Defamation in the Modern Era

Defamation in the Modern Era

Learn about the First Amendment considerations that complicate the establishment of a prima facie case of defamation, paying particular attention to the special requirements for proving defamation against a public person.


The rules discussed in the previous video still very much apply, even today. Nevertheless, now it's time to discuss the various First Amendment requirements that the Supreme Court has superimposed upon the common law defamation rules.

I. New York Times Co. v. Sullivan

The Supreme Court first started imposing First Amendment restrictions on common-law defamation suits in the landmark case of New York Times Co. versus Sullivan. The basic rule that came out of Sullivan was that a public...