ILNews

Question over spirit in which statements were made is enough for jury to deliberate

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A defamation suit against an employee will proceed following the Indiana Court of Appeals' finding that there is doubt as to what conclusion a jury could reach in determining whether statements were made in good faith and without malice.

Between August 2009 and July 2010, a series of articles appeared in a Whitley County newspaper about Coupled Products’ proposed move of equipment from an Ohio facility to Columbia City. On Sept. 16, 2009, one article contained a number of statements that Coupled contended were false.

The company believed Janice Brandom, an employee and chair of the UAW Local 2049’s bargaining committee, made the statements.

Coupled sued Brandom for defamation, submitting evidence to contradict the statements she allegedly made to the paper. Brandom moved to dismiss pursuant to the anti-SLAPP statute on the grounds the statements were made in furtherance of her right of free speech in connection with an issue of public interest.

The trial court denied Brandom’s motion to dismiss.

The COA affirmed the ruling in Janice Brandom v. Coupled Products, LLC, 92A03-1112-PL-542. The court found her statements were in the public interest but there is a genuine issue of fact as to whether Brandom knew her statements were false, entertained serious doubts as to their truth, or made the statements with reckless disregard of whether they were false.

In his dissent, Judge Michael Barnes argued the evidence does not establish that Brandom acted in bad faith or without a reason basis in law and fact.

“The good faith requirement should and must be present, but in this context, with collective bargaining in play, I believe Brandom’s conversation with the reporter was had in good faith. Remember, too, there is no direct quote in the article in question and the reporter was free to, and undoubtedly did, capsulize, summarize, and characterize the conversation. In my view, the anti-SLAPP statute provides protection in such instances.”

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Constitution
    WAKE UP AMERICA All it takes for tyranny to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. It's time for all Americans to standup and speak up! MUST READ ARTICLES The Infallible Prosecutor: Google it 10,000 innocent people convicted each year Scalia's death row lunacy: Google it Most registered sex offenders are innocent www.wikipedia.org Type censorship in the U.S. in the search box Jury nullification, a fundamental right! Indiana Constitution: Article1 Section 19 In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts. The 9th and 10th amendments to the constitution of the United States means the same thing. An unjust law is not a law at all and any person charged with violating an unjust law has not violated any law and should not be found guilty simply because the law is unjust! IF YOU DON'T KNOW YOUR RIGHTS YOU DON'T HAVE ANY WE MUST PROTECT OUR CONSTITUTIONS

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. "associates are becoming more mercenary. The path to partnership has become longer and more difficult so they are chasing short-term gains like high compensation." GOOD FOR THEM! HELL THERE OUGHT TO BE A UNION!

  2. Let's be honest. A glut of lawyers out there, because law schools have overproduced them. Law schools dont care, and big law loves it. So the firms can afford to underpay them. Typical capitalist situation. Wages have grown slowly for entry level lawyers the past 25 years it seems. Just like the rest of our economy. Might as well become a welder. Oh and the big money is mostly reserved for those who can log huge hours and will cut corners to get things handled. More capitalist joy. So the answer coming from the experts is to "capitalize" more competition from nonlawyers, and robots. ie "expert systems." One even hears talk of "offshoring" some legal work. thus undercutting the workers even more. And they wonder why people have been pulling for Bernie and Trump. Hello fools, it's not just the "working class" it's the overly educated suffering too.

  3. And with a whimpering hissy fit the charade came to an end ... http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2016/07/27/all-charges-dropped-against-all-remaining-officers-in-freddie-gray-case/ WHISTLEBLOWERS are needed more than ever in a time such as this ... when politics trump justice and emotions trump reason. Blue Lives Matter.

  4. "pedigree"? I never knew that in order to become a successful or, for that matter, a talented attorney, one needs to have come from good stock. What should raise eyebrows even more than the starting associates' pay at this firm (and ones like it) is the belief systems they subscribe to re who is and isn't "fit" to practice law with them. Incredible the arrogance that exists throughout the practice of law in this country, especially at firms like this one.

  5. Finally, an official that realizes that reducing the risks involved in the indulgence in illicit drug use is a great way to INCREASE the problem. What's next for these idiot 'proponents' of needle exchange programs? Give drunk drivers booze? Give grossly obese people coupons for free junk food?

ADVERTISEMENT