Author Topic: Could GZ have a civil case against the Martins?  (Read 6461 times)

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Offline nomatter_nevermind

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Re: Could GZ have a civil case against the Martins?
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2012, 06:39:54 PM »
GZ would have a hard time trying to sue for libel/slander/defamation after this.  He's what is known as an "involuntary public figure."

http://www.expertlaw.com/library/personal_injury/defamation.html

Thanks. I've been wondering about that.

Offline DebFrmHell

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Re: Could GZ have a civil case against the Martins?
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2012, 12:37:43 AM »
Thanks. I've been wondering about that.

I had to stiffle a laugh when MSNBC turned over completely to NBC.  I wondered if they (and Bill Gates) were anticipating a lawsuit.  ((It seems kind of preposterous on my behalf.))   It would appear that Sharpton is not connected with the new NBCNews. com and has switched to NAN.

Offline whitecap333

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Re: Could GZ have a civil case against the Martins?
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2012, 04:01:04 AM »
The word "actual malice" does not mean what some people think it means.  A little research will turn up cases where the court has framed the issue as an inquiry into whether the defamatory statement was published with "reckless disregard" of its truth or falsity.  It can be very difficult to obtain dismissal of these claims by "motion practice."  A sympathetic judge will frequently discern an "issue of material fact" which only the jury can resolve.  Just a lay opinion, of course.

Offline unitron

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Re: Could GZ have a civil case against the Martins?
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2012, 05:04:25 AM »
I had to stiffle a laugh when MSNBC turned over completely to NBC.  I wondered if they (and Bill Gates) were anticipating a lawsuit.  ((It seems kind of preposterous on my behalf.))   It would appear that Sharpton is not connected with the new NBCNews. com and has switched to NAN.

Actually MS was bought out of MSNBC the cable network several years back.

This was just ownership of msnbc.com, the web site, getting consolidated.

Did you ever see MSNBC before Princess Diana died?

Totally different.  They had a tech show with Soledad O'Brien talking with a CGI'ed barrista named Dev Null

Offline DebFrmHell

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Re: Could GZ have a civil case against the Martins?
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2012, 08:31:07 AM »
Actually MS was bought out of MSNBC the cable network several years back.

This was just ownership of msnbc.com, the web site, getting consolidated.

Did you ever see MSNBC before Princess Diana died?

Totally different.  They had a tech show with Soledad O'Brien talking with a CGI'ed barrista named Dev Null

Funny that.  The way I read it was Microsoft pulled out to do their own news online.  I think they have a full start up planned for 2014 but I am not sure about that and am probably wrong.  ((shrugs due to lack of interest))

I liked some of their things since I usually do the news online.  I quit watching them after Olbermann left.  I love me some Keith Olbermann...He is perfect, IMO.  8-)  He and Dan Patrick were my ESPN fix for years...

In my defense, I didn't follow him to Current. 

Offline MJW

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Re: Could GZ have a civil case against the Martins?
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2012, 06:36:29 PM »
The word "actual malice" does not mean what some people think it means.  A little research will turn up cases where the court has framed the issue as an inquiry into whether the defamatory statement was published with "reckless disregard" of its truth or falsity.  It can be very difficult to obtain dismissal of these claims by "motion practice."  A sympathetic judge will frequently discern an "issue of material fact" which only the jury can resolve.  Just a lay opinion, of course.

The words "reckless disregard" also do not mean what some people think they mean. Reckless disregard is a very strict standard. It doesn't simply mean the defamatory statements were made negligently, with insufficient evidence. It requires that they were made despite the speaker having substantial doubts about their truthfulness.

Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc. v. Connaughton, 491 US 657 (1989):
Quote
Actual malice, instead, requires at a minimum that the statements were made with a reckless disregard for the truth. And although the concept of "reckless disregard" "cannot be fully encompassed in one infallible definition," St. Amant v. Thompson, 390 U. S. 727, 730 (1968), we have made clear that the defendant must have made the false publication with a "high degree of awareness of . . . probable falsity," Garrison v. Louisiana, 379 U. S. 64, 74 (1964), or must have "entertained serious doubts as to the truth of his publication," St. Amant, supra, at 731.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 06:40:47 PM by MJW »

Offline DebFrmHell

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Re: Could GZ have a civil case against the Martins?
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2012, 07:19:41 PM »
The words "reckless disregard" also do not mean what some people think they mean. Reckless disregard is a very strict standard. It doesn't simply mean the defamatory statements were made negligently, with insufficient evidence. It requires that they were made despite the speaker having substantial doubts about their truthfulness.

Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc. v. Connaughton, 491 US 657 (1989):

Wave Hello, Mr Sharpton and MSNBC!  Once the first doc dump happened his yapper was glued shut while on the airwaves...

Offline whitecap333

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Re: Could GZ have a civil case against the Martins?
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2012, 07:30:03 PM »
Your authority is a bit dated, MJW.  I'll just note that, based on personal experience, it's not as easy as one might think to get these cases dismissed on "motion practice," and let it go at that.

Offline MJW

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Re: Could GZ have a civil case against the Martins?
« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2012, 08:03:52 PM »
Your authority is a bit dated, MJW.  I'll just note that, based on personal experience, it's not as easy as one might think to get these cases dismissed on "motion practice," and let it go at that.

Is  March 5, 2012 recent enough for you?

Milligan v. US, 670 F. 3d 686 (6th Cir. 2012)
Quote
Whether a statement was made with reckless disregard for the truth "is not measured by whether a reasonably prudent man would have published or would have investigated before publishing, but by whether the defendant in fact entertained serious doubts as to the truth of its publication." Compuware Corp. v. Moody's Investors Servs., Inc., 499 F.3d 520, 526 (6th Cir.2007) (quoting St. Amant v. Thompson, 390 U.S. 727, 731, 88 S.Ct. 1323, 20 L.Ed.2d 262 (1968)) (internal alterations and quotation marks omitted). In fact, a "failure to investigate before publishing, even when a reasonably prudent person would have done so, is not sufficient to establish reckless disregard." Harte-Hanks Comm., Inc. v. Connaughton, 491 U.S. 657, 688, 109 S.Ct. 2678, 105 L.Ed.2d 562 (1989).

Offline whitecap333

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Re: Could GZ have a civil case against the Martins?
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2012, 08:35:36 PM »
Goodness, I don't want to pretend to knowledge I don't have.  You know what they say about "a little" of it.  There are many, many dozens of cases out there on this issue.  I would anticipate that a legal opinion on the current state of the law within the 11th Circuit alone could easily run to 20 pages.  But I defer to your superior insight. 

Offline MJW

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Re: Could GZ have a civil case against the Martins?
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2012, 09:28:30 PM »
Goodness, I don't want to pretend to knowledge I don't have.  You know what they say about "a little" of it.  There are many, many dozens of cases out there on this issue.  I would anticipate that a legal opinion on the current state of the law within the 11th Circuit alone could easily run to 20 pages.  But I defer to your superior insight.
No superior insight. All Will Rogers knew is what he read in the papers; all I know is what I read on Google Scholar. Nevertheless,

Levan v. Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., 190 F. 3d 1230  (11th Cir. 1999):
Quote
A showing of actual malice may be made by showing that the defendant published the defamatory statement either "with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not." Id. [New York Times Co. v. Sullivan] at 280, 84 S.Ct. at 726. Actual malice requires more than a departure from reasonable standards of journalism; "[t]here must be sufficient evidence to permit the conclusion that the defendant in fact entertained serious doubts as to the truth of his publication." St. Amant v. Thompson, 390 U.S. 727, 731, 88 S.Ct. 1323, 1325, 20 L.Ed.2d 262 (1968). A public figure is required to prove actual malice by clear and convincing evidence. See Morgan v. Tice, 862 F.2d 1495, 1500 (11th Cir.1989) (citing Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323, 342, 94 S.Ct. 2997, 3008, 41 L.Ed.2d 789 (1974)).
« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 09:31:40 PM by MJW »

Offline whitecap333

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Re: Could GZ have a civil case against the Martins?
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2012, 01:54:17 AM »
I commend your diligence, but perhaps we're talking past each other.  If you're a defendant, you want to cut one of these cases off on a motion to dismiss or motion for summary judgment because, if the plaintiff "gets to the jury," the crucial factor becomes, not the finely honed language of the charge, but whether the jury "feels" the plaintiff was wronged.  I'm just talking practicalities here, based on having been involved in dozens of these "public figure" cases, many of them subject to 11th Cir. law.  One huge practicality is the judicial temperament of the judge, and you can bet that, generally, one appointed by Clinton is far more likely to be sympathetic to to plaintiff than a Bush appointee.  It's much more difficult to get one of these cases dismissed now than it was 20 years ago.  If you look at your most recent 11th Cir. case, it shouldn't be difficult to see how a judge might well be inclined, in a closely disputed case, to find a "dispute of material fact" requiring resolution by the jury.  Again, I'm just talking practicalities here, not legal opinion.

Offline annoyedbeyond

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Re: Could GZ have a civil case against the Martins?
« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2012, 09:48:23 AM »
Again, I'm just talking practicalities here, not legal opinion.

Not often the same thing. And since legal opinion and precedent is what they go by and not practicalities...well you figure it out.


 

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