Patient undergoing sedation for colonoscopy leaves cellphone recording, which picks up a string of insulting remarks made by anesthesiologist and others while he was under. The comments alleged to be defamatory were mostly heard only by other health workers present, so reputational damages are at best uncertain, but a Northern Virginia jury valued the sheer indignity of it all at $500,000. [Washington Post, Orlando Sentinel]
Don’t do it this way, advises Eric Goldman.
After suing client over bad Yelp review, lawyer/therapist winds up filing subpoena, and bar complaint, against a legal blogger often linked in this space [Popehat] “Watch Repairman Threatens Lawsuit Over Negative Yelp Review” [Faces of Lawsuit Abuse; New York, N.Y.] “Hadeed Carpet Cleaning’s Quest to Identify Anonymous Yelp Reviewers Is Stymied – at Least for Now” [Paul Alan Levy]
Is there someone in particular they’re hoping to shut up? [Popehat]
Jennifer Ujimori posted negative reviews on Yelp and Angie’s List after being dissatisfied with her experience with a Burke, Va. dog obedience class. Now the owner is suing her for damages. [Washington Post] Unlike D.C., Maryland and more than half the states, Virginia has not enacted a law (sometimes labeled “anti-SLAPP” statutes) that “allow for the quick dismissal of cases a judge deems to be targeting First Amendment rights.” I’m scheduled to be a guest on Washington, D.C.’s Fox 5 (WTTG) to discuss the case around 8:30 this morning (Friday).
Update: here’s the clip:
“The Nebraska Supreme Court has upheld the dismissal of a libel lawsuit filed over an email that referred to a Seward home inspector as a ‘total idiot.'” [AP/Omaha World-Herald via @VBalasubramani]
Related, and outrageous: Morgan State University (Baltimore) journalism school dean wants to classify religiously irreverent speech as “fighting words,” which would throw into doubt its legal protection [DeWayne Wickham, USA Today] More: Allahpundit, Taranto/WSJ, The College Fix; edited to reflect Wickham’s (non)-clarification of his stance in the last-named link).
P.S. Via @benjaminlam: “Today’s Straits Times [Singapore] carried Feldman’s article.”
- Boss Tweed, in legend, railing against cartoonists: “I don’t care so much what the papers write about — my constituents can’t read — but damn it, they can see pictures.” [David Boaz, Cato] “Jyllands-Posten Not Reprinting Charlie Hebdo Mohammed Cartoons Because ‘Violence Works'” [Ed Krayewski, Reason]
- “Police Scotland will thoroughly investigate any reports of offensive or criminal behaviour online and anyone found to be responsible will be robustly dealt with.” That includes TV personalities’ tweets disparaging to Glasgow [BBC, Alex Massie/Spectator, Elizabeth Nolan Brown] More: Calls mount for repeal of Australia Section 18C speech-crime law, which would ban the French magazine Charlie Hebdo if someone tried to publish it down there [Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, earlier on Andrew Bolt case]
- “Hate speech” concept got rolling when Stalin used it as weapon against democracies [Jacob Mchangama, Hoover, a while back] More on history of speechcrime: antebellum North (not just South) repressed abolitionist opinion, and how the great Macaulay erred on blasphemy law under the Raj [Sam Schulman, Weekly Standard, also a while back]
- “Campaign Finance Laws Don’t Clean Up Politics, But Do Erode Our Freedom” [George Leef, Forbes]
- In case against personal injury lawyer/legal blogger Eric Turkewitz, court rules that critical commentary about medical examiner is protected opinion [Turkewitz, Daniel Fisher/Forbes, Tim Cushing/TechDirt]
- “It is unusual for Swedish courts to hand out prison terms for art works.” [The Guardian on Dan Park case]
- Australian man arrested after loitering around campaigners of incumbent political party wearing “I’m with stupid” T-shirt [Guardian]