Bringing Coherence to Defamation Law Through Uniform Legislation: The Search for an Elegant Solution
60 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2019
Date Written: 1994
In this Article, Professor Ackennan examines both the proposed Defamation Act and the Correction Act in detail, discussing, in particular, implementation of the Correction Act and its likely impact in states choosing to adopt the new law. In addition, Professor Ackerman offers a new proposal to better streamline defamation law in fulfillment of three primary goals: protection of speech; protection of reputation; and efficiency in implementation. Professor Ackerman suggests that the most effective means of achieving a more coherent body of defamation law loyal to these goals would employ a tripartite verdict procedure providing for explicit jury findings as to defamation, falsity, and fault, and would limit damages to objectively ascertainable amounts. This procedure, Professor Ackennan believes, would provide the most appropriate balance between plaintiffs' interests in clearing their names and defendants' federal constitutional concerns.
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