Monday, September 15, 2014

New Remedy for Online Defamation

From Texas Lawyer by Angela Morris.

The Texas Supreme Court recently set a precedent ruling a court can order an author to delete a defamatory Internet posting but CANNOT stop that author from reposting the same statements elsewhere.  This is a particularly timely ruling due to the number of complaints filed recently regarding online defamation.

Lawyers say the high court's finding gives defamation victims a new remedy.  "With courts grappling with how to handle speech on the Internet, this is a decisive ruling saying, 'Yes, removal is appropriate if its found to be defamatory," says First Amendment lawyer Laura Lee Prather, a partner in Haynes Boone in Austin, who wasn't involved in the case. 

This is a significant ruling as it says a person can't write something that will destroy that individual's online reputation forever.  Thanks to this decision a defendant can't hide behind the old and now defunct rule that injunctions are never available for defamation cases.

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