December 7, 2011 - The Associated Press today reported a story about a Montana blogger, Crystal L. Cox, who was sued for defamation when she posted online that an Oregon lawyer, Kevin Padrick, acted criminally during a bankruptcy case. She posted that he was a thug and a thief during the handling of bankruptcy proceedings by him and Obsidian Finance Group LLC.
U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez (appointed by Barack Obama) found last week that as a blogger, Cox was not a journalist and cannot claim the protections afforded to mainstream reporters and news outlets. This decision has serious implications for bloggers around the country.
Like I’ve told others, you had better be damn accurate when you use someones name in your blog. You better have facts and have them checked and verified.
I don’t know the woman in this story nor am I familiar with her blog, but sounds to me like she has made the same mistake so many other bloggers have made. If I read something about me in someones blog that isn’t true and has the possibility of causing me personal or financial damage… guess what…my attorneys are coming to your door. – JRoycroft
- Federal court rules investigative blogger is not a journalist, orders her to pay $2.5 million in defamation lawsuit (digitaltrends.com)
- Judge Hits Blogger With $2.5 Million Charge for Not Being a Journalist (mashable.com)
- Oregon Blogger’s Fate Could Impact Bloggers Everywhere, Sued for $2.5 Million (blogworld.com)
- Ore. judge rules blogger is not journalist (seattlepi.com)
- ‘Blogger not a journalist’ says Oregon court (go.theregister.com)