Lohrenz v. Donnelly
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
350 F.3d 1272 (2003)
In August 1994, the United States Navy assigned Carey Lohrenz (plaintiff) a position as an F-14 jet pilot. At the time, there was a public controversy over the appropriateness of women in combat roles. Lohrenz was aware of the controversy when she chose her career path, as well as of the likelihood that her role as one of two female combat pilots would place her at the center of the controversy. In October 1994, the other female pilot died during a training exercise, and the controversy surrounding female combat pilots intensified. Elaine Donnelly (defendant) had been campaigning against allowing women to assume combat roles. After the crash, Donnelly began targeting Lohrenz, specifically questioning her competence as a pilot. After losing her position as a pilot, Lohrenz filed a defamation action against Donnelly, claiming that Donnelly’s defamatory publications had caused Lohrenz to lose her pilot position. The district court granted Donnelly’s motion for summary judgment, finding that Lohrenz was a limited-purpose public figure and had failed to show actual malice. Lohrenz appealed the decision.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rogers, 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 178,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 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.