Jury Dismisses Sarah Palin’s Defamation Claim Against the NY Times
On February 15th, a jury in the District Court for the Southern District of New York, dismissed a defamation lawsuit brought by Sarah Palin, a former governor of Alaska and vice presidential candidate in 2008, against The New York Times. The decision came a day before U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff said that he planned to dismiss the suit if the jury sided with Palin. Rakoff maintained that Palin’s lawyers were unable to prove the newspaper published with “actual malice” when it incorrectly linked her to a mass shooting in a Times editorial.
Devin Nunes Files Libel Suit Against MSNBC Host Rachel Maddow
On August 3rd, Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) filed a libel suit against NBCUniversal and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow over comments she made in March about his relationship with a Ukranian lawmaker and suspected Russian spy. Nunes is notorious for filing frivolous defamation lawsuits against his critics. In just a 12 month time period between— March 2019 and November 2020, the Congressman filed seven libel lawsuits.
Fox News Seeks Dismissal of $1.6 Billion Defamation Suit
On May 18th, Fox News filed a motion to dismiss the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed against it by Dominion Voting Systems, an election technology company used in more than two dozen states during the 2020 presidential election.
Lawyer Who Frequently Represents Devin Nunes is Sanctioned for Filing Frivolous Defamation Suit
On May 4th, a federal judge in Maryland sanctioned Representative Devin Nunes’s longtime attorney, Steve Biss, for filing a “frivolous” defamation lawsuit against CNN.
Virginia Lieutenant Governor Candidate Files Defamation Lawsuit Concerning Anonymous Text Message
On May 4th, a candidate seeking the Republican nomination for Virginia Lieutenant Governor filed a defamation lawsuit against “Jane Doe,” after an anonymous text message was sent to convention delegates calling him a “gay Democrat.”
Music Producer “Dr. Luke” Not a Public Figure, NY Appellate Court Rules
Dr. Luke is suing pop star Kesha over claims she made that he raped both her and singer Katy Perry. Free expression groups have argued that courts should interpret the public figure doctrine more broadly in libel suits involving sexual assault claims.
Virginia Parole Board Chair Seeks $7 Million in Defamation Lawsuit
Tonya Chapman, chair of the Virginia Parole Board, filed a defamation lawsuit on March 29th in the Circuit Court for the City of Richmond against CBS affiliate WTVR-TV and reporter Jonathan Burkett. The lawsuit stems from Burkett’s reporting on a draft report from the Office of the State Inspector General (OSIG) that allegedly implicated Chapman’s involvement in the early release of a prisoner.
Dominion Voting Systems Sues Fox for Defamation
The voting technology company is suing Fox News for $1.6 billion in damages for spreading false information that their technology was used to rig the 2020 presidential election.