Happy (?) Be Nasty Day!

by Joshua Kahn


Image by Crosa

March 8th is national Be Nasty Day (do not ask us how this got started) and a wonderful occasion to review a few defamation lawsuits.

We all know that somewhere deep in the bowels of case reporters lurk some outrageous cases, and here are a few for your procrastinatory enjoyment:

Newman v. Delahunty, 681 A.2d 671 (1994)
Apparently, it’s not impossible to defame a political candidate.

Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988)
The name pretty much says it all.

Burnett v. National Enquirer, Inc, 144 Cal.App. 3d 991 (1983)
Did “a boisterous Carol Burnett had a loud argument with another diner, Henry Kissinger. . . traipse around the place offering everyone a bite of her dessert. . . [then] accidentally knocked a glass of wine over one diner and start giggling instead of apologizing?”

If you want to learn more about defamation law, we have a number of good books on the topic in the library stacks.

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