consultants are sandburs

Friday, June 21, 2013

Klayman v. City Pages, latest development. Defendants filed a motion for dismissal, not having filed a responsive pleading. Klayman proposes an amended complaint. By consent, it is to be filed in July.

You can do your own web search beyond this. The case docket is online here, with the below first page of docket item 12. Click the image to enlarge and read:

Klayman's June 6 motion by consent states,

New facts have come to light which have necessitated the amending of the complaint and Plaintiff intends to do so. The actionable conduct is continuing and there are new defamatory publications and other related facts. [,,,] Counsel have agreed that Plaintiff may have until and including July 5, 2013 for Plaintiff to file an amended complaint.

The docket indicates an order of equal date was filed, (Docket Item 13, not downloadable), with this summary given in the docket:

ORDER denying without prejudice 10 Motion to dismiss; granting 12 Motion to reset schedule. Amended complaint due 7/5/13. Signed by Chief Judge Anne C. Conway on 6/6/2013. (LAK) (Entered: 06/06/2013)

Klayman, some may recall, represented Bradlee Dean in suing Rachel Maddow. See reporting here and here. Wonkette, here. Bluestem Prairie, here. N.Y.Times, here. RightWingWatch, here, and e.g., here.

The dismissal motion in the suit against Maddow/MSNBC is posted in Scribd format, here, and these three salient points are from online quoting, here:

The defendants give three reasons in a 51-page motion why Dean's lawsuit is likely to fail:

"One, the broadcasts truthfully reported on Dean’s May 15th statements. Those broadcasts re-played original audio of Dean speaking on the May 15th radio show. Dean does not – and cannot – allege that he did not make those controversial statements. The fact that NBCUniversal broadcast the essence but not the entirety of what Dean said during that radio show, as he now protests, does not change this analysis. Dean bears sole responsibility for the consequences of his words, however much he may try to distance himself from the backlash."

"Two, the commentary or rebuke Maddow offered about Dean’s statements was classic opinion and rhetorical hyperbole, and thus, cannot be actionable as a matter of law. As Dean is entitled to his opinions, however objectionable, so too is Maddow entitled to hers."

"Three, the fair comment privilege protects Maddow’s commentary. The broadcasts featured Dean’s actual statements and clearly indicated the source of those statements. Viewers were free to make up their own minds as to whether they agreed with Maddow’s remarks."

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