Media & Communications Law
To Avoid Libel Litigation, Lawyer Advises, Don’t Tank Up and Tweet
Posted Aug 20, 2009 5:46 PM CST
By Martha Neil
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’ "