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Category Archives: Defamation

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Silence can be golden: interlocutory restraints on defamatory speech

Posted in Defamation
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A recent decision from the British Columbia Supreme Court is a reminder that interlocutory restraints on speech are possible in Canada, albeit in rare circumstances. In Richardson v. Hunter, 2014 BCSC 1960, the court issued an interlocutory injunction to restrain the defendant from publishing words that suggest that the plaintiff engaged in criminal conduct. The… Continue Reading

Defamation, Corporate News Releases and the Potential Liability of Directors.

Posted in Defamation
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In 2012, the B.C. Supreme Court dismissed a defamation claim over a corporate news release that provided general information about the intended response to a lawsuit.  The case was dismissed on the grounds that news releases issued by public companies to report on litigation brought against them are published on occasions of either absolute or… Continue Reading

Does absolute privilege protect statements made before a regulatory tribunal?

Posted in Administrative/Regulatory, Defamation
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Are submissions, evidence and statements made in a regulatory proceeding subject to the same protection of absolute privilege that applies in a court? Not always; it depends on the proceeding. In Wilson v Williams, 2013 BCCA 471, the court held that absolute privilege did not apply to statements made in letters submitted by persons who… Continue Reading

Defamation and Corporate News Releases

Posted in Defamation
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Likely to the relief of publicly traded companies, the B.C. Supreme Court recently dismissed a claim in defamation over a corporate news release that provided general information about the intended response to a lawsuit.  The court did so on the grounds that news releases issued by companies to report on litigation brought against them are… Continue Reading

Canadian Law of Defamation And The John Furlong Allegations

Posted in Defamation
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Headlines in Canada have been dominated recently by allegations published by the Georgia Straight newspaper in Vancouver against John Furlong, the former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics. The allegations are serious. They claim Furlong physically abused First Nation students when he was a teacher in Burns Lake, B.C. in 1969. In response, Furlong issued a… Continue Reading

Facebook Defamation Case Heard by the Supreme Court of Canada

Posted in Defamation
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This post was submitted by Lawson Lundell guest author, Toby Kruger. On May 10, 2012, Marko Vesely and Toby Kruger appeared at the Supreme Court of Canada on behalf of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (“BCCLA”) in A.B. by her Litigation Guardian, C.D., v Bragg Communications. In this case, a 15 year-old girl (A.B.) in… Continue Reading

How to Find Your Defamer on the Internet

Posted in Defamation
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The internet is a wonderful thing.  It provides instant access to a universe of information on nearly endless subjects.  It is a worldwide forum for the exchange of content and ideas.  Anyone with access to a computer can opine on anything or anybody.  Frequently, commentators stray across the line and post defamatory content, often because… Continue Reading

Lawson Lundell’s Marko Vesely quoted in Vancouver Sun Voicemail Hacking Article

Posted in Defamation, Miscellaneous
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The voicemail hacking scandal that brought down News of the World has raised questions about voicemail safety around the world. Gillian Shaw at the Vancouver Sun spoke to Lawson Lundell’s Marko Vesely to hear his thoughts on how these actions violate B.C.’s privacy act and Canada’s criminal code. Since then, the article has been picked… Continue Reading

Twitter and Pro Athletes Revisited – When will you Learn?

Posted in Defamation
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This is the second installment of my blog updates.  The first was on the legal wranglings of the sale of Liverpool F.C.   This is on Twitter and pro athletes. In the wake of Liverpool striker Ryan Babel tweeting on a referee and being charged and fined by his league for “improper conduct” enter England and… Continue Reading

Courtney Love Settles Twitter Defamation Case for $430,000

Posted in Defamation
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I opened an earlier blog post on the topic of defamation over Twitter with the hypothetical question, “How much damage can you do to a person’s reputation in 140 characters?”  Accordingly to Courtney Love’s recent settlement of an infamous defamation action against her, the answer seems to be – well over US$400,000. Former Hole frontwoman… Continue Reading

“To Tweet or Not to Tweet That is the Question”: Twitter and Sports Stars a Deadly Combination

Posted in Defamation
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A few months ago on this blog, my colleague Marko Vesely posted an excellent piece on “Defamation and Libel Meets Twitter”.  For those of you who just want the “take-home”, the ultimate message remains the same – with every Facebook update, blog post or “tweet”, in the eyes of the law you are “publishing” and… Continue Reading

Anti-SLAPP Legislation on the Horizon

Posted in Civil Procedure, Commercial, Defamation
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On October 28, 2010, a panel commissioned by the Ontario Attorney General delivered its report, recommending that the province enact legislation to address so-called strategic litigation against public participation or “SLAPP” suits.  The panel was chaired by Mayo Moran, the dean of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.  According to the government’s press release,… Continue Reading

WiFi and Breach of Privacy

Posted in Civil Procedure, Defamation, Fraud
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No day goes by without some new internet peril being drawn to our attention.  The most recent evil is an internet based program called Firesheep.   Like others (i.e. Wireshark, Tshark, Snort, Nmap, etc.), this program, a free download on the internet, allows users to troll cyberspace for open WiFi networks and, by doing so, access… Continue Reading

Defamation in the Age of Facebook

Posted in Defamation
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The brave new frontier for the law of defamation today is definitely social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and – yes – blogs too. The last couple of years have seen claims for defamation (libel) move from the traditional print and broadcast media to the Web 2.0, starting with Facebook. By way of background –… Continue Reading

Defamation and Libel Meets Twitter

Posted in Defamation
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How much damage can you do to a person’s reputation in 140 characters? If one were to judge from the flurry of defamation cases involving Twitter and similar social media that have been filed in the past couple of years, the answer is, “Enough to interest a lawyer.”  As you probably already know if you’re… Continue Reading