Defamation Claims Come of Age on the Internet

, New York Law Journal


Shari Claire Lewis
Shari Claire Lewis

2. See, e.g., Urbanski v. Township of Edison, No. L-4201-09 (N.J. App. Div. Jan. 17, 2014) (allegations of hostile work environment including "insulting comment" posted about plaintiff on website); Sorensen v. Fayerweather Yacht Club, No. CV136033440S (Conn. Super. Ct. Dec. 13, 2013) (allegations that defamatory statement was published on club's Internet homepage); Fitzgerald v. Pricone, No. CV125015694S (Conn. Super. Ct. Nov. 27, 2013) (allegations of defamatory statements made on social media websites). The Digital Media Law Project (part of Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society) maintains a database of "threats" to Internet journalists and bloggers that identifies many defamation suits that are pending around the nation. See

3. See, e.g., Leser v. Penido, 62 A.D.3d 510 (1st Dep't 2009); subsequent appeal at 96 A.D.3d 578 (1st Dep't 2012); summary judgment granted by 2013 N.Y. Slip Op. 30352(U) (Sup.Ct. N.Y. Co. Feb. 21, 2013).

4. 2013 N.Y. Slip Op. 33388(U) (Sup.Ct. N.Y. Co. Dec. 9, 2013).

5. See Rokofsky v. Washington Post, 39 Misc. 3d 1226 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. 2013).

6. The court characterized the case as the "proverbial poster child for e-filing" as electronic filing would have saved reams of paper, been more efficient, and preserved limited judicial resources. Id. at n.1.

7. It is worth observing that the court rejected the plaintiff's claims under §§50 and 51 when it found that no commercial issues had been raised and that §§50 and 51 did not apply to "newsworthy events or matters of public interest." The court concluded that coverage of the plaintiff's conduct in the criminal trial and comments regarding it were matters of public concern and therefore not actionable.

8. Sandals Resorts Intl. v. Google, 86 A.D.3d 32 (1st Dep't 2011).

9. Obsidian Finance Group v. Cox, No. 12-35238, No. 12-35319 (9th Cir. Jan. 17, 2014).

10. 558 U.S. 310, 352 (2010).

11. Matter of Konig v. CSC Holdings, 112 A.D.3d 934 (2d Dep't 2013).

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