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Internet Defamation, Libel and Slander Cases: If you need an attorney who understands how to file a lawsuit for defamation, libel or slander which is posted online on a web site, review site, bulletin board or as a comment, our defamation attorneys can help. Defamation court cases are complex. When libel or slander occurs on the web, you need a lawyer who not only understands defamation law, specializes in Internet Law as well. Review the articles on this page and use the search box to find even more information about how to file or defend a court action or lawsuit for internet defamation. Or visit our "what is internet defamation" page to learn more."
September 24, 2014

RipoffReport and Owner Ed Magedson targeted as part of Criminal Investigation

Ed Magedson is currently facing criminal charges for his part in the posting of defamatory comments against State’s witnesses who had testified against convicted murderer Tracey Richter.  The online posts were published in hopes to discredit these individuals.  It is reported that Darren Meade, an employee of Ed Magedson, published the harassing and defamatory accusations about State’s Internet investigationwitnesses at the direction of Tracey Richter and Anna Richter, Tracey Richter’s mother, by posting them as ‘complaints’ on www.ripoffreport.com.  It is suspected that Darren Meade had hoped to use these defamatory postings to collect money from those defamed by charging them and other customers for the removal of such slanderous postings on the website.  However, Darren Meade has alleged that it was Ed Magedson who directed him to post such complaints in exchange for promoting his work. 

Below are some of the quotes taken from the Search Warrant Affidavit submitted by SAC County attorney to obtain evidentiary items that were in the possession of Anna Richter.  It is believed that such information and evidence is now being used to charge Ed Magedson with conspiracy in connection with the 2011 murder trial of Tracey Richter, who was the ex-wife of one of Ripoff Report’s most vocal critics – Michael Roberts: 

Continue reading RipoffReport and Owner Ed Magedson targeted as part of Criminal Investigation >>
May 02, 2014

Recent Trends in Doctor, Dentist and Physician Defamation

For whatever reason, doctors and dentists are targets of online defamation by patients and, sometimes, competing doctors and physicians.  As an internet law-defamation attorney, I handle a large number of Doctor Patient doctor and dentist defamation cases.  I have always believed that the reason doctors, dentists and physicians are the target of online liable and slander is because of the special relationship they have with their patients.  A patient who has had a bad medical outcome sometimes feels that someone has to be responsible.  They don’t accept that not every outcome is going to be a good medical result.  The desire to blame someone often falls on the doctor, dentist or physician. 

Some trends that we are starting to see in doctor defamation cases are as follows:

Continue reading Recent Trends in Doctor, Dentist and Physician Defamation >>

Arguments on Jones v Dirty World

The United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati took up oral arguments on the fast becoming famous case of Jones v Dirty World Entertainment Recordings and its found and owner, Nik Richie.  The trial court in the case by way of jury trial awarded the Plaintiff damages in her defamation claim that The Dirty website had posted false and defamatory information about her concerning her sexual activities as a Cincinnati Bengals Cheerleader.  The Dirty relied on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) which allows a web host who simply allows third-party commentary on its website immunity from defamation claims.  The trial court found that in the case of Nik Richie and The Dirty that it did more than simply provide third parties with a place to post their comments.  RichieThe Court stated:

“In the view of this Court, the Act’s text indicates that it was intended only to provide protection for site owners who allow posting by third parties without screening them and those who remove offensive content.  If, however, the owners, as in the instant case, invite invidious postings, elaborate on them with comments of their own, and call upon others to respond in kind, the immunity does not apply.”

Amicus briefs were filed by many, including Google and Facebook siding with The Dirty and claiming that the Court’s interpretation of Section 230 immunity under the CDA would subject them to needless claims for internet defamation.  It will be interesting to find out whether the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the trial court and use of the case to emphasize what the trial court emphasized and that is that Section 230 Immunity only shields a web host from defamation claims if they do not become involved in soliciting or creating the content. 

Online Defamation has many available resources which can be reviewed for more information: 

  • Defamation happens when a statement that is made is false and was made to someone other than the person defamed.  Online defamation is happening on social websites and other online media as the internet becomes more and more popular.
  • Examples of online defamation can help you to better understand if you have been defamed online.
  • Online or internet defamation can also be known as cyber defamation.

 

Traverse Legal will post an update once the Court makes a decision. 

January 30, 2013

Revenge Porn Website Faces Copyright Infringement, Invasion of Privacy and Defamation Claims

Copyright infringement, invasion of privacy and potentially defamation claims could exist when your photo, naked, pornographic or otherwise, is posted on a website without your permission. CNN Reports on one lawsuit which is being brought against a revenge porn website where ex-boyfriends can post naked or pornographic pictures of girlfriends who have broken up with them. The website allegedly will take the picture down if you pay them money. For many web visitors, this smacks of extortion.

Continue reading Revenge Porn Website Faces Copyright Infringement, Invasion of Privacy and Defamation Claims >>
October 19, 2011

Defamation on the Internet & the Constitutional Right to Post Anonymously. Michigan Court Will Decide....

Identifying an anonymous blogger or author of a comment on a website in an internet defamation case presents challenges for plaintiffs, defendants and the court.  The plaintiff in a defamation lawsuit, of course, wants to identify the person who they believe engaged in online libel or slander, idneitifed int eh COmplaint as John Doe.  But there is a constitutional right attaching to anonymous speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  Thus, the person whose speech is alleged to be defamatory may have a constitutional right to remain anonymous.  Courts in John Doe litigation are typically asked by plaintiff's attoreny is an ex parte fashion to allow discovery necessary to “identify” the John Doe defendant in the case.  

In this interview of Paul Allen Levy, attorney for Public Citizen, we explore the so-called “Dendrite rule” and its potential application in Michigan to defamation cases.    States that have applied a heightened standard of showing by plaintiffs in defamation cases in order to identify anonymous John Doe defendants include:  Maryland, District of Columbia, New Jersey, Tennessee, New York, California, Connecticut, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and potentially Michigan in the near term.

 

Continue reading Defamation on the Internet & the Constitutional Right to Post Anonymously. Michigan Court Will Decide.... >>
October 17, 2011

Defamation Lawsuit Filed by Cooley Law School against Ex-Student

In Michigan, an internet defamation lawsuit was filed by Cooley Law School against a number of John Doe defendants by Attorney Michael P. Coakley of the law firm Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone, PLC.  This defamation lawsuit has garnered national attention as initial subpoenas issued by Michael Coakley on behalf of plaintiff Thomas M. Cooley Law School sought to identify the anonymous blogger who had posted a blog at thomas-cooley-law-school-scam.weebly.com.  The subpoena issued to the web hosting provider Weebly.com was accidentally responded to by Weebly.com disclosing the account holder’s identity prior to the subpoena response due date and after the anonymous blogger had indicated through his lawyer that objections were being filed.  Knowing that objections were being filed, the plaintiff’s attorney Michael Coakley of Miller Canfield filed an amended complaint using the alleged confidential information to name the John Doe defendant.  Mr. Coakley received some unwanted press for questionable litigation tactics and potential violation of the Michigan Rules of Professional Responsibility and the Michigan Rules of Civil Procedure.  Essentially, Mr. Coakley decided to avoid having to argue the merits of whether or not his subpoena should be quashed by simply outing the John Doe defendant before the court could weigh in on the matter.

Continue reading Defamation Lawsuit Filed by Cooley Law School against Ex-Student >>
September 06, 2011

Internet Defamation Can Cost You Big Time

To those who want to “flame” people or companies on the internet, be aware that libel and defamation can bring defamation litigation against you.  In one case back in 2006, a jury awarded an $11 million plus judgment against a defendant who had engaged in rampant defamation on an internet website.  Before you make a false statement of fact which affects someone else’s reputation, think again.  Are you prepared to deal with the consequences?

July 29, 2011

Blog Posts Result in Internet Libel Claims

As reported on courthousenews.com, attorney claims internet libel by far-right bloggers including OverLawyered.com (Walter Olson), the Reason Foundation and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

In the matter of Wolk v. Olson, Philadelphia Aviation Attorney Arthur Wolk, who is known proponent of tort liability, claims he’s been the target of a vicious smear campaign launched at him in an effort to discredit him with the State Bar.  Wolk claims that he was defamed by OverLawyered.com and others that formed an “internet tag team” to publish defamatory statements about him.  Wolk says he came under attack because his position on tort liability, which did not match the groups’ position "to enact tort reform by getting rid of the proponents of tort liability…”

Continue reading Blog Posts Result in Internet Libel Claims >>
July 27, 2011

Judge Tosses Out Doctor's Internet Libel Lawsuit

In the first Facebook internet libel lawsuit in the Philippines, Judge Mary Josephine Lazaro of the Antipolo City Regional Trial Court threw out the case stating that it could not be prosecuted because internet libel had jurisdictional constraint.

The online defamation lawsuit was brought against Lawyer Argee Guevarra for allegedly posting defamatory statements on his Facbook page about Cosmetic Surgeon Vicki Belo. Guevarra launched a smear campaign after his former client suffered complications from two surgeries performed by doctors at Belo’s clinic.

Continue reading Judge Tosses Out Doctor's Internet Libel Lawsuit >>
March 16, 2011

Defamation on Twitter: Tweets & Lawsuits | Online Defamation Law

It all starts with a tweet.  A moment in time where someone speaks her mind in 140 characters or less.  By all appearances, it sounds harmless with so many tweets each day.  However, a tweet may lead to a lawsuit for internet defamation.  Internet defamation attorneys are very aware of this, but the ever-growing number of people on Twitter are finding out, sometimes the hard way, that statements made on social media platforms like Twitter are equally subject to claims for libel.  A recent story on online defamation law highlights but one example where a National Basketball Association (NBA) referee is suing an Associated Press (AP) writer over a tweet made during a basketball game.  The story notes:

Continue reading Defamation on Twitter: Tweets & Lawsuits | Online Defamation Law >>
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