Correct Application of Actual Malice Standard Would Protect Publisher
Participated in an amicus brief (with the Reporters Committee and other amici) filed with the Supreme Court of North Carolina in Desmond v. News and Observer Publishing Co. The case involved a series of articles delving into alleged errors made by an employee of the State Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab. The brief noted that journalists must be able to report on allegations of mistakes, misconduct, or abuse by public officials without fear of unwarranted defamation liability. The brief argued that the Court of Appeals misinterpreted the actual malice standard in upholding an award to Desmond, thereby threatening important principles under North Carolina law and the First Amendment. The brief urged the Supreme Court to reverse the appellate court decision.