Roberts & Abrams vs. Mintz: New Jersey Appellate Court Ruling on Online Defamation/Libel Case

Eugene Volokh of Volokh Conspiracy brings attention to a New Jersey case (Donna Roberts & Dawn Abrams vs. Clifford Mintz) regarding online defamation and libel case. It concerns a blogger who openly complained (using profanity and emotionally-charged language) about the business practices of dog breeders after the blogger discovered that the dog he bought and received was not how it was represented.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/07/27/bloggers-criticism-of-alleged-dog-grifter-dog-breeders-was-constitutionally-protected-opinion/?wpisrc=nl_volokh&wpmm=1

The New Jersey Appellate Court decision can be found here: http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/a1563-14.pdf

Eugene Volokh of the 1st Amendment Clinic at UCLA (working with Public Citizen) filed an amicus brief on the case in support of Clifford Mintz's position:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2016/07/Brief-of-Amicus-Curiae-Public-Citizen-2.pdf

The Humane Society of the U.S. had interest in this case as noted by their page on the case: http://www.humanesociety.org/news/resources/docket/roberts_and_abrams_v_mintz.html

The appellate court came to the conclusion that context had to be a consideration, not simple the words and phrases being used. The court states that opinions, name-calling, and hyperbole are not legally defamatory and not actionable.

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