• March 9, 2016

WhisperingCheck out the linked decision throwing out a defamation claim brought in Minnesota due to lack of personal jurisdiction.

Back in 2012, I wrote:

If….you bring a defamation lawsuit [as opposed to other kinds of civil cases] and you lose, or even if you quietly settle and call it a “win,” you may have taken whatever reputational harm you originally suffered and magnified it, perhaps exponentially.  Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said, “If you shoot at a king, you must kill him.”  In a defamation case, similarly, plaintiffs had better fully appreciate the stakes of a misfire.

When Massachusetts resident Christina Briggs supposedly made serious allegations of wrong-doing on Twitter and Facebook against the Minnesota-based Newman-Lakka Cancer Foundation in September and October, 2014, few people in Minnesota (or anywhere else), probably, knew or cared. However far or wide the alleged misinformation traveled, the Foundation amplified it substantially by bringing a defamation case against Ms. Briggs in Minnesota . Eventually the troublesome allegations echoed in a Minnesota Court of Appeals decision throwing the case out of court for lack of personal jurisdiction. The Foundation now faces an unappealing decision: whether to start again in Massachusetts or write the defamation claim off and move on.

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