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60 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
What is the VA statute of limitations on libel?
1 year
What are the 3 complete defenses that VA law gives for libel?
expiration of the statute of limitations, qualified privilege, and opinion
What is summary judgment?
When the defendent tries to have a case dissmissed before it even goes to court.
defendants do/or do not need to produce evidence, but if the case is dismissed they do/don't
don't, do
Libel plaintiffs can hold only ___ law suit(s) against the same defendant based on one publication.
If the defendant produces evidence that the material is _____, the defendant will win.
No suit can be brought after ____ year(s) of publication of the material, in VA.
What are the two types of qualified privilege?
qualified and absolute
What are the three situations in which absolute privilege applies?
proceedings of legislative bodies, judicial proceedings, and communications by military and naval officers
The opinion defense can be sub-divided into:
the publication of pure opinion and the privilege of fair comment and criticism
_____ is probably a complete defense as well.
In addition, the developing defenses of what can protect journalists from some libel verdicts?
good reporting and neutral reporting
When does the clock begin running on a libel action? (in terms of statute of limitations)
when the publication is generally available to the public. not from the copyright date or the date that may appear on the publication.
true or false: VA has held that the single publication rule applies in the commonwealth.
In the absence of what rule could a plaintiff sue the defendant for libel in every circuit in VA where the defamatory material was circulated?
the single-publication rule
fill in the blank: Absolutely privileged communications are those made in ___________.
the course of conducting government business.
true or false: A member of the Virginia General Assembly can say anything from the chamber floor without fear of a defamation action.
What does a "qualified privilege" mean?
persons reporting on or discussing the events that ocur in absolutely privileged forums are protected from libel suits if certain qualifications are met.
What the qulifications that need to be met for reporting with qualified privilege?
report must be accurate, fair, and made without common law malice, aka without ill will or spite
what is common law malice?
reporting with ill will or spite
does the qualified privilege attach even if the record is in effor and, therefore, a areport based on the record is an error?
Qualified privilege has been held to attach to various reports from sources that were NOT governmental. True or False?
Communications b/n employers and employees and among employees in the same company have been held to be privileged. True or False? Explain.
True. B/c the law recognizes that privilege attaches to communications b/n parties who have common interests.
Specifically, a qualified privilege defense can be defeated upon showing of....
actual malice, use of intemperate or disproportionate language, deliberate over-exposure of the charges or over-publicity, or gross indifference.
T/F: The qualified privilege defense can be defeated upon a showing of negligence.
Can a broadcaster be held liable for defamatory statements made by or on behalf of any candidate for public office? Under any circumstances?
In what two ways are statements of opinion protected in VA?
1. if a satement is considered pure opinion (it can'tbe proved to be true or false), it isn't considered defamatory and therefore isn't actionable. 2. if reasonable ppl can disagree on the truth or falsity of a statement and if the statement is based on facts that are provably true or false, the statement is considered fair comment or criticism and is protected when certain qualifications are met.
What is a "pure opinion" statement?
it cant be proved to be true or false
T/F: Va protects pure opinion as a category speech, and so does the USSC.
true and false. va does but ussc doesn't (Milkovich v Lorain Journal)
statements of opinion are not part of a special category speech that is automatically protected
Milkovich v. Lorain JOurnal
a statement can't be defamatory unless it can be proved false
Milkovich v. Lorain Journal
statements of opinion are implicitly proteted, since they cannot be proved to be false
milkovich v lorain journal
is it defamatory to call someone inexperienced? why or why not?
no. it is a statement of opinion
is it defamatory to say a person or agency charges excessie fees for its serices
is it defamatory to say that a person is discourteous
is it defamatory to say "personally i wouldn't trust him as far as i can throw him" ?
in libel actions, who is the responsbility upon to determine whether a statement is one of fact or opinion?
the court. NOT the jury..
Is a statement defamatory that says a person received negative performance evaluations b/c of the person's responses to so-called sexual harassment? Why or why not?
Yes. B/c it is a statement of fact.
Is it defamatory to call a person ho crossed a picket line a traitor? Why or why not?
Yes. B/c it is a statement of fact.
What does "fair comment and criticism" mean?
Its a qualified privilege that protects commentary based on statements of fact.
In order for the fair comment and criticism defense to work in VA, what are the qualifications?
the comment must be on matters of public concer, based on statements of fact that are accurately stated, and be made w/o common law malice (without ill will, hatred, or spite)
courts in many jurisdictions also require that in order for the fair comment and criticism defense to work (in va), the comment expressed must be the genuine opinion of who? and who not?
the publisher. NOT a news account relating the opinion of another.
What does the plaintiff have to prove in order to win a libel lawsuit?
publication, identification, defamation, falsity, damages, and fault (PIDFDF=patty (publication) is (ID) dumb (defamatin) for (falsity) doing (damages) fireworks (fault)
can the original publisher be sued for the republication if it is the natural and probable consequenc of the original publication?
can someone prove identification through a photograph or a cartoon?
can someone prove identification based entirly upon description?
yes. Alexandria Port Packet (Gazette v Harris)
how small defames a group, how small does the group need to b for a person of that group to sue for defamation and win?
somewhere between 25-100.
supreme court case that barred libel lawsuits against the govt or a govt agency, no matter what the size of the agency.
new york times v sullivan
supreme court case that said the const doesn't allow gov officials to assume they have been identified by impersonal attacks on the govt and respond with libel actions.
new york times v sullivan
if courts determine that a __________ _______ might be able to identify the individual from references in a defamatory publication, the courts in VA are likely to rule that identification has been proved
reasonable person
what are the two main va court cases that deal with the issue of identification?
Port Packet and Freedlander
published material that tends to lower someones reputation or cause tehm harm.
libel per se
libel on its face
libel per quad
published words arent defamatory on their face, but become defamatory when additional, unpublished facts are taken into account. Must prove special damages for this, (document exactly how much money has been lost as a result of libel)
in va, published material is libelous per se if:
1. it charges someone with a criminal offense involving moral turpitude for which the person could be indicted and punished; 2. it charges someone with having some contagious disease that would exclude the person from society; 3. it charges someone with being unfit to perform the duties of his/her job or with an abasence of integrity needed to perform those duties; 4. it damages a person's ability to earn a living
which type of libel can be the bais of a lawsuit w/o proof of special damages?
libel per se
is it libelous per se in va to report that someone is insane?
no. the defendant that got called insaine woudl have to prove special damages to win this lawsuit.
is it libel per se to falsly report that a person is dead?
is it libel per se to report that an attorney is unethical?
yes. b/c its likely to directly affect the attorney's profession.
how does va define the first category of libel per se, libel that charges an individual with some criminal offense involving moral turpitude for which the person could be indicted and published?
crime must be serious, which mean a felony, punishable by imprisonment.or a msdemeanor that involves moral turpitude, which is an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellow man, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty b/n man and man.