Online Defamation

Lindsay Lohan vs. E-Trade: Rights of Personal Publicity Gone Wrong

March 11th 2010

According to the New York Post, actress Lindsay Lohan is suing E-Trade for $100 million for pain and suffering caused by their Super Bowl ad. The semi-funny (and non-compelling) ad shows a milkaholic baby named Lindsay (or Lindsey) with a guilty looking baby-husband. Yes, the ad is pretty terrible; so is the legal claim. However, […]

Finkel v. Facebook: Online Defamation Case Tests the Limits of Defamation Law

March 26th 2009

Recently we’ve seen an employer charged with defamation for making true disclosures that would hurt a former employee, and Medical Justice which seeks to prevent online defamation by prohibiting patients from participating in social media. Now, a New York teenager has sued Facebook and a handful of its users for discussing her in a private […]

1st Circuit Denies Rehearing Staples v. Noonan, Truthful Defamation Stands in Massachusetts

March 19th 2009

The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has denied a petition to rehear the case that found that truthful statements in email can constitute defamation if they are made with malice. See our earlier post on Noonan v. Staples. The appeals court held that Staples failed to adequately raise the constitutional issue: Staples now […]

Can You Be Defamed by a Truthful Email in Massachusetts?

March 12th 2009

“The truth is an absolute defense to a claim of defamation.” But perhaps not always in Massachusetts, and that’s a problem. Judge Juan Torruella of the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has allowed Alan Noonan, a sales director fired by Staples, to pursue his libel claim against the company. Staples’s executive vice […]

Linking is Not Defamation in Canada

November 7th 2008

Last week, British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Stephen Kelleher delivered a landmark decision affirming the use of links in online speech in Canada. It was distinguished in its absolute sensibility. Vancouver businessmen Wayne Crookes, once an important federal Green Party of Canada official, sued Jon Newton, the operator of, for linking to four articles […]

Making a Fake Gay Facebook Page About Your Principal Isn’t Defamation in Texas

August 20th 2008

Most of the time, students who go to court are objecting to punishment for stunts such as making fake Facebook profiles about their principal. In this case it is the principal, Anna Draker, who went after offensive students in court. Benjamin Schreiber and Ryan Todd, two 16-year-old Clark High School students, posted a false MySpace page […]

How English Defamation Suits Cool US Free Speech

May 20th 2008

Floyd Abrams published an Op-Ed piece in the Wall Street Journal describing how plaintiffs seeking to suppress protected speech in the US are gaining libel judgements in England. Rachel Ehrenfeld’s book Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Funded and How to Stop It, had sold only 23 copies in England. But that was enough for a UK […]