Era of decreased libel protection

Era of decreased libel protection - decisions and takes the...

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Era of decreased libel protection 1974-present Gertz V. Welch (1974, Sup. Ct.) A Chicago Police officer is involved in a shooting in which a young man was shot to death. The officer was tried and convicted of murder and was sent to prison. The family of the slain man files a lawsuit against the officer and the Chicago Police Department for monetary reimbursement. The family hires Elmer Gertz to represent them in court. Robert Welch, the editor of The American opinion Magazine, a highly conservative, anti- communist and part of the John Birch Society, accuses attorney Elmer Gertz of being part of a larger communist conspiracy to frame the Chicago Police officer. An article implied that Gertz had a criminal article and portrayed Gertz as a “communist fronter.” Gertz turns around and sues Robert Welch and the magazine for libel. The trial and appellate courts hold that the defendants should not pay the plaintiff, Elmer Gertz, a cent. Both courts called upon the Rosenbloom standard. Gertz then appeals the lower courts
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Unformatted text preview: decisions and takes the case to the Supreme Court. In 1974, reverses the lower courts decisions and holds that Elmer Gertz should collect monetary finds from Welch and The American Opinion Magazine. The Supreme Court simultaneously strikes down the decision but also strikes down the Rosenbloom Standard. If you are a public figure or public official you must still prove malice. If you are a private plaintiff, you need only to prove negligence. Rosenbloom- a private plaintiff involved in a case that is part of a larger public interest must prove malice. The supreme court develops the Limited Public Figure standard: (people who have to prove actual malice) 1.) a person who throws oneself to the forefront of a public controversy to resolve issues involved. Ex: An activist a. Elmer Gertz was not actively soliciting his services to the family, it was the reverse. 2.) Or one who holds especial prominence in the affairs of society....
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