Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 16,200+ case briefs...

Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc. v. Connaughton

United States Supreme Court
491 U.S. 657 (1989)


Daniel Connaughton (plaintiff) ran for Municipal Judge and lost out to incumbent James Dolan. About a month before the election, Dolan’s Director of Court Services was arrested on bribery charges, resulting in a grand jury investigation. During the grand jury investigation, the Journal News (defendant) published a story stating that Connaughton had tried to bribe a grand jury witness into cooperating with the prosecution. The article quoted the witness, Alice Thompson, as verifying the report. Prior to printing the story, the Journal News conducted taped interviews of both Thompson and Connaughton. In the Thompson interview, Thompson was at times hesitant, inaudible, and unresponsive. In the Connaughton interview, Connaughton denied any wrongdoing. In addition, Connaughton had conducted an interview with another grand jury witness, Patsy Stephens, who also denied that Connaughton had done anything wrong. Connaughton sent that interview to the Journal News, but the Journal News never listened to it. Connaughton brought suit against the Journal News for defamation. The district court ruled in favor of Connaughton. The court of appeals affirmed. The Journal News appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 355,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 16,200 briefs, keyed to 222 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.