Redistributors of Speech Should Be Held to Actual Malice Standard
Participated in an amicus brief (with the Reporters Committee and other amici) filed with the Ohio Court of Appeals in Gibson Bros. v. Oberlin College. The case concerns a defamation lawsuit brought by a bakery against Oberlin College following a student protest that accused the bakery of engaging in racial profiling and discrimination. The amicus brief is narrowly focused on the standard of fault that a plaintiff must prove to prevail in a defamation claim against a redistributor of speech. The amicus brief argues that, under Ohio law, redistributors such as booksellers, libraries, and (in some instances) the news media may be held liable for defamation only if they act with actual malice. In the alternative, the amicus brief argues that Ohio courts should adopt the Restatement of Torts formulation of fault for redistributor defamation liability.