Kennedy v. Cannon
Maryland Supreme Court
182 A.2d 54 (Md. 1962)
Cannon (defendant) was a lawyer for an African American man, Charles Humphreys. Humphreys was charged with raping a Caucasian woman, Kennedy (plaintiff). Humphreys told Cannon he had sexual intercourse with Kennedy, but said she consented to the act. Cannon spoke to the editor of a local paper and provided Humphreys’ side of the story. The editor did not print Cannon’s account as delivered, but recounted Kennedy’s charges, stated Humphreys’ admission to intercourse and his belief that Kennedy willingly consented. The article ended by saying Humphreys emphatically denied the rape charge. As a result of the article, Kennedy received annoying and harassing phone calls from strangers. She was eventually forced to move with her family out of the community and out of the state. Kennedy brought suit against Cannon alleging his story to the newspaper amounted to slander in that it falsely accused her of adultery. Cannon admitted he provided the statement to the newspaper article, but stated he believed it was necessary to share Humphreys’ side of the story to protect his client from lynching. He said that when the prosecution published a negative statement about his client, he believed he was justified and privileged in replying as he did. The trial court granted judgment for Cannon, and Kennedy appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Sybert, J.)
What to do next…
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.
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 170,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 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.