Why Public Figures Should Receive Heightened Defamation Law Protection

At common law, defamation actions were meant to compensate individuals for any harm to reputation they suffered as a result of any defamatory communications made by speakers to third parties. This standard was generally protective of plaintiffs’ reputational interests rather than defendants’ free speech interests. Once a plaintiff made out his prima facie case, it was up to the defendant to raise certain defenses or privileges, such as truth or the litigation privilege… Read More

Palin v. New York Times Company: A Potential Change to Defamation Law and Freedom of the Press

The Supreme Court has consistently recognized a profound national commitment to a free press and the “principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.” New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 270 (1964). Nevertheless, the freedom of the press is subject to certain restrictions, including, notably, defamation law. A recent federal defamation suit filed by Sarah Palin against The New York Times in June 2017, Palin v… Read More