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Chau v. Lewis

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
771 F.3d 118 (2014)


Michael Lewis (defendant) wrote a book titled The Big Short about the housing-market collapse in 2008–2009. The book was published by W.W. Norton (defendant). One of the sources for the book was Steven Eisman (defendant). A chapter in the book described a dinner that occurred during the 2007 American Securitization Forum. Eisman attended the dinner and sat next to Wing Chau (plaintiff). Chau is the founder and owner of Harding Advisory LLC (Harding Advisory) (plaintiff). Harding Advisory was a top-ranked manager of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs). The chapter described Chau as a fool and the pilot of the ship of doom. The chapter further described Chau as passing all the risk on to investors by: (1) selling all his interests in the CDOs and (2) being more interested in the volume than the quality of the CDOs. Chau and Harding Advisory sued Lewis, Eisman, and W.W. Norton for libel, which is a claim for written defamation. The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendants, and Chau and Harding Advisory appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Wesley, J.)

Dissent (Winter, J.)

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