Laura Prather in NY Times: Elon Musk Ordered to Stand Trial in Cave Explorer’s Defamation Case

11/20/2019

Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner Laura Prather offered insight to The New York Times about a lawsuit against tech billionaire Elon Musk, who has been ordered to stand trial for defamation.

Here is an excerpt:

A federal judge delivered a pair of legal setbacks to the tech billionaire Elon Musk this week, rejecting Mr. Musk’s attempt to throw out a defamation lawsuit brought against him by a British cave explorer whom Mr. Musk had accused on Twitter of being a “pedo guy.”

The judge, Stephen V. Wilson in United States District Court in Los Angeles, also ruled that the explorer, Vernon Unsworth, was not a public figure — meaning the bar will be lower for him to prove defamation.

Laura Prather, a First Amendment lawyer with the law firm Haynes and Boone who is not involved in the case, said the determination that Mr. Unsworth was a private figure made it much easier for him to succeed in trial.

“With actual malice, you have to basically have known that what you were saying was false,” she said. “With negligence, it’s just whether or not you exercised due care.”

To read the full article, click here.

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