Laura Prather in the Texas Lawyer: New Remedy for Online Defamation

09/04/2014


The Texas Supreme Court recently set precedent by ruling that a court can order an author to delete a defamatory Internet posting, but cannot stop him from reposting the same statements elsewhere.

Rather than a permanent injunction to restrict future posts—which would be an unconstitutional prior restraint on free speech—the court's award of damages to the victim is the right way to deter any future defamation, wrote Justice Debra Lehrmann in Kinney v. Barnes...

Lawyers familiar with the case said that the high court's finding gives defamation victims a new remedy.

"With courts still grappling with how to handle speech on the Internet, this is a decisive ruling saying, 'Yes, removal is appropriate if it's found the posting is defamatory,'" said First Amendment lawyer Laura Lee Prather, a partner in Haynes and Boone, LLP in Austin, who wasn't involved in the case.

Excperted from the Texas Lawyer, September 4, 2014. To view full article, click here (subscription required).

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