashing the company “to ensure fair and honest public feedback and to prevent the publishing of libelous content in any ...
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Major Newspaper Says, “Oh, Don’t Pay Attention To Our Headlines.”

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These days, thanks to the seminal 1964 New York Times Co. v. Sullivan ruling, it’s rare for a newspaper to lose a defamation lawsuit in the U.S. – but The New York Post may prove to be an exception to the rule. In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, before the responsible parties were identified, the Post covered their April 18th edition with a picture of 16-year-old Salaheddin Barhoum and 24-year old Yassine Zaimi. The words “BAG MEN” in bold type ran across the top, with the subheading, “Feds Seek These Two Pictured At Boston Marathon.” Unfortunately for the paper, the people pictured weren’t the bombers. They were two legal United States residents — who happen to be dark-complexioned. As you might imagine, they’re suing for libel, negligent infliction of emotional distress and false light invasion of privacy. Despite ...
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Judge Says, “Where’s The Malice” In Doctor Defamation Lawsuit

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Tragically, in 2007, a teenage girl from Indiana was found dead in her bed. At the scene of the incident, a miscommunication between the pathologist conducting the autopsy, Dr. Joseph Czaja, and the coroner’s office led to a procedural mishap. Due to the confusion, the autopsy pathologist ended up changing his cause of death conclusion a few months into the ensuing litigation – a change that ultimately led to a judge dismissing the murder case. Why Did The Doctor File A Defamation Lawsuit Against The Lawyer? The demise of the case displeased Wayne County Indiana’s prosecuting attorney, Mr. Mike Shipman. So, he publicly vented his frustrations about the dropped case against the girl’s boyfriend, whom Shipman believed was guilty of murder. In doing so, Shipman criticized Dr. Czaja, the pathologist, and questioned the doctor’s motives for changing his analysis. According ...
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