In the first, Pyle discusses the question of whether journalists who publish online should be required to defend libel lawsuits outside their home states. In general, a reporter cannot be sued in far-off state just for publishing an article online about a person who lives there. However, Illinois-based journalist Michael Volpe was recently required to defend a case in Massachusetts because he sent two emails into the Commonwealth attempting to check facts for a story. In the fact-checking emails, Volpe included a link to an allegedly defamatory story he’d written previously. Pyle points out that the ruling poses legal risks to journalists for the everyday activity of checking facts over state lines. You can read more of Pyle’s thoughts here.
The second article concerns a recent Superior Court judge’s ruling that persons who participate in FINRA arbitrations are covered by the Massachusetts “anti-SLAPP” law, which protects against “strategic lawsuits against public participation.” Pyle said the decision is “logical” and a “modest extension” of the current doctrine. Read the full article here.