J3NE4D Ohio, USA. 19th Apr, 2017. Robert Murray, the 77-year-old founder and CEO of Murray Energy Corporation, talks in his office in St. Clairsville in Ohio, United States, 19 April 2017. The coal industry in the state has set its hopes on president Donald Trump and fracking. Photo: Andreas Hoenig/dpa/Alamy Live News

Defamation Suit By Coal Baron Against John Oliver Dismissed

Coal magnate Robert Murray has a long history of suing the media – at least nine organizations at last count. He targeted HBO’s John Oliver and The New York Times claiming that both misrepresented safety at his coal mines and attacked him personally. He even asked for an emergency “gag order” against rebroadcast of Oliver’s segment arguing it was hurting business and threatening employees. A federal judge ruled that Murray’s case against Oliver should proceed in state court. But after the case was remanded,HBO and Partially Important Productions submitted motions to dismiss which were granted. Murray intends to appeal.

February 25, 2018 Below the Fold, Libel, Privacy, Speech
History Speaks: Junius Wilkes on Protections Even for “False and Groundless” Reports

History Speaks: Junius Wilkes on Protections Even for “False and Groundless” Reports

A writer who took the name Junius Wilkes made a critical contribution to the discussion of press freedom even as the Revolutionary War neared conclusion. Writing in The Independent Gazetteer (Philadelphia) in 1782, Wilkes said that citizens are sovereign and therefore powerful, and “should have a right to examine and lay before the world such proceedings of power, as appear[Read More…]

January 18, 2018 History Speaks, Libel
ABC Settles “Pink Slime” Defamation Suit

ABC Settles “Pink Slime” Defamation Suit

Companies may have stronger libel protections based on new laws on the books.

October 27, 2017 Libel
United States Supreme Court Building

Emotional Distress: “Outrageousness” Has an Inherent Subjectiveness

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress A satiric attack on Jerry Falwell, a Baptist pastor and founder of the conservative group, the Moral Majority, resulted in a major Supreme Court opinion protecting the First Amendment rights of satirists to deliver commentary mocking public figures in America. Larry Flynt, the publisher of Hustler Magazine, initiated the conflict in 1983 when he published[Read More…]

October 10, 2017 Legal Cases, Libel, Offensive Speech