Category: First Amendment Law
What is Slander and Libel? Defamation.
What is Defamation? Whenever there is a statement made that injures someone’s reputation, the terms defamation, libel, and slander are thrown around. The terms are commonly misused interchangeably. Defamation is the act of making a false statement that harms someone’s reputation. Both libel and slander are forms of defamation. All of the terms fall under… READ MORE
Removing Defamation from ComplaintsBoard and RipOffReport
Since the enactment of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”), many online service providers have decided that they carry absolute immunity from defamation claims. Is this really the case though? ComplaintsBoard.com and RipOffReport.com are two service providers that offer a forum for unhappy customers to post about poor experiences they have with companies…. READ MORE
Free Speech Rights Do Not Protect You Against Defamatory Statements You Make
Unhappy consumers take to the Internet and social media all the time. It’s commonplace today for a person irritated by a flight delay to post on Twitter, or someone that received poor service in a restaurant to leave a damning review on a consumer based website. But, what happens when the complaint lodged against the service provider isn’t true? The answer is that you get sued, and the First Amendment won’t protect you.
Can Kratz Be Forgotten? In the EU, Just Maybe
Ken Kratz is probably best known as the local prosecutor who put Stephen Avery in prison for murder in Manitowoc County, WI, as documented in the Netflix series “Making a Murderer.” For this and several other reasons, he’s got a pretty comprehensive presence on the Internet: a Google search for “ken kratz” comes up with about 190,000 hits, few of which paint a flattering or positive picture. From bad Yelp reviews to accusations of prosecutorial malpractice to coverage of a long-ago sexting scandal, it’s easy to see why Ken Kratz might want Google to remove links to those negative articles and posts.
Internet Defamation: Anti-SLAPP Laws
The acronym SLAPP stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation.” These are often called “SLAPP suits” and have become quite the problem for smaller advocate groups and outspoken individuals. SLAPP suits are technically lawsuits, but they are not filed to win. Rather, they are filed to censor plaintiffs’ critics by scaring defendants into lengthy and… READ MORE
Removing Defamatory Reviews from Websites like Yelp
Ratings websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor are changing the way people choose where to eat, where to shop, where to travel and where to lodge. According to its website, TripAdvisor alone is home to over 250 million reviews made by people wi…
Michigan First Amendment Lawyer Update: Begging Law Violates 1st Amendment
A federal appeals court has affirmed Western District of Michigan Judge Robert Jonker’s ruling that Michigan’s panhandling law is unconstitutional. Judge Jonker’s decision was appealed by State Attorney General Bill Schuette, who argued that the law, which criminalized panhandling, addressed safety, pedestrian, tourism, and vehicle traffic concerns. The Attorney General’s office argued that panhandling signs are… READ MORE
First Amendment Law: Anonymous Bloggers In Michigan Lack Clearly Defined Rights
Recently, the Michigan Court of Appeals rejected the request of Thomas M. Cooley Law School to reveal anonymous bloggers who have publicly criticized the school’s use of national rankings and graduate employment statistics. The controversy began when a former Cooley student created a blog called Thomas Cooley Law School Scam in order to critique some… READ MORE