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Brown v. Kelly Broadcasting Co.
Supreme Court of California
771 P.2d 406 (1989)
Brown (plaintiff) was a licensed contractor. Kelly Broadcasting Company (Kelly) (defendant) broadcast a story on the local news indicating that Brown performed incomplete and shoddy work for one of her clients. Brown brought suit for defamation. Kelly argued that state law provided a public-interest privilege, under which the news media could not be liable for defamation if the allegedly defamatory statement concerned a matter of public interest. For support, Kelly relied on an interested-person privilege under California state law. The state statute established a privilege for communications made without malice between persons with a shared interest in the subject matter of the communication. The trial court granted summary judgment to Kelly, and the court of appeal reversed. Kelly appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Eagleson, J.)
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