Bloggers Win A Lot Of Lawsuits

In an article concerning insurance and blogging, Christopher Boggs tosses out an interesting bit of information concerning lawsuits against bloggers:

Nearly 77 percent of ALL civil cases were found in favor of the blogger or saw the charges dropped by the plaintiff. And 92 percent of blog-related suits making it to trial end in blogger triumph (additional information availble at Media Law Resource Center). Odds at trial are overwhelmingly in the blogger’s favor, but there is no guarantee that this propensity towards blogger victory will continue.

As Boggs notes, nearly all of these victories have been on the grounds of the First Amendment. But that will only hold up as long as the bloggers themselves are responsible:

First Amendment protection requires, among other standards, bloggers, like journalists, to practice and prove due diligence in the gathering and reporting of “factual” information. Bloggers must also prove that no actual malice was intended by statements or information ultimately found to be incorrect or untrue. Opinions, stated as opinion and not fact, published by bloggers are also potentially immune from charges of libel under the First Amendment since there is no such thing as a false opinion.

The article specifically looks at a SLAPP, a lawsuit that is meant not necessarily to win but to scare others out of the conversation.  A “don’t talk or we’ll sue you, too,” type thing.  There are anti-SLAPP statutes in 27 states.  Virginia is not one of them.

UPDATE: Things To Do Before I’m 30

Back on my birthday I posted a list of things I’d like to do before I’m 30:

  • Write another novel.
  • Record an album.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Catch a major league baseball game.
  • Visit Yankee Stadium (I’d have to do that this year anyway)
  • Graduate.
  • Get back in touch with old friends.
  • Learn to dance.

Two and a half down (half is the “old friends”, I’ve gotten back in touch with some but need to do so with more), many more to go.  I’m trying to think of other things to add but at this point I’m having enough trouble with this list, why should I add more?  Suggestions are certainly welcome, tho.