More definition of defamation via a piece from the New York Law Journal. This time it was a judge who sued the Daily News columnist Errol Louis for defaming him.
The judge, displeased with the lower court decision that went against him − the lawsuit was dismissed − appealed. The Appellate Court affirmed the lower court in its dismissal. What it said about media defamation is that although the stories about the judge were false, they were not maliciously false:
A state appeals panel has affirmed the dismissal of a defamation suit filed by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Larry Martin (See Profile) over articles in the New York Daily News that falsely accused him of unethical conduct.
The unanimous Appellate Division, First Department, ruled that the suit, which targeted two columns by former Daily News writer Errol Louis, failed because even though the columns, printed in 2007, were false and not protected opinion, Martin had not shown that Louis or the paper acted maliciously.
Remember that Paul Newman movie, Absence of Malice? That’s what it was about.