In a recent HBO show, children are depicted as maltreated laborers for a popular soccer ball and sports equipment manufacturer.
Lincoln Bandlow was featured in The Hollywood Reporter article, “HBO Faces Huge Defamation Trial Over “Hoax” Child Labor Report.” Full text can be found in the April 3, 2015, issue, but a synopsis is noted below.
In a recent show by the television company, children are depicted as maltreated laborers for a popular soccer ball and sports equipment manufacturer. The sports company took the media company to court, despite HBO’s claims that the show is clearly staged and exaggerated.
In court, it was ruled that the sports company is not technically a public figure. This sparked a call for an emergency appeal from almost 30 major news organizations since it creates a great amount of uncertainty in the media. The appeal will likely take place after the trial.
Regarding the media’s involvement, Lincoln Bandlow with Fox Rothschild stated, “Stay tuned because even though statistically, about 75 percent of the time, the media defendant gets hit at trial, about the same 75 percent of the time, that gets reversed on appeal.”
An Alabama blogger from Shelby County, who spent five months in jail before agreeing to remove stories from his website about the son of a former governor, has now been ordered to pay $3.5 million in a defamation lawsuit filed by a former campaign manager for Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange.
The Alabama blogger had written about an alleged affair between Strange and the campaign manager.
Jefferson County Circuit Judge Donald Blankenship on Monday entered a default judgment against Roger Shuler and his website Legal Schnauzer for $1.5 million in compensatory and $2 million in punitive damages. The judge wrote that all the elements for the judgment were present, including that a false and defamatory statement was made.
Jessica Medeiros Garrison, a Birmingham lawyer, filed the defamation lawsuit in 2013 against Shuler. She had managed Strange’s 2010 campaign for Alabama Attorney General and served as Chief Counsel and Deputy Attorney General in 2011.
“The facts are clear and the judgment speaks for itself,” Garrison stated in an email Tuesday to AL.com. “The absolute and blatant disregard for the truth has to come with consequences. I am very happy to finally be in a position to set the record straight,” she wrote.
Bill Baxley, one of Garrison’s attorneys, also said the ruling “speaks for itself.” He said he doubts his client will be able to collect any money from Shuler, who had his house foreclosed upon a year or so ago.
Joel Dillard, another attorney for Garrison, said they are grateful that the judget returned a verdict that adequately compensates Garrison. “She is the righteous, kind, gracious working mother of a young son she adores, and this fact magnified this outrageous wrong. Shuler’s statements about her were not just libelous, they were plucked from thin air, and were cyber-bullying of the worst order,” Dillard stated.
Strange also issued a statement today.
“I am pleased the court has confirmed there was no truth to these lies and that some measure of justice has been done,” Strange stated.
Shuler failed or refused to sit for a scheduled deposition. He was sanctioned by Judge Blankenship, who then set a March hearing for sanctions and default judgment.
At the March 9 hearing the judge heard testimony from Garrison and Strange. Both testified the allegations Shuler had written that the two had an extramarital affair and had a son together were false, according to the judge’s order.
Shuler, or any lawyer representing him, did not attend the hearing.
Garrison testified that Shuler had written false comments in his Legal Schnauzer blog concerning her and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, the judge’s order states.
“The (Legal Schnauzer) comments suggested that the plaintiff (Garrison) received preferential treatment from the Attorney General because the two were engaged in an ongoing extramarital affair; and that the Attorney General was the father of the Plaintiff’s minor son,” the judge’s order stated.
Garrison testified that the comments were false and “were embarrassing, hurtful and degrading.”
“She testified further that the comments made it difficult to perform her job. She works with a national organization, The Republican Attorneys General Association,” according to the judge’s order.
Garrison also stated that since the comments have now become widely known, she constantly suffers from embarrassment and anxiety, according to the judge’s orders. “She testified that she worries about how the comments could later affect her minor son.”
Strange also testified that the comments concerning his relationship with Garrison and a photo on the website that was cropped to make it appear Strange and Garrison were alone, were false.
“The Court finds the comments defamatory,” Judge Blankenship stated in his order.
Efforts to reach Shuler for comment were unsuccessful prior to publication of this story.
On Thursday, a federal judge overseeing a lawsuit by three women against Bill Cosby issued his first decision in the case.
Tamara Green, Therese Serignese and Linda Traitz are suing Bill Cosby for defamation on the grounds that the comedian and his reps branded them liars in response to sexual abuse charges. In response, Cosby has asserted rights to make “privileged utterances of self-defense.”
Today’s ruling from U.S. District Judge Mark Mastroianni only addresses whether the three women should be allowed to amend their lawsuit — and his opinion is a careful one that’s not intended to address the merits of the claims. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the new language in the amended lawsuit shows just how problematic the statute of limitations has become for the women targeting Cosby.
After all, the statute of limitations is one of the core reasons why the women aren’t going after Cosby for sexual abuse directly. Green, for instance, claims that she was drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby in the 1970s. That’s too old a charge to survive in court. So she’s targeting statements by Cosby’s reps in reaction to articles about her allegations. In particular, there’s one comment by Cosby lawyer Walter Phillips Jr. to a 2014 story in The Washington Post. He stated, “Mr. Cosby does not know the name Tamara Green or Tamara Lucier [her maiden name], and the incident she describes did not happen.”
But… it turns out that Phillips didn’t make that statement in 2014. The newspaper later published a correction indicating that the response was made in 2005. And so, even the defamation claim based upon this statement might not survive the statute of limitations.
Joseph Cammarata, attorney for the plaintiffs, appears to have a new theory on why a decade-old statement is still punishable. The amendment to the lawsuit includes language that Cosby, through Phillips, gave the statement in 2005, “with the expectation and intent that the statement would be republished by news outlets in the event that Plaintiff Green should repeat her accusations.”
In response, Cosby’s attorneys demanded the judge stop the lawsuit from being amended because it would be “futile,” that it still wouldn’t beat the statute of limitations.
Holding people liable for comments made long ago for their future expectations on republishing opens a can of worms. However, Mastroianni isn’t going to tackle plaintiff’s theory just yet. In a ruling that should probably only interest hard-core geeks of civil procedure, he notes the plaintiffs aren’t adding new claims, just amending relevant facts and corresponding arguments to existing ones. Thus, he allows the lawsuit to include this new language about a 2005 statement being given with the expectation that it would get re-published a decade later.
Eventually, the judge will address the merits of the defamation claims, and until then, there could be a battle over discovery.
The three accusers are aiming to inspect documents about Cosby’s prior legal battle over sexual misconduct. That case took place in Pennsylvania, was settled in 2006, and many of the documents remain sealed. The plaintiffs in the defamation case are seeking to subpoena third parties, requesting those old documents, and tell the judge, “The documents at issue may include discovery responses and/or deposition testimony by Defendant Cosby admitting to sexual misconduct against one or more of the Plaintiffs, contrary to Defendant’s representation to this Court in his Motion to Dismiss.”
Over in the Pennsylvania case, the judge sent out a notice of the potential unsealing of certain discovery motions, which led one of Cosby’s lawyers to object and request a hearing. Cosby attorney George Gownwrote, “This is a complex matter, involving important and legitimate privacy issues.”
(New York) – Thai authorities should drop criminal proceedings against two journalists for reporting on trafficking of ethnic Rohingya “boat people,” Human Rights Watch said today.
Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian, the editor and correspondent of the news website Phuketwan, were charged one year ago, on April 17, 2014, with criminal defamation and the Computer Crimes Act based on a complaint filed by the Thai navy.
If convicted on the criminal defamation charges, Morison and Sidasathian could be imprisoned for up to two years. Under the Computer Crime Act, they face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to 100,000 baht (US$3,125). They are scheduled to go to trial on July 14-16.
“The Thai authorities should direct the navy to unconditionally drop its baseless charges against the two journalists,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “This effort to silence media criticism has backfired against the navy, which should act swiftly to cut its losses.”
The charges centered on a paragraph in the Phuketwan online newspaper on July 17, 2013, that cited a Reuters investigative report alleging that some navy officials “work systematically with smugglers to profit from the surge in fleeing Rohingya,” and that they earn about 2,000 baht (US$63) per Rohingya “for spotting a boat or turning a blind eye.” The report was part of a Reuters investigative series on the plight of the Rohingya, an oppressed Muslim minority in Burma, that won a Pulitzer Prize.
Human Rights Watch believes that criminal defamation laws should be abolished, as criminal penalties are always disproportionate punishments for reputational harm and infringe on free expression. Criminal defamation laws are open to easy abuse, resulting in very harsh consequences, including imprisonment. As repeal of criminal defamation laws in an increasing number of countries shows, such laws are not necessary for the purpose of protecting reputations
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Thailand has ratified, guarantees the right to freedom of expression, which includes the right to impart information. The United Nations Human Rights Committee, which monitors state compliance with the covenant, has expressed its concern at the misuse of defamation laws to criminalize freedom of expression and has said that such laws should never be used when expression is without malice and in the public interest.
“The Phuketwan journalists are among the few who are still regularly reporting on the pervasive human trafficking of Rohingya in Thailand,” Adams said. “Thailand’s efforts to show progress in tackling human trafficking are seriously damaged by this shoot-the-messenger action against journalists exposing abuses.”
Daily Mail is reporting that Simona Trasca, 34, known as ‘Romania’s Pamela Anderson’, said in an interview on national television that her latest boob job was so cheap her surgeon could not have paid tax on it.
Plastic surgeon Marek Valcu claimed Ms Trasca’s comments were defamatory and sued the model and presenter.
Ms Trasca had made the remark as part of a joke about her latest boob job saying: ‘I got such a small bill for such a big job, in fact it was only 2000 lei (£363).’
She had then admitted that the course she had actually paid the equivalent of £3,000, which was probably a fairer reflection of the value of her new assets.
Court ruling in the defamation case
A local court ruled in favour of Dr Valcu, accepted that the comments could be regarded as defamatory and ordered her to pay compensation. As well as paying Dr Valcu £1,500, Ms Trasca he will also have to take adverts in the main Romanian newspapers pointing out that her statement was not correct.
It is not the first time Dr Valcu is involved in a scandal with one of his patients over their breast enlargements.
In May last year, TV host Oana Zavoranu tried to blackmail him by saying that she can start a media defamation campaign against him because she was unhappy with her seventh boob-job.
She had threatened to tell media that the doctor did illegal plastic surgery work funded by taxpayer money.
However, her plan backfired when he called the police and she was caught while taking £7,000 in marked money from him.
Anti-Racism Causes Racism
It can be argued that zealous and fanatical anti-racism is doing more than almost anything else to contribute to racism in the United Kingdom and United States. To put that in very basic terms, one of the biggest contributors to racism today may very well be anti-racism policies and statements.
Almost every single day someone or other is put before an anti-racist inquisition or a new — even stricter — law is decreed to fight racism.
Anti-racism has now become another revolution that’s eating its own children.
What we have with much of today’s anti-racism is the same kind of absurdity and extremity which often happened during various historical inquisitions. More specifically, anti-racism is just like the many other political movements that, in time, became corrupted.
Many anti-racists also feel the need to justify their existence and legitimacy by becoming more and more pure (i.e. extreme). And, as a consequence, they will also need to find new targets — more evil racists — to reprimand or even punish.
What partly contributes to all this is that a minority of Leftist activists (though often highly-influential people in the law, councils, academia, etc.) are attempting to create a “revolutionary situation” by deliberately making anti-racism policies and actions more extreme. Thus, in the process, these Leftists — along with their words and actions — are alienating people who aren’t otherwise racist. Such Leftists think that the violence, turmoil or even civil conflict that their words and policies create may be utilized to benefit their own primary cause: revolutionary socialism or the “progressive future”. Thus they see what they’re doing as tapping into anti-racism’s revolutionary/radical potential. (These very same Leftists also — to use their own words — “tap into the
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/01/antiracism_causes_racism.html#ixzz3WSsIIe5Z
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