Defamation

Does a Negative Employee Review = Defamation?

There is an exception to the general rule regarding defamation when it involves “parties [who] have a mutual interest in evaluating a person’s work.”  These evaluations occur frequently: employee evaluation, customer evaluation of employees, parents’ evaluation of teachers, and former bosses evaluating former employees to prospective new employers. Under those …

Defamation

Florida Defamation: Reporting a Doctor to NPDB – “Single Publication” or “Multiple Publication”?

The Fifth District Court of Appeal agreed with a Middle District of Florida ruling that a report of a doctor’s misconduct to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) begins the two-year statute of limitation for any possible defamation case because it is a “single publication” and there are internal safeguards, …

1st Amendment

Christopher Hopkins “Anatomy of an Internet Defamation Case” at University of Miami Law School

I am pleased to discuss “Anatomy of an Internet Defamation Case” with Professor Jan Jacobowitz‘s Social Media & the Law class at the University of Miami Law School. In this presentation, we briefly discuss Elonis v. United States and we analyze the claims, defenses, and potential strategies of a pending …

1st Amendment

Fourth DCA: Internet Review of Lawyer Is Libel Per Se

Posting an online review of a lawyer’s services which include false claims that the lawyer lied about attorney fees and falsified a contract is libel per se, ruled the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal on January 6, 2016. Even though the parties had settled their case and at least …

1st Amendment

Eleventh Circuit: Florida Firearm Owners Privacy Act is Constitutional

The 11th Circuit has reversed a district court ruling and, instead, concluded that Florida’s “docs vs. glocks” law is constitutional.  This is a victory for gun proponents who voice concerns that inquiries from Florida doctors about gun ownership was an invasion of privacy. The case is Dr. Bernd Wollschlaefer et …

Defamation

Absolute vs. Qualified Immunity to Defame Someone in Affidavit and/or Florida Court Proceeding

One area where a person has a fairly wide latitude to allegedly defame someone is… in a court proceeding. Specifically, Florida recognizes a doctrine of absolute immunity for “defamatory words published in the course of a judicial proceeding, regardless of how false or malicious the statements may be, as long as …

Defamation

Florida Second DCA: ShesAHomewrecker.com Case

Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal recently ruled in Melissa Leach v. Tara Michelle Kersey that, under case-specific facts, sending messages, Facebook friending, and posting about another person on She’s A HomeWrecker.com were not “cyberstalking” under Florida Statute 784.0485. Under the cyberstalking statute, there must be at least two incidents …

Defamation

Are You a Victim of Revenge Porn?

Revenge porn may or may not be prosecuted in your state, depending upon how they were obtained, whether copyrights exist, and if a video voyeurism statute applies. The site WomenAgainstRevengePorn.com has some step-by-step hints to remove photos. If you have a copy of the nude picture, you can use Google’s …

Defamation
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Florida Court Holds Threat on Facebook to be “Sent” to Victim

In Timothy Ryan O’Leary v. State of Florida, the First District held that Defendant’s threat of bodily harm posted to his Facebook page was “sent” under Florida Statute 836.10 (“Written Threats to Kill or Do Bodily Harm”) because it was viewed by Defendant’s Facebook friend who was a family member …

Defamation
4074

First Amendment / Defamation Case Discusses “Religious Internet Filtration Software”

The case of Darrel Bilbrey v. David Myers and First Pentecostal, Etc. from Florida’s Fifth DCA may be a significant case as to the “church autonomy doctrine” but also yielded a reference to an interesting internet tool:  faith-based internet monitoring. Here’s how this came up in a court opinion: the …

Defamation
3862

Does Your Company Need a Lawyer to Handle Social Media, Twitter and Facebook?

At least one company, Clorox, is looking for a full time, in house lawyer to clean up their social media policies and presence.  Is that necessary? A marketing person (or even an astute college student) could likely develop and monitor Twitter feeds and a Facebook fan page.  But is that …