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Libel Suits

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NEWS
April 26, 1990 | FAYE FIORE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
One of the city's nastier council races took a bitter turn this week when it was revealed that Belmont Shore-area candidate Jim Serles is suing his opponent, Doug Drummond, for $6 million, claiming Drummond libeled him in campaign literature. At issue is a Drummond campaign brochure that says Serles struck "back-room deals" and sold his vote to developers while sitting as chairman of the city's Planning Commission.
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NATIONAL
April 18, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - This spring marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in New York Times vs. Sullivan, its most important pronouncement on the freedom of the press, but the ruling has not won the acceptance of Justice Antonin Scalia. “It was wrong,” he said Thursday evening at the National Press Club in a joint appearance with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “I think the Framers would have been appalled. … It was revising the Constitution.” The 9-0 ruling handed down in March 1964 threw out a libel suit brought by police commissioner L.B. Sullivan from Montgomery, Ala. He claimed he had been defamed by a paid ad in the New York Times, even though it did not mention him by name.
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NEWS
August 21, 1997 | PAUL D. COLFORD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
What do casino mogul Steve Wynn, Priscilla Presley and the lawyers for Sharon Stone have in common? They are among the better-known figures who have filed suits challenging the veracity of statements made or published about them, prompting speculation that a flurry of high-profile libel cases may follow. Case in point: A jury in Las Vegas last week awarded $3.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 26, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
One of the two friends who discovered Philip Seymour Hoffman's body in his apartment has withdrawn a lawsuit against the National Enquirer after reaching a settlement with the tabloid. David Bar Katz has come to an agreement with the Enquirer over a story that falsely claimed he and Hoffman were gay lovers who had  free-based cocaine the night before the actor died. Katz, a playwright,  told the New York Times  he will use the settlement to set up the  American Playwriting Foundation, which will give out an annual prize of $45,000 for an unproduced play. It will be called the Relentless Award, in Hoffman's honor.
NEWS
April 21, 1986 | Associated Press
The Supreme Court, in a victory for the news media, ruled today that anyone who sues for libel has the burden of proving the defamatory statement is false. In a 5-4 decision in a case involving the Philadelphia Inquirer, the court strengthened protection against libel suits in cases where a so-called "private individual"--rather than a public figure--sues a news organization.
NATIONAL
April 18, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - This spring marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in New York Times vs. Sullivan, its most important pronouncement on the freedom of the press, but the ruling has not won the acceptance of Justice Antonin Scalia. “It was wrong,” he said Thursday evening at the National Press Club in a joint appearance with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “I think the Framers would have been appalled. … It was revising the Constitution.” The 9-0 ruling handed down in March 1964 threw out a libel suit brought by police commissioner L.B. Sullivan from Montgomery, Ala. He claimed he had been defamed by a paid ad in the New York Times, even though it did not mention him by name.
NEWS
February 4, 1987 | JOHN KENDALL, Times Staff Writer
A Los Angeles federal judge overturned a default judgment won by a Palo Alto businessman against the official Soviet newspaper Izvestia and released $456,000 in Soviet funds frozen to pay the award, it was reported Tuesday. U.S. District Judge David V. Kenyon's clerk confirmed that the judge had issued two orders in the Raphael Gregorian case, but she declined to discuss them. However, United Press International reported late in the day that it had confirmed the contents of the orders.
NEWS
April 28, 1989 | DAN MORAIN, Times Staff Writer
The state Supreme Court, rebuffing major news organizations in California, ruled Thursday that private individuals can sue for libel even if a story that defames them with false information is published without malice and is in the public interest. In a unanimous ruling, the court held that California's statute governing libel does not shield news organizations from suits by private figures simply because an article or broadcast is in the public interest. "If the Legislature had intended to create a broad public interest privilege for the news media, the Legislature could easily have done so in reasonably clear language," Justice David Eagleson said in the opinion.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 18, 1985 | JAY SHARBUTT, Times Staff Writer
After more than two years of costly legal skirmishing, and 18 weeks of trial, Gen. William C. Westmoreland last February abruptly dropped his $120-million libel suit against CBS. But the impact of the case still lingers. Former CBS News President Richard S. Salant, for one, says he suspects that no matter what sounds of "bravado" about strong news documentaries come from his friends at CBS News, "you won't see anything that's going to get them in trouble for quite some time."
BOOKS
December 7, 1986 | David Shaw, Shaw writes on the media for The Times
Six years ago, in reviewing a collection of Pauline Kael's film criticism, Renata Adler stunned the New York literati by proclaiming the work "piece by piece, line by line, without interruption, worthless." Now, Adler has taken on two other giants of the Eastern media establishment, corporate giants this time--Time magazine and CBS. Adler isn't nearly as kind to them as she was to Kael.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 19, 2012 | By August Brown
If there was any chance of the lawsuit between Britney Spears' parents and her ex-manager, Sam Lufti, ending politely, it went out the window on day one of the trial . Lufti, who is suing Jamie and Lynn Spears for libel after they assumed control of her estate and filed a restraining order against him, alleged through his attorney, Joseph Schleimer, that Britney Spears "liked to use amphetamines -- speed or uppers. She liked to take that drug. And most of the things that went wrong were related to that drug.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 2, 2012 | By Hector Becerra and Sam Allen, Los Angeles Times
It all started with anonymous emails. The Central Basin Municipal Water District, the emails alleged, was guilty of corruption and double-dealing in awarding a $1-million federal grant. Officials at Central Basin, a water agency serving more than 2 million L.A. County residents, publicly denied the claims, suggesting the emails were sent by the firms that didn't get the contract. But Central Basin didn't stop there. It hired a law firm and last month filed a highly unusual libel suit against the unnamed authors of the email.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 2012 | By Bob Pool, Los Angeles Times
Will somebody come clean about those soap-like bubbles in Malibu's tiny Marie Canyon Creek? A legal battle between an environmental crusader and Pepperdine University is raising questions about a frothy cascade of storm water that periodically spills over a beach lined with celebrity homes and into the Pacific Ocean. Videographer Cary ONeal, who blogs as "Mr. Malibu," insists that the runoff is tainted by a sewage treatment plant that serves the university and a housing tract next door, and that the school should be held to task for it. Pepperdine officials dispute that and have gone to court to prevent ONeal's accusation and home-made videos of the sudsy flow from going viral.
WORLD
May 10, 2010 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
In his Christmas Day 2009 column for the Korea Times, Michael Breen decided to lampoon such national newsmakers as President Lee Myung-bak and the pop idol Rain. Headlined "What People Got for Christmas," the English-language column also poked fun at global technology giant Samsung Electronics, referring to past bribery scandals as well as perceptions that its leaders are arrogant. The piece was meant as a satirical spoof, the columnist says, but Samsung wasn't laughing. Breen's column ran as local media reported that President Lee would soon pardon Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee on a 2008 conviction for tax evasion.
WORLD
October 14, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
A court ruled against Josef Stalin's grandson in a libel suit over a newspaper article that said the Soviet dictator sent thousands of people to their deaths. A judge at a Moscow district court rejected Yevgeny Dzhugashvili's claim that Novaya Gazeta damaged Stalin's honor and dignity in an April article that referred to him as a "bloodthirsty cannibal." A ruling against the newspaper would have been regarded as an exoneration of Stalin and a blow to Russians who accuse the Kremlin of whitewashing history.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 28, 2009 | Victoria Kim
Guess Jeans co-founder Georges Marciano has been ordered to pay $55 million in a libel suit filed by an accountant who said the former chief executive falsely accused him of blackmail and stealing funds. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth White issued the ruling Wednesday after hearing evidence from lawyers representing the accountant, Gary Iskowitz, Iskowitz's wife, and business partner. Marciano did not defend himself in court because White excluded him from the case as a sanction for failing to cooperate with pretrial proceedings.
NEWS
September 27, 2000 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Jeffrey Archer, the millionaire British novelist and onetime golden boy of the Conservative Party, was charged with perjury and perverting the course of justice over his 1987 libel trial. Archer had filed and won the libel suit after a tabloid accused him of hiring a prostitute. Last year, he acknowledged asking a friend to lie and say they had dinner together on a night when he was actually dining with a close female friend.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 1985
Gen. William Westmoreland's decision to drop his $120-million dollar libel suit against CBS is a clear indication that if brought to the decision of the jury, the former general would have lost his case and would be caught in a second attempt to deceive the American public. It seems to me that Westmoreland has been pressured from the very beginning by top military brass to pursue this suit against CBS in an attempt to protect themselves from any more bad publicity on the Vietnam War. Once Westmoreland and his lawyers saw that their case was no longer valid, they dropped the suit so that the war itself would not be fully heard in a court of law and the general public, as well as the brave soldiers who fought in Vietnam, would not have their day in court.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 17, 2008 | From Bloomberg News
NBC Universal was sued for $55 million by former federal drug agents who say they were libeled in the film "American Gangster," a drama about crime and illegal narcotics in 1970s New York. The class-action suit was filed Wednesday in Manhattan federal court by three former Drug Enforcement Administration agents on behalf of 400 current and former colleagues who worked in New York City from 1973 to 1985. They say the film falsely claims three-quarters of New York's DEA agents were convicted of crimes stemming from a major trafficking scheme depicted in the movie.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 19, 2007 | John Spano, Times Staff Writer
A self-styled crusader against the Los Angeles Police Department agreed Thursday to submit to screening by a judge before she filed any future complaints alleging misconduct. The deal short-circuited a trial this week in which four veteran LAPD officers sued Guadalupe Andrade for libel, alleging her 85 personnel complaints had defamed them. "This is more than we ever, ever hoped to accomplish," said Michael P.
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