The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 30 student(s).
Current registration and enrollment status: enrolled: 31/30, only registered: 0/30
Fields of study the course is directly associated with
(1) Understanding of the key common law, statutory, and constitutional features of American defamation law (libel and slander).
(2) Appreciation of the role that First Amendment principles favoring free speech and free press have played in shaping defamation law.
(3) Knowledge of how American defamation law changes as a result of state and federal court decisions and statutory developments.
(4) Skill in applying the principles of American defamation law to actual fact situations.
Read 152-75 and prepare Problems 3-1 and 3-2
A. Traditional Rules and Constitutional Transformation
B. Libel and Slander
C. What Statements are Defamatory?
1. Disgrace is Essential
2. Defamatory in Whose Eyes?
3. Rules of Construction
4. Pleading Extrinsic Facts to Prove Defamation
Problem 3-1: The Teenage Sex Epidemic
D. Falsity Requirement
1. Assertion of Fact
a. Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co.
b. Applying Milkovich
Problem 3-2: The Ex-Governor’s Divorce
Read 176-91 and prepare Problems 3-3 and 3-4
2. Defamation Based on Conduct
3. Substantial Truth
E. Colloquium Requirement: “Of and Concerning the Plaintiff”
1. Group Defamation
2. Fictional Portrayals
3. Institutional Plaintiffs
4. Criticism of Ideas
5. Defamation of the Dead
6. Unintended Reference to the Plaintiff
Problem 3-3: The Poor Bar Pass Rate
1. “Compelled” Self-Publication
2. Distributors of Defamatory Publications
3. Statements on the Internet
4. Intra-Entity and Fellow Agent Communications
Problem 3-4: The Botched Cover Letter
Read 191-211 and prepare Problems 3-5 and 3-6
G. Fault as to Falsity under Constitutional Principles
1. Category I: Public Officials and Public Figures Suing with Respect to Matters of Public Concern
a. Strict Liability at Common Law
b. New York Times v. Sullivan
c. Who is a Public Official?
d. Treating Public Figures the Same as Public Official
Problem 3-5: The Law Clerk at the State Supreme Court
e. Proving “Actual Malice”
(1) The Meaning of “Actual Malice”
(2) Standard of Proof and Judicial Review
(3) Applying Supreme Court Principles
(a) Example: Freedom Newspapers of Texas v.
Problem 3-6: The Racial Profiling Story
Read 211-234 and prepare Problems 3-7 and 3-8
2. Category II: Private Persons Suing with Respect to Matters of Public
a. Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc.
b. Applying the Gertz standards
c. Defamation in Politics
Problem 3-7: The Defamed Telemarketer
3. Category III: Anyone Suing with Respect to Matters of Private Concern
a. Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. v. Greenmoss Builders, Inc.
b. Distinguishing Private Concern from Public Concern
(1) Example: Quigley v. Rosenthal
c. Doubts About Presumed Damages Today
Problem 3-8: The Fired Professor
Read 234-252 and prepare Problems 3-9 and 3-10
1. Emotional Distress
2. Limitations on Punitive Damages
Problem 3-9: The Alumni Magazine
I. Defenses and Obstacles to Recovery
1. The Communications Decency Act of 1996
a. The Congressional Language
b. Internet Service Providers and Distributor Liability
c. Website Operators
d. Anonymous Postings on the Internet
(1) Example: Krinsky v. Doe No. 6
Problem 3-10: The SBA Survey
The first 15 minutes will be a lecture-style review of the course. The final 60 minutes will be devoted to the final exam.
Study materials will be handed over to the students before and during the course.
This course will be taught using the “problem method.” The methodology will be the same as in American law schools. Reading assignments and discussion problems will be taken from the following text: Vincent R. Johnson, Advanced Tort Law: A Problem Approach (LexisNexis 2010).
For each class, student s will read about 20 pages and prepare to discuss two problems in class. Because of the way the book is formatted, the assignments will read quickly.
In class, the professor will briefly lecture for several minutes on substantive law, using Power Point. Most of the class time will be used to discuss the day’s two assigned problems. For each problem, one or two students will be called on to take the lead in explaining their analysis of the facts. The professor will use the “Socratic method” to question those students and other members of the class about the problems.
The last class period will be used for a review and written exam, which will consist of about twenty multiple choice questions similar in style and format to questions that appear on the American Multistate Bar Examination.
Perfect attendance will count for 10% of the final grade. The written final exam will count for the remainder of the grade.
Language in which the course is taught
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)