Order Requiring Non-Party Yelp to Remove Defamatory Reviews Affirmed by California Appellate Court

A California appellate court recently affirmed a lower court’s decision to require Yelp to remove three defamatory reviews. The First Appellate District did, however, remand the case to the trial court to narrow the terms of the removal order, which ordered Yelp to also remove potential future reviews. The court...

Internet Defamation and Anti-SLAPP Laws: A Look Back at the Washington Supreme Court’s 2015 Ruling Invalidating the State’s Anti-SLAPP Statute

In late May 2015, the Washington Supreme Court became the first state to find an anti-SLAPP statute unconstitutional, striking down the rule codified as RCW 4.24.525. At the time (and likely still today), free speech advocates expressed their disappointment in the ruling, believing that the state of Washington would leave...

Nev. Jury Awards Internet Defamation Plaintiffs $38.3 Million in Damages for Anonymous Websites

Three-and-a-half years after filing a lawsuit over false allegations comparing him to Bernie Madoff, a federal jury recently awarded a California real estate professional and his company more than $38 million. On February 17, Bradley Cohen—founder and CEO of a Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm, Cohen Asset Management, Inc....

Actor Can Proceed With Twitter Defamation Lawsuit, Likely to Unmask Anonymous Twitter User

Actor James Woods is one step closer to unmasking the identity of the unknown Twitter user he sued for $10 million last summer. Last Monday, Judge Mel Recana of the Los Angeles County Superior Court denied the defendant’s Special Motion to Strike. This allows Woods to proceed with his case against...

Fla. Attorney Wins Judgment, Award of Damages for Online Defamation by Former Client

A Florida appellate court has affirmed a trial court’s judgment and award of $350,000 in damages in favor of a Florida attorney who claimed she had been defamed in online reviews. Ann-Marie Giustibelli, a South Florida family law attorney, had represented Copia Blake in a divorce proceeding against Peter Birzon...

Australian Court: Google Liable as Secondary Publisher in Internet Defamation Case

Last week, Justice Malcom Blue of the Supreme Court of South Australia ordered Google to pay $100,000 (AUD) in damages (plus interest) in a landmark internet defamation case. Several weeks earlier, the Supreme Court of South Australia handed down an unprecedented judgment against Google in a multi-year legal battle that...

Mugshots: Public Interest Versus Privacy Debate, Removal ‘Extortion’

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to rehear its panel’s decision regarding the release of mugshots under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). At issue is whether the mugshots are simply public record, obtainable through FOIA requests, or if there are inherent privacy interests. Mugshots have been historically viewed...

FTC Sues Company Seeking to Prevent Customers’ Negative Online Reviews

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed suit in the Middle District of Florida against two companies and their principals over a “gag” clause aimed at preventing negative reviews. On Sept. 24, 2015, the FTC filed a complaint for permanent injunction and other equitable relief against Roca Labs, Inc.,...

Hyperlink to 2012 Article at Issue in Delaware Internet Defamation Case

The Delaware Court of Chancery is considering an argument that a hyperlink to an allegedly defamatory article, for purposes of overcoming a statute of limitations defense, constitutes republication. In a September 30 opinion, the court denied defendant Vox Media, Inc.’s motion to dismiss. The Court of Chancy held Vox “failed to carry...

Federal Court Rules Against Ripoff Report in CDA Case

Past victims of false Ripoff Report postings will be pleased with the recent rulings out of the United Stated District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division. In a case in which a Utah-based company and individual sued Xcentric Ventures, LLC – the parent company of Ripoff Report –...