Some would argue that this is exactly the way it should work, and that authors who aren’t able to prove their claims should be prepared to pay the price. But the U.S. Supreme Court in Sullivan feared that legitimate stories would go unreported if that price was a crippling damage award. The jury’s verdict may seem like a vindication to Ventura, but it reminds those who write about public figures, especially in the freewheeling world of the blogosphere, that they do so at their own risk. It’s a sobering way to mark the 50th anniversary of New York Times v. Sullivan.
Jane Kirtley, on the jury verdict that awarded Jesse Ventura, “professional gadfly and raconteur,” a total of $1.8 million in his lawsuit against Navy SEAL and “American Sniper” Chris Kyle.
Kyle wrote in his book that after hearing a celebrity former SEAL he dubbed “Scruff Face” badmouth the war in Iraq and his fellow soldiers, he knocked the guy out in a bar fight. Kyle later identified “Scruff Face” as Ventura, and Ventura sued saying the book and Kyle’s comments were a lie, defamed him, and that Kyle was unjustly enriched as a result.
An appeal in the suit is likely.
When Comcast decided to get bigger, … we all had to ask ourselves, Are we big enough? We all have to think about getting bigger.
Here’s what I submitted a little while ago:
Due to the Internet’s crucial role in the commerce, communication, and civic engagement of every single American (not to mention every single person in the world), I strongly urge the Commission to classify Internet Service Providers as Title II common carriers, reject any form of a “fast lane” for Internet communication, and apply these rules to all means of accessing the Internet available today and those yet to be created.
*You might’ve noticed I haven’t posted in awhile! I’ve been busy. After spending a year teaching at Simpson College, I took a job at Quinnipiac University. Then some stuff happened. Anyway, I’m going to try and post a little more regularly again.
People use the phrase ‘the fog of war,’ but this is a case that seems to be the fog of law.
Eugene Fidell military law researcher/lecturer, Yale University
I don’t know if this dissertation is any good, but if I could choose to make any impact at all, I’d like to see more legal scholars use the term “foggy doctrine” once it’s published. Foggy doctrine.