The Business Litigation Blog


Lawsuits regarding defamation are quite common. This is due in part to the many forms of defamation. While traditional defamation (libel and slander) refers to the publication of disparaging remarks against an individual or a business, there is also product disparagement. Product disparagement is the actual commentary made against a person, product or organization that can harm his/her/its reputation. In addition to these two, there is also internet defamation, a more recent phenomenon. The Patterson Law Firm is experienced in all of the aforementioned sections of the law. We even spearheaded a new area of the law related to internet defamation.

While defamation lawsuits between ordinary people are filed every day, it is usually the more public figures/organizations whose cases are noted by the media. Take the recent case of former Syracuse University basketball coach Bernie Fine’s defamation suit against ESPN. The lawsuit stems from ESPN’s coverage of a former trial in which Mr. Fine was found not guilty of sexual abuse against four players due to insufficient evidence.

ESPN reported on the case from its inception, including airing reports of a phone record. ESPN identified a caller as Lorie Fine, Mr. Fine’s wife, seemingly alluding to knowledge of Mr. Fine’s activity. Mr. Fine was terminated that same day.

Despite the fact that two of the four boys who accused Mr. Fine admitted to inventing their stories, ESPN continued to report on the case. While ESPN never stated that Mr. Fine was guilty, according to the lawsuit the network ignored credibility issues in order to improve ratings.

It is unclear what is going to happen with the lawsuit that Mr. Fine has brought forth to the courts, but it seems that he has enough to move forward.

If you have experienced any form of damage to your reputation or been charged with any of the above and think you are in need of representation, please do not hesitate to call and speak with one of our experienced attorneys: 312.223.1699.



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