How Will Obama’s Presidency Affect Internet Defamation Laws?

As I was watching the inauguration and the following festivities today, I kept thinking:  How will internet defamation laws be influenced by Obama’s presidency?  After all, I thought, Obama is the first american president to be described as "Internet savvy."  The media has reported on numerous occasions that Obama is fond of using e-mail and he certainly […]

Decriminalizing Defamation: Part II

In my last post I covered just a few examples of the recent "trend" of treating defamation as a crime.   As you might expect, defamation is considered to be a crime in many Asian and Middle Eastern countries. It is also a crime in some European countries, like Italy, for example.  What is surprising […]

Decriminalizing Defamation: Part I

The police arrest you.   They then detain, cuff, interrogate, force you to strip down naked, and subject you to body cavity searches.  Your lawyer isn’t present during this entire time.   So, what were you charged with?  Defamation.  Hard to believe a nightmarish scenario like this one could ever happen to anyone? Well, just ask Vittorio […]

Internet Libel As A Crime? Say It Ain’t So!

A Colorado man was charged with 2 counts of criminal libel over alleged posts about his former lover on Craigslist's, "Rants and Raves" section.  It is alleged that the man wrote something to the effect that the woman traded sexual acts for attorney services, among other disparaging remarks. Criminal liability for defamatory remarks is backward. […]

Oprah Winfrey Seeks Dismissal of Defamation Lawsuit

The ex-head mistress of Oprah Winfrey's Leadership Academy for Girls sued Winfrey last month in Philadelphia for defamation, based on certain alleged comments made by Winfrey.  For example, the complaint alleges that Winfrey said, "I thought she cared about the girls of South Africa."  The implication being, according to the Complaint, that the ex-head mistress […]

Webinar About Online Defamation: “Staying Out of Trouble: A Media Law Primer for Bloggers

Greatest American Lawyer posted about a webinar today that will deal with the issue of online defamation as it relates to blogging and bloggers. If you’re a blogger, you should attend the webinar since defamation claims against bloggers have increased dramatically in recent years. I’ve posted about this subject here and in other posts. The […]

Overstock Settles Defamation Case With Research Firm

Jennifer Forsyth over at, posted about the Overstock defamation case. sued Gradient Analytics for libel, alleging that Overstock’s negative reports drove down Overstock’s stock prices. The case recently settled and a press release was issued. This made me question the importance of public statements/retractions in the online defamation context. I mean, does anyone […]

Haneline Pacific Reporters, LLC v. May, et al. – “Litigation Privilege” Doesn’t Apply to Negotiation/Persuasion

You may be wondering why I write about anti-SLAPP cases so much. Well, the fact of the matter is that defamation actions are to anti-slapp motions what peanut butter is to jelly. You rarely have one without the other. In Haneline Pacific Reporters, LLC v. May, et al., __ Cal.App.4th __ (4th District, Division 3, […]