Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status

Schlegel v. Ottumwa Courier

585 N.W.2d 217 (1998)

Case BriefRelatedOptions
From our private database of 33,800+ case briefs...

Schlegel v. Ottumwa Courier

Iowa Supreme Court

585 N.W.2d 217 (1998)

Facts

The Ottumwa Courier (the Courier) (defendant) incorrectly reported that Richard Schlegel II, a prominent local attorney, had declared bankruptcy. The following edition included a correction and apology. Schlegel sued the Courier for defamation in Iowa state court. Schlegel testified about how he was affected by the inaccurate report, and his wife testified that Schlegel had become angrier, had no sense of humor, and suffered from physical symptoms. Other witnesses testified that they read the bankruptcy notice and did not see the correction, but admitted they eventually discovered Schlegel had not declared bankruptcy. The jury awarded Schlegel $230,000 in compensatory damages. The Courier filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) and a motion for a new trial. The district court held that the compensatory damages were excessive, set the award aside, and granted the motion for new trial. The district court found that although Schlegel provided evidence the publication upset him, he offered no proof of harm to his reputation or law practice. The district court also found that Schlegel did not show he had a good reputation before the publication. Overall, the district court held that the jury’s compensatory damage award was so clearly unsupported by the evidence that it shocked the conscience, and that the award could be presumed to be improperly based on passion or prejudice. Schlegel appealed the decision to set aside the award. The Courier cross-appealed, arguing the district court erred in not granting the motion for JNOV.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lavorato, 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 606,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead 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.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 606,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 33,800 briefs, keyed to 984 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.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 606,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 33,800 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership