From our private database of 33,600+ case briefs...
Time, Inc. v. Firestone
United States Supreme Court
424 U.S. 448 (1976)
Russell Firestone, the wealthy heir to the Firestone tire fortune, married his third wife, Mary Alice Firestone (defendant), in 1961. The couple had a son together. In 1964 Russell and Mary Alice separated, and each initiated court proceedings against the other. The court proceedings lasted 17 months, and involved many salacious accounts of infidelities. The judge discounted the veracity of these accounts, but nonetheless dissolved the marriage. Time published a blurb about the divorce in its section entitled “Milestones.” Time’s blurb stated that Russell divorced Mary Alice on grounds of extreme cruelty and adultery, then characterized the testimony at trial as full of “extramarital adventures.” Mary Alice demanded a retraction from Time, but Time refused. Mary Alice sued Time’s publisher, Time, Inc. (plaintiff) for libel. Mary Alice claimed that had suffered a great deal of anxiety over Time’s inaccurate statement that the judge had found her guilty of adultery. A jury found in favor of Mary Alice and awarded her $100,000 in damages. Time, Inc. appealed. Time, Inc. argued that it could not be found liable for libel unless its publication was made with actual malice, the standard for statements about public figures. Additionally, Time, Inc. argued that it was reporting on a legal proceeding, and again should not be liable for libel absent a showing of actual malice. The court of appeals and Florida supreme court affirmed. The supreme court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, 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 603,000 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
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 603,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 33,600 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.