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Media & Communications Law

To Avoid Libel Litigation, Lawyer Advises, Don’t Tank Up and Tweet

Posted Aug 20, 2009 6:46 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Following recent news that a woman is being sued by an Illinois landlord over a tweet she posted on Twitter about her apartment, a California lawyer is offering 10 suggestions to help other users of the popular micro-blog avoid being a defendant in defamation litigation.

At least some of the 10 tips offered by attorney Adrianos Fachetti in a TwiTip post may seem like common sense. For example, tanking up on alcohol and posting a tweet is not a good idea.

However, for those who don't pay sufficient attention to this issue and other potential litigation pitfalls, a horrible fate may await, the lawyer writes—losing the privilege of posting on Twitter.

A little legal learning can be dangerous, Fachetti notes: While defamation claims are filed over false statements of fact, and opinion is generally not a basis for a libel lawsuit, for instance, simply labeling a factual statement as "opinion" isn't a sufficient safety net for those interested in avoiding litigation.

Fachetti offers more information on the subject on his California Defamation Law Blog.

Related earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Landlord Sues Tenant for Libel Over Tweet About ‘Moldy Apartment’ "

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