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Libel

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NEWS
December 16, 1987 | By L. Stuart Ditzen, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
May 12, 1994 | by Kathy Sheehan, Daily News Staff Writer
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 4, 1987 | By ROSE DeWOLF, Daily News Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
November 7, 1986 | By Jane Cope, Special to The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
October 18, 2008 | By Maya Rao INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
NEWS
May 17, 1988 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
March 14, 1987 | By Aaron Epstein, Inquirer Washington Bureau
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...
NEWS
November 25, 1986 | By Cheryl Baisden, Special to The Inquirer
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.
NEWS
March 26, 2002 | By L. Stuart Ditzen INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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.
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NEWS
January 15, 2015 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania Superior Court on Monday rejected an appeal by Carl R. Greene, former head of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, of a lower court's dismissal of a libel suit he filed against The Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News. Greene was required to pay for a hearing transcript to proceed with his appeal. At one point he submitted a check for the transcript, but then he stopped payment, the appellate court said. The lack of payment was ground for dismissal. In 2010, Greene was fired as executive director after the authority's board of commissioners discovered he had secretly settled multiple sexual-harassment complaints against him. A year later, Greene filed suit in Common Pleas Court against Philadelphia Media Network Inc., then the owner of the newspapers and their website.
NEWS
July 13, 2013 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
Former Pennsylvania State University president Graham B. Spanier filed notice in court Thursday that he plans to file a libel and defamation suit against former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh, author of the scathing report that accused Spanier of aiding a conspiracy to conceal the Jerry Sandusky child-sex scandal. Elizabeth K. Ainslie, Spanier's attorney, filed the notice in Centre County Court one day before the first anniversary of the issuance of the Freeh report. Freeh was hired by Penn State to investigate how university officials dealt with allegations that Sandusky, a former assistant football coach, was sexually abusing children.
NEWS
March 5, 2012 | By Michael Hinkelman, Daily News Staff Writer
Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh issued a second apology today - this time on the air - to the Georgetown Law School student he called a "slut" and a "prostitute" on his show last week. But a prominent Philadelphia trial lawyer who's been involved in a number of high-profile defamation cases still thinks the conservative talker is vulnerable to a defamation lawsuit. A number of people have urged the student, Sandra Fluke, to sue Limbaugh, including House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
October 22, 2010 | By Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia Housing Authority Board Chairman John F. Street said Thursday that Carl R. Greene, PHA's former executive director, was responsible for channeling $300,000 to an outside group for political lobbying work and other activities. Speaking with reporters after a PHA board meeting, Street said the board did not know that 1,500 landlords had been ordered to pay $200 each to the Pennsylvania Institute for Affordable Housing Professionals, a PHA-affiliated nonprofit, before they could participate in the federally funded Housing Choice Voucher program.
NEWS
May 12, 2010 | By Barbara Boyer INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Reporters cannot be held liable for false allegations made in a lawsuit if news stories accurately reflect court filings and the story is complete and fair, New Jersey's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The ruling overturned, in part, a 2008 appellate decision against the Record of Bergen County, which had reported allegations contained in a bankruptcy filing. "This decision is a real victory for news organizations in the state, and we're thrilled with the result," said George White, government affairs director for the New Jersey Press Association in Trenton.
SPORTS
March 4, 2010
JOHN DALY IS a world-class golfer when he wants to be. But just because he can hit a ball 600 yards doesn't make him a genius. Daly has his putter all twisted because a failed attempt to sue a Florida newspaper for libel has backfired in a big way. One of the bits of evidence the Florida Times-Union used to defend itself from Daly's libel charge was Daly's PGA Tour disciplinary file. As a result, the file becomes a matter of public record. Whoops. The file, which is 456 pages long, details how Daly had been suspended five times, forced into counseling/rehab seven times and been flagged for insufficient effort a staggering 21 times.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 25, 2010 | HOWARD GENSLER Daily News wire services contributed to this report
IF YOU'RE A CELEBRITY and Tattle says something libelous about you, you may want to sue us in Great Britain. You'd have a better chance of winning and we'd enjoy visiting London. Britain's libel laws, you see, are considered more claimant-friendly than those here in the United States, where you would have to prove that Tattle was both mistaken (very rare) and written maliciously (impossible - we're like the love guru). So, here you'd have to prove that what we wrote was false.
NEWS
October 18, 2009 | By Derrick Nunnally INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In a leafy Montgomery County township just weeks from a November election to elect supervisors, a three-front legal battle from the May Republican primary is still raging. A campaign mailer sent out shortly before primary day has sparked a city-caliber political feud in Lower Providence, a township bracketed by the hillsides of Evansburg State Park and Valley Forge National Historical Park. Two candidates who went on to win the GOP nominations wrote to voters that 72 percent of their opponents' campaign donations had come from people connected with four township vendors.
NEWS
August 14, 2009 | By Barbara Boyer INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Donald Trump is taking another swing at a New York Times writer he contends deliberately underestimated his worth in a book. Lawyers yesterday filed notice with the New Jersey appellate court to fight a Camden County judge's decision last month that dismissed a libel suit Trump filed against Timothy O'Brien. In his 2005 book, TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald, O'Brien quoted three anonymous sources who estimated the mogul's net worth to be in the millions. At the time the book was published, Trump said his net worth exceeded $5 billion.
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