December 16, 1987 |
State Superior Court has reinstated libel and slander charges against two Philadelphia lawyers who made comments to reporters about alleged improper conduct by a third lawyer and a judge in 1983. A three-judge panel ruled that Gregory M. Harvey and David H. Marion might have defamed Gustine J. Pelagatti in discussing with reporters an allegation that Pelagatti had colluded with Common Pleas Court Judge Bernard Snyder to win an $8.5 million verdict for a client. The allegation concerning Pelagatti and Snyder was made by Jill Cohen, a former law clerk of Snyder's, in a court proceeding in July 1983.
May 12, 1994 |
Common Pleas Judge Lisa Richette once threw "a minor hissy fit" over a frayed microphone wire, Philadelphia magazine wrote in a story in July. Now the magazine knows what a major hissy fit is. The flamboyant and sometimes controversial jurist is suing Philadelphia magazine for libel, demanding $1.3 million for being held up to public scorn in a piece about court watchers. Richette was quoted in the article about the so-called "roving jurors" as saying the band of mostly senior citizens was "wonderful.
February 4, 1987 |
The number-one rule of all screenwriters assigned to turn a real-life event into a movie is: Don't Let the Facts Get in the Way of a Good Story. Dull events are glossed over, interesting parts are embellished. The hero becomes even more heroic, or perhaps, just sexier, than was actually the case. This is called "dramatic license. " And it has existed as long as humans have told stories. Recently, however, that license has come under attack. Just last week, the producers and distributors of the 1979 movie "The Bell Jar" agreed to pay Massachusetts psychiatrist Jane V. Anderson $150,000 to settle the lawsuit in which she claimed the movie defamed her. And a final hearing is expected any day on a claim by Ray E. Davis, who headed the U.S. Military Group in Santiago, Chile, in 1973, that he was defamed in the film "Missing.
November 7, 1986 |
The Willingboro School District's athletic director has been found to have libeled a former parochial high school coach and has been ordered to pay $22,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. A jury in Superior Court in Burlington County said the director, Richard Lutrell, libeled Barry Harper, Holy Cross High School freshman basketball coach, in a letter to the Trenton Diocese of Education. The letter followed a brawl at the end of a 1983 basketball game between the parochial team and Willingboro's John F. Kennedy High School.
October 18, 2008 |
Evesham Deputy Mayor Chris Brown sued the Burlington County Republican Committee for libel yesterday, contending the GOP defamed him by asserting in a campaign commercial that he accepted illegal campaign contributions. Also named in the Superior Court complaint are county freeholders Aubrey Fenton and Stacey Jordan, who are running against Brown and his running mate Mary Anne Reinhart in the Nov. 4 election, and Republican county clerk candidate Gary Woodend. Brown is seeking punitive and compensatory damages.
May 17, 1988 |
A panel of federal appeals judges yesterday injected new life into a twice- dismissed, five-year-old libel case against Time magazine by a former business associate of Raymond J. Donovan, the Reagan administration's former labor secretary. The complex 51-page opinion written by Judge Edward R. Becker of the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals deals with six legal issues that arose from the libel suit filed against Time Inc. by Ronald A. Schiavone and Schiavone Construction Co. of Secaucus, N.J. Donovan was a minority owner of the company before his appointment as secretary of labor in 1981.
May 6, 2011
YORK - A central Pennsylvania author being sued for defamation has been ordered to pay the plaintiff $10,000 for failing to adequately respond to pretrial questions. A York County judge yesterday ruled that William Keisling's 174 pages of answers were unresponsive to the lawsuit's allegations. Russell Wantz Jr., owner of a detective agency, alleges that Keisling published defamatory material about him in the book "The Midnight Ride of Jonathan Luna. " Luna, 38, was a federal prosecutor from Baltimore found dead in a rural Pennsylvania creek in December 2003.
March 14, 1987 |
A federal appeals court, issuing a strong endorsement of investigative journalism, ruled yesterday that the Washington Post does not have to pay a $2 million libel judgment obtained in 1982 by a former president of Mobil Oil Co. The 7-1 decision was an important victory for the nation's journalists because it rejected the notion that a newspaper's policy of encouraging "hard-hitting investigative stories" could be used as evidence that it...
November 25, 1986 |
After a walkout by four of its members, the Willingboro school board voted 5-0 last night to ask a county Superior Court judge whether the board may pay any of the $22,000 in fines recently levied against Willingboro athletic director Richard Lutrell in a libel case. The five board members who voted want the board to pay the damages, while the four who walked out said that Lutrell should be held personally liable. On Nov. 5, a county Superior Court judge found that Lutrell had libeled Barry Harper, a Holy Cross High School coach, in a 1983 letter to the Trenton Diocese of Education.
March 26, 2002 |
Samuel E. Klein, a widely respected lawyer who devoted much of his career to defending news organizations in libel cases and fighting to keep government proceedings and records open to the public, died at his Chestnut Hill home yesterday of an apparent heart attack. Mr. Klein, 55, a partner in the Dechert law firm in Center City, had gone to work yesterday morning but soon returned home, telling his wife, Rebekah, that he didn't feel well. He was stricken not long afterward. Word of Mr. Klein's death spread rapidly through the legal community.