Defamation is the publication of a statement of fact that damages your reputation. The attorneys at our firm have decades of experience in prosecuting and defending defamation actions, including the handling of anti-SLAPP motions.
If you have been the victim of a defamatory statement that has hurt your good name or business, or if you are being sued for defamation, contact us for a case evaluation.
O'Lee v. Compuware
Kerr & Wagstaffe represented plaintiffs Mary McCarthy O’Lee and Aidan O’Lee against their former employer, Defendant Compuware Corporation, a publicly-traded IT staffing firm, and Alan Cantrell, who supervised plaintiffs. After a two week trial, a jury found Defendants liable for defamation and awarded Plaintiffs $1.15 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages. The trial court reduced the combined award of $4.6 million. The California Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in its entirety.
Alleged Defamation Actions By Professional Athletes Against Victor Conte
Kerr & Wagstaffe successfully obtained a dismissal of a defamation claim brought by champion boxer Shane Mosley against Victor Conte of BALCO.
The firm also represented Mr. Conte in a defamation lawsuit filed against him by Olympic gold medalist Marion Jones. Ms. Jones alleged that Mr. Conte made defamatory statements regarding her use of performance enhancing drugs. After we successfully obtained a stay of the action pending resolution of Mr. Conte’s criminal case, the case was resolved and was voluntarily dismissed by Ms. Jones.
Chen v. Epoch Times International, et. al.
Bay Area television station KTSF- Channel 26 reported on a press conference held by police in China announcing that a prominent Bay Area businessman was suspected of Internet bomb threats to destroy a Taipei railway station. The businessman sued the television station for defamation claiming that the report was false and misconstrued the police statement. Utilizing California’s anti-SLAPP statute, Kerr & Wagstaffe obtained an order in the trial court striking the entire lawsuit on the grounds that the report was a matter of high public interest and was privileged as a fair and true summary of the police charges. The firm successfully defended the dispositive ruling on appeal and helped establish the important precedent that the “fair and true report” privilege applies to coverage of official proceedings in foreign countries. The firm also obtained a ruling requiring the businessman to pay KTSF – Channel 26?s attorneys’ fees expended in defending the action.
Alan Konig v. State Bar of California, et al.
A former Deputy Trial Counsel for the State Bar of California initially sued his former employers in federal district court, alleging federal civil rights violations and state law retaliation. Not long after the federal suit was filed, the former attorney filed a suit in state court against all of the same defendants, asserting essentially all of the same factual allegations as those that formed the basis of his federal action. Soon after the district court granted summary judgment in favor of our clients, Kerr & Wagstaffe successfully moved for judgment on the pleadings in state court, chiefly arguing that the final judgment in the federal action barred the plaintiff’s claims under the doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel. Although the plaintiff appealed, the firm was successful in the California Court of Appeal, which affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of all claims but one, defamation. Kerr & Wagstaffe defeated the defamation claim, which consisted of more than 100 alleged instances of libel and slander, on summary judgment.