Public Figures Bear a Heavy Burden to Show Actual Malice for Defamation in California Many public figures have trouble understanding that they enjoy very limited protection from defamation. Instead, they are required to meet a heavy burden to establish actual malice, which can rarely be proven. “To show actual malice, plaintiffs must demonstrate [that the … Read More
Defamation Defense of Opinion Means that “Rhetorical Hyperbole, Vigorous Epithets, Lusty and Imaginative Expressions of Contempt” are Protected by the First Amendment Many politicians and others in the public eye are bothered by those who express opinions about them that they believe are false. Despite their disappointment, the First Amendment protects rhetorical hyperbole and imaginative … Read More
While Internet users may presume that their anonymous posts on message boards and social media sites will remain anonymous, web surfers may want to think twice before they click “post” as a Ninth Circuit opinion in 2011 allowed the unmasking of anonymous online speakers engaged in commercial speech.