Court of Appeals rules my speech is protected under the Fair Reporting Privilege
Once upon a time there was a lawyer who believed strongly in her clients' case. She fought hard. On the other side of the case was a defense lawyer she'd never met before. He didn't like her. He tried to bully her. But she wouldn't back down. Even though the lawsuit was still going on he decided to file an independent lawsuit against her for defamation. This was meant to "chill" and punish her.
She hired Bruce Johnson, a well known and respected free speech attorney. He filed a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss the lawsuit on the basis that it had no basis in law or fact. The superior court agreed and dismissed the case. The defense lawyer appealed it but the Court of Appeals Commissioner upheld the dismissal. The defense lawyer appealed it again but the Court of Appeals panel upheld the dismissal.
The Court noted that "Washington has long recognized a strong public interest in having access to public proceedings, including a constitutional magnate for the open administration of justice. It found that the attorney's blogs and website postings discussing the civil murder case were permissible under the fair reporting privilege.
Photo: The attorney in her office.