Libel Hypothetical





Two people—Rob Rylie and Clara Mighty—are attempting to purchase a plot of land owned by the city. The struggle between the two is fierce, and each has been making comments publicly about the other.

John McAdams writes a column appearing twice a week on the editorial page of the local paper.

McAdams first reviews the battle to persuade the city to sell the land.

Then McAdams writes, “Clara Mighty is the Al Capone of the city. Like that notorious gangster of the 1930s, she won’t give up until she is dead. She’s acting like she’s in a fight to the death.”

Clara Mighty sues McAdams and the paper for libel.

What is the best defense? List the elements of the test many courts apply when that defense is used.


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