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Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued its long-awaited decision reviewing the FCC’s 2015 TCPA Declaratory Ruling and Order.  In the case of ACA International v. FCC, Case No. 15-1211, the Court, in a 3-0 opinion authored by Judge Srinivasan, granted in part and denied in part the various petitions for review.  It set aside the FCC’s clarifications of an ATDS and its one-call safe harbor for reassigned numbers but upheld…
Sarah Palin’s attorneys are trying to salvage her defamation claim against the New York Times – which was dismissed with prejudice by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff of the Southern District of New York only one month ago – by filing a new motion for reconsideraton criticizing the judge’s early-stage evidentiary hearing and subsequent decision to dismiss her complaint with prejudice before permitting an amended complaint. We previously covered Palin’s defamation suit against The New…
It’s not quite what Dr. Seuss envisioned: Kind-hearted and cheerful Cindy-Lou Who from the childhood classic “The Grinch That Stole Christmas” becomes a cynical adult who was thrown in prison after murdering her abusive husband, the Grinch.  Such is the premise of “Who’s Holiday!” – a play characterized by its playwright as “a dark comedic work with explicit language geared towards only adult audiences.” The Southern District of New York recently agreed with the playwright…
The New York Times is defending itself against a defamation lawsuit brought by former Alaska Governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, as the newspaper asserted in a recent motion to dismiss that the statements alleged as defamatory in Palin’s complaint are not actionable as defamation and that Palin has not plausibly pled actual malice. The dispute in Palin v. The New York Times Co., Case No. 1:17-cv-04853 (S.D.N.Y.), centers on an editorial published…
The Texas Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas recently dismissed defamation claims against a Dallas magazine, finding that although a headline and article could be interpreted as criticism of a former symphony orchestra volunteer, the statements functioned as non-actionable opinions. In September 2013, D Magazine published an article titled: “The Talented Mr. Reyes: How a man of meager means and a mysterious past duped Dallas society.” The article chronicled the tale of Jose Reyes, who…
The California Court of Appeal recently dismissed several claims asserted against the famous professional boxer, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., by his ex-fiancé, Shantel Jackson. Mayweather and Jackson had been involved in an on-again, off-again romantic relationship.  Jackson alleged that she had ended her relationship with Mayweather after he had become violent on several occasions.  Before the end of their relationship, however, Jackson was purportedly pregnant with twins, and at Mayweather’s request, provided him with a copy…
In a recent 50-page published opinion, the California Court of Appeal determined that offensive and derogatory language on a movie set was protected activity under the anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (or anti-SLAPP) statute because the conduct was part of the behind-the-scenes process for making a movie. The case pitted Marlon Wayans – an actor who wrote and starred in the comedy A Haunted House 2 – against an extra on the film named Pierre…
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump recently have found themselves embroiled in two separate defamation cases in state courts – but while the President defended himself against claims resulting from his late-night tweeting, the First Lady brought her case as a plaintiff seeking damages against an online blogger and media company. Relying On The Protections Of The First Amendment, Trump Defeats Defamation Claim Against Him In January 2017, a New York judge dismissed…
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently kept alive one of the multitude of legal entanglements ensnaring Gawker Media LLC, as the Court reversed and remanded a lower court’s decision to dismiss a plaintiff’s defamation claim involving defamatory third-party user comments.  In its ruling, the Court emphasized that a media company such as Gawker can be liable for creating and posting (or inducing another to post) defamatory statements in a forum that the company maintains.…
If you take the time to vote in this year’s presidential election – but your ballot is not documented on social media – did you really vote at all? Many prolific social media users are determined to take ballot box selfies to chronicle their historic votes, but a patchwork of inconsistent state regulations has caused confusion as to whether such snaps violate the law. However, a series of federal court challenges in recent weeks have…