A hearing officer has recommended a reprimand for Boston judge and libel-suit winner Ernest B. Murphy over those “fascinatingly repellent” letters he sent to the publisher of the Boston Herald demanding a settlement of what proved a winning $2 million libel suit (Jessica Van Sack, “Public reprimand urged for Judge Murphy”, Boston Herald, Nov. 21; see Sept. 28, etc.). The operators of the Irish Pub & Inn in Atlantic City, New Jersey are suing the publishers of Philly magazine over their description of the tavern as a “dive bar”, and aren’t buying the magazine’s claim that the description was intended as complimentary. (Michael Klein, Philadelphia Inquirer “Inqlings”, Nov. 18). And a New York lower court judge has declined to order Google/Blogspot to divulge the identity of “Orthomom”, whom a Lawrence, N.Y. school board member had sought to sue on the theory that it was defamatory to have termed her a “bigot”. (Nicole Black, Nov. 18, with links to other blog coverage).
More: And Eugene Volokh (Nov. 27) posts today on a disturbing case from Canada in which a lawyer involved in the shutting down of “hate speech” websites proceeded to sue for defamation — successfully so far in the Ontario courts — over having been called (among other things) an “enemy of free speech”.