Last time, California’s anti-SLAPP law rendered MSNBC host Rachel Maddow an early exit from a bogus defamation lawsuit brought by one of the few “news” outlets that’s farther to the right than Fox News, One America News.
OAN claimed it had been libelled when Maddow referred to one of its hosts as a “Kremlin-paid journalist.” This comment referred to OAN “reporter” Kristian Rouz’s concurrent employment as a Sputnik “journalist.” Sputnik is owned by the Russian governments tends to produce precisely the sort of reporting you’d expect from such an arrangement.
As the court observed during its dismissal of the dres, Maddow’s position at MSNBC is one of a commentator — someone expected to give their opinion on world events. Thus, the stuff OAN was arguing( severely) was libelous was actually protected mind. And it was informed opinion that had basis in fact: Rouz did work for Sputnik and did render information on the Russian government’s behalf.
Now, OAN owes MSNBC and Maddow some fund. Losing a defamation dres via an anti-SLAPP motion means the triumphant party can asking questions law rewards. As Mary Papenfuss reports for Huffington Post, OAN’s parent company( Herring Networks) has been ordered to write a very big check.
A federal adjudicate in California has prescribed the parent company of far-right One America News Network to pay Rachel Maddow and MSNBC $250,000 in lawyers’ costs for a neglected defamation dispute.
Of trend, the check isn’t as good as written fairly hitherto.
Herring Networks President Charles Herring told the website Law& Crime in the following statement that the company will appeal the costs.
No fear Herring hopes to refund the losses it foisted on itself by engaging in this BS lawsuit. But it seems unlikely the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court will find in favor of the failed plaintiffs. This was a spectacular loss by OAN and its mother busines. The lower courtroom slam the door on any rewrites by OAN, preparing the stage for this court-ordered opening of OAN’s wallet.
Because there is no named of details that could patronize a claim for defamation based on Maddow’s statement, the complaint is dismissed with injustice.
The court’s order[ PDF] discusses all the procedural trash — including OAN’s multiple rationales in favor of lower costs — before settling on a total:
The Court accolades Accuseds fees in the amount of $247,667.50 representing 53.5 hours billed by Mr. Boutrous at $1,150 per hour, 19.1 hours billed by Mr. Edelman at $1,050 per hour, 130.6 hours billed by Mr. Bach at $720 per hour, 127.9 hours billed by Ms. Moshell at $470 per hour, 15.8 hours billed by Mr. Rubin at $470 per hour, 14.9 hours billed by Ms. Gadberry at $280 per hour, and 1.3 hours billed by Mr. Amponsah at $265 per hour, and costs in the amount of $10,724.36.
The real instruction being learn here is how expensive it is to defend yourself from a bogus defamation dispute. Even in a state with a solid anti-SLAPP law, it still payments hundreds of thousands of dollars to get a lawsuit dismissed. Position without anti-SLAPP laws subject defendants to additional rounds of case, all of which increase the cost of defending against even the most ridiculous allegations.
That tell me anything, strong anti-SLAPP laws are a great deterrent. Would-be plaintiffs tend to be a bit more cautious when there’s a chance they’ll be paying everyone’s law greenbacks, rather than just their own.
Read more: techdirt.com