November 25, 2010 |
Former football coach Mike Leach sued ESPN Inc. and a public relations firm Wednesday, accusing them of libel and slander after he was fired by Texas Tech amid accusations that he mistreated a player suffering from a concussion. The suit filed in Texas district court claims the network's coverage of Leach's firing last year was "willful and negligent defamation" and that it failed to "retract false and damaging statements" it made from "misinformation" provided to ESPN by Craig James , the father of the Texas Tech player.
August 25, 2010
Pretending to have received a military honor is despicable, but not every despicable lie should be a crime. That's the sensible conclusion reached last week by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in striking down a law used against a California public official. In 2007, Xavier Alvarez, a new board member of the Three Valleys Municipal Water District in Claremont, introduced himself this way: "I'm a retired Marine of 25 years. I retired in the year 2001. Back in 1987, I was awarded the congressional Medal of Honor.
July 24, 2010
It's called "libel tourism" — the practice of bringing a defamation lawsuit against an author or publisher in a country with less robust protections of free speech than those afforded Americans by the 1st Amendment and Supreme Court decisions. Many Americans may be surprised to learn that a leading destination for libel tourists is the United Kingdom. The United States can't prevent Britain or other countries from making it easier to win libel suits that might not succeed in this country, where even publications that include errors have received 1st Amendment protection.
May 10, 2010 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 25, 2010 |
Ross Johnson says if he were "king"— rather than merely the state's lead campaign watchdog — he'd invoke the political death penalty for any candidates who libeled their opponents. Yank them off the campaign trail. Or, if they'd already reached office, boot them out. He'd make candidates subject to the same libel laws that apply to newspapers when they write about public officials. It's harder to libel a politician than an ordinary citizen. Basically, a public figure must prove that an article was false and was published with reckless disregard of the truth.
December 15, 2009 |
The buses that ferry tourists past the homes of celebrities used to slow to a roll outside a Beverly Hills mansion with 11 Ferraris parked just inside the gates. Georges Marciano lives here, the gawking customers were told. You know, Guess Jeans. A knowledgeable guide might have gone on to describe Marciano as a classic American success story -- a poor immigrant who amassed a fortune through hard work and business savvy. The guide might have noted Marciano's two other palatial residences on Sunset Boulevard, his Boeing 737, the art collection boasting works by Marc Chagall and Ed Ruscha, the cellar of priceless wines, the homes in Utah and France, and his self-financed if little-noticed campaign for governor.
October 14, 2009 |
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 |
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.
July 9, 2009 |
Earlier this year, Dole Food Co. won a major victory in the L.A. courts when a judge threw out lawsuits brought by Nicaraguan banana workers purportedly rendered sterile by pesticide, saying the plaintiffs' case was a product of massive fraud. Now Dole is headed back to court but this time, it's Dole that's claiming to be the victim.
April 13, 2009
Re "Libel over there," editorial, April 9 As a British writer, I'm embarrassed that U.S. states are having to pass legislation to protect Americans from malicious court cases pursued under my country's draconian libel laws. It seems absurd that a British court can claim jurisdiction over an American who may never even have set foot here, simply because his book could be obtained in Britain via the Internet. State Sen. Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro) is to be congratulated for acting to protect Californians from this legal anomaly.