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Why Current Libel Law Doesn't Work and What Judges Can Do About it

The Judges' Journal, Vol. 27, p. 29, 1988

6 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2010  

Roselle Wissler

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Randall P. Bezanson

University of Iowa College of Law

Gilbert Cranberg

University of Iowa - School of Journalism

John Soloski

University of Iowa - School of Journalism

Date Written: 1988

Abstract

The article begins with a discussion of an empirical study that found many pitfalls in media libel litigation. The plaintiff's interest in a finding on the falsity issue is unlikely to be addressed in court, and few libel plaintiffs either clear their reputation or receive financial compensation. The media defendant faces intrusive, expensive discovery and must mount lengthy appeals in order to prevail. The article then describes a voluntary, non-litigation alternative program that was created to resolve libel disputes outside the courts, and presents a case that illustrates the potential benefits of such an alternative process. Both parties would benefit from a more straightforward and quicker resolution of the dispute, and the judicial system would be well-served by a reduction in judicial resources devoted to media libel suits. The authors propose that judges educate lawyers about the realities of media libel litigation and the existence of an alternative for more efficiently and effectively resolving libel disputes.

Keywords: Libel, litigation, alternative dispute resolution

Suggested Citation

Wissler, Roselle and Bezanson, Randall P. and Cranberg, Gilbert and Soloski, John, Why Current Libel Law Doesn't Work and What Judges Can Do About it (1988). The Judges' Journal, Vol. 27, p. 29, 1988. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1726080

Roselle Wissler (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

Randall P. Bezanson

University of Iowa College of Law ( email )

Boyd Law Building
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States
319-335-9171 (Phone)
319-335-9098 (Fax)

Gilbert Cranberg

University of Iowa - School of Journalism ( email )

Seashore Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

John Soloski

University of Iowa - School of Journalism ( email )

Seashore Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States
319-335-5832 (Phone)

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