High court leans toward rejecting Web libel suit

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by LinasK, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. LinasK

    LinasK Verified insider- Mark Dribin case

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    Posted on Wed, Sep. 06, 2006

    By David Kravets

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court is taking a dim view of libel lawsuits against Web site operators who post inflammatory information from other sources.

    The justices said during a 60-minute court hearing Tuesday testing the 1996 Communications Decency Act that Congress and other courts have already spoken on the issue.

    The justices were leaning toward tossing out a lawsuit against a San Diego woman who posted an allegedly libelous e-mail she received on her site's message board.

    The court rules within 90 days.

    The case is Barrett v. Rosenthal, S122953.

    more at link:http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/15450107.htm
     
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  3. Wudge

    Wudge New Member

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    Thanks Linask. I had not previously seen that article.

    Since 1991 there has been an ebb and flow from the various State Courts as regards rulings on internet-based defamation suits. However, the clear overall trend since 1995 (re: Stratton as noted earlier in this thread) has greatly favored defamation attorneys.

    Still, California is a very liberal state overall, so should its highest Court cut against the grain in your referenced case, I would not be suprised. Plus, Barrett v. Rosenthal may have some unique case elements that California's Supreme Court might see as favoring the defendants.

    Regardless of how the gavel finally drops on Barrett, across the fifty states, I expect the overall trend of tightening the noose on disparaging or defaming web statements to continue. At the very least, people should be very prudent if they do make negative comments against a person or an entity. Even if only a meek summary judgment were to be rendered against a defendant, the cost of defending a defamation lawsuit can be very high.

    Further, if an individual's personal liability policy were to provide any coverage whatsoever, insurance companies have shown great disdain for being dragged into defamation lawsuits. No matter the outcome, future insurance policy fees would almost assuredly be dramatically hiked or, as is becoming more the norm, future coverage would simply be denied.

    Prudence offers many rewards; defamation offers none.
     
  4. LinasK

    LinasK Verified insider- Mark Dribin case

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    Okay Wudge, how do they determine which state in which to file suit if it's the internet? Is is based on the poster's home state?
     

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