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The Killing Season - Websleuths

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Post Legal Questions Here

    Wudge has brought up some law issues including defamation, etc. I, for one would like to learn more about this issue, etc.

    I did not think it was appropriate on the Stacy Peterson thread. Any discussion there should be for "Stacy", and not whether Mr. Brodsky or DP could sue anyone for what they have said.
    Last edited by chicoliving; 12-21-2007 at 02:14 AM. Reason: we don't tell posters where they may post; posters are welcome to post everywhere

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    At the beach
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    I'd post, too.

    But, you know, it's not a crime thread without at least a couple of defamation/libel posts by Wudge.

    ETA: Shouldn't this be in the jury room?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    1,205
    I haven't gone back and read the law posts, but I'm interested in the questions and may be able to shed some light.

    Here's the most important thing to remember about Libel/slander/defamation lawsuits - the burden of proof is generally on the plaintiff (suer - ie. Peterson) to prove what was said was NOT true. Plus, the suits are soooo rare in these type of cases. Think OJ, think Scott Peterson, Roger Clemens is a good recent example with steroids, etc - guys who professed their innocence but did not sue for defamation. WHY?

    Because they would have to take the stand and be cross examined under oath over every little thing that was said. AND - sometimes that testimony can be used to impeach later in another trial - say a criminal murder trial.

    The only time I've seen it used successfully was in the Michaela Garrett case - where the guy was rumored w/ a number of child murders, sued the city and the city settled.

  4. #4
    Ang~ My question is can we be sued one by one for our posts here even if it is clearly stated they are only opinions in our siggies? It seems like that would be enough to keep our opinions open and free from petty lawsuits. Am I totally wrong?
    "WE SEEK FOR THE TRUTH. WE SEEK JUSTICE.
    THE COURTS REQUIRE IT. THE VICTIMS CRY FOR IT
    AND GOD DEMANDS IT!"

    A quote spray painted on the wall by search
    and rescue workers, Team 5, at the OKC Bombing site 4-19-1995.



    What I post are my opinions only.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    SS:

    Good Question. I would also like to know the answer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,205
    Of course you can be sued. All DP or anyone has to do is file a lawsuit... you're sued.

    Are you liable? Up to a judge/jury. What's my guess on liability? So highly unlikely that it's almost ridiculous. The level of research and time it would take a plaintiff's attorney to prove who said what, and how, and to get the records from the site and prove it was you posting and not your significant other, and then to prove that what you said was not protected speech and most of all that it wasn't true. The amount of $$ potentially recovered would not be worth it.

    I also think there's now a strong argument that DP (and others like him) are celebrities. Usually public figures have different standards applied to them - in essence if they're public, you can defame b/c they're in the public eye (certain exceptions - see Enquirer lawsuits) - that's why no one worries about making jokes about the President...

    If you're really worried about it, then hedge what you post. Don't say "He did it." Say "The evidence against him is this... The evidence points to him." Those are true statements.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    7,769
    Quote Originally Posted by SeriouslySearching View Post
    Ang~ My question is can we be sued one by one for our posts here even if it is clearly stated they are only opinions in our siggies? It seems like that would be enough to keep our opinions open and free from petty lawsuits. Am I totally wrong?
    SeriouslySearching,
    Your question was:

    can we be sued one by one for our posts here even if it is clearly stated they are only opinions in our siggies?
    The answer is, absolutely not. You cannot be sued for stating your opinion or your beliefs.
    Just as FYI-Many years ago, the admin and mods here at WS told everyone to put something like IMO in their siggy lines or at the end of their post as protection from that very thing. That is enough to keep you safe when voicing your opinon on a forum.

    Wudge is the resident wife murdering supporter. He's only trying to stir the pot.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    502
    Very well said, ANG50.

  9. #9
    Oh, Thank you, Ang!! Whew! Glad we cleared that up!! Hugs~ You are the best!
    "WE SEEK FOR THE TRUTH. WE SEEK JUSTICE.
    THE COURTS REQUIRE IT. THE VICTIMS CRY FOR IT
    AND GOD DEMANDS IT!"

    A quote spray painted on the wall by search
    and rescue workers, Team 5, at the OKC Bombing site 4-19-1995.



    What I post are my opinions only.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    16,237
    I think STEADFAST is correct, this doesn't necessarily have to be in Stacy's forum since it's a broad topic covering WS in total. It's also been discussed on MANY threads and for a long time. I'm glad it has its own thread now. Thanks, Littledeer.

    I'd love to hear what Tricia says about this! lol


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    16,237
    It probably would have scared me too but I've seen it before. Have you ever read the Scott Peterson thread? Oh yeah, it's the Energizer Bunny of Threads here.

    It's all very interesting and some valid points are raised, but there's a place for it, I believe.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Chico, CA
    Posts
    23,126
    Some posters approach these cases from a law standpoint, others from the evidence, media reports, what we see on TV, etc.

    What we type in these little boxes is considered our opinion unless otherwise noted. Otherwise noted would be the excerpt snips that we post that we've gotten elsewhere and we have to follow the copyright rules to give credit to the correct source.

    We'd like to keep the discussions of these cases on an adult level and that's why some rules have been added like referring to the players in any case by their names or intials and not the silly names no matter how tempting.

    Everyone is entitled to type in these little boxes and express their opinion whether you agree with their opinion or not.

    Our software has some handy features like the ignore feature. I suggest utilizing the features that are available and if all else fails just scroll on by and respond only to those posts you are interested in actually discussing rather than dissing a select member or two.

    Frankly I'm ashamed of the posts I deleted that were nothing but personal attacks and smart ass comments directed at a member. We're above that or so I thought.

  13. #13
    Thanks, Philamena and Chicoliving!! You guys are really helpful!! I feel SO much better! OK Back to posting now...my opinions...of course! >wink<
    "WE SEEK FOR THE TRUTH. WE SEEK JUSTICE.
    THE COURTS REQUIRE IT. THE VICTIMS CRY FOR IT
    AND GOD DEMANDS IT!"

    A quote spray painted on the wall by search
    and rescue workers, Team 5, at the OKC Bombing site 4-19-1995.



    What I post are my opinions only.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    9,061
    Yes to what chicoliving said. During the JonBenet case discussion here, when LinWood threatened to sue everyone in sight etc. Tricia informed us to put disclaimers in our post signatures to cover ourselves legally as well. This is how my signature statement 'gave birth'.

    .
    Opinions expressed by me, are mine, based on life experience, and known facts of any given case.





    """I am just a pixel in the universal plan."""

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    4,669
    I hope we won't have to continue to endure a poster who insists upon scaring the poop out of people who are just participating in a conversation. It is rude and annoying. What I don't understand, is that when anyone responds to this perpetual antagonism, it is the person who responds who is chastized but the rude and repetitive posts are allowed to continue.Why not just remind the the original poster that the point has been made, stop responding to everyone else with the same fear-mongering warnings over and over again?I'm sorry to sound like a whiner. I appreciate the difficulty of being a moderator and admire the mod's willingness to handle this thankless task. It just seems to me that it would be much more efficient to have a little talk with this one poster than for many, many others to have to reassure less experienced posters time and again that they won't be dragged in to court. It's like a big bad wolf roaming around looking for young lost sheep to scare.Susan

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