Are defamation suits the last refuge of a scoundrel?

I remember ‘back in the day’ when Jeffrey Archer, the Tory, sued for libel, and later it turned out that it was 100% true.

I also remember the other libel plaintiffs: McDonalds Corp (McLibel trial) in England. or the suit by that corrupt oil firm against the Wall Street Journal. (That was MMAR v. Dow Jones), later the verdict was overturned when evidence came out that the reporter’s story was 100% true. A recent example:

Where a company sued for someone exposing the truth about it, and of course, immediately lost the case.

It seems most of the time you hear about a libel case, it turns out the plaintiff is creep.

Now there is a growing move to ‘libel tourism’ where people move to England just to sue under the more protective-of-reputation common law defamation.

Not to say that I think all defamation claims are false. But are defamation suits the last refuge of the liar?

Another example:
"Karyn Zoldan has a problem with that. It’s been nearly a decade since she rescued Lilly. Today, the freelance Web designer and Tucson Weekly food writer still hates the notion of turning animals into racing machines, of caging them for 20 hours a day, feeding them raw scraps of low-quality meat and then tossing them aside when they fail to perform. That’s why she started a Web site blog.

"Not surprisingly, Tucson Greyhound Park has a problem-so much of a problem that they hired a big-shot local law firm to file a defamation lawsuit against her. "

I don’t think you can generalize. My firm (not me) has a significant defamation practice. From what I hear, there are deserving plaintiffs, and undeserving ones. Bear in mind that deserving plaintiffs who can prove their case tend to get settled out quick, so you don’t hear about them. Undeserving plaintiffs with enough money to take their case to court, who take on defendants with pockets big enough to defend themselves, make a big splash as they go down and consequently bias your perceptions of the norm.

This is another solicitation for opinions, not a debate.

It is off to IMHO.

scrambledeggs, you had better start paying attention to where you post. You have already received one warning for making excess work for the Mods. If you keep this up, you are going to have a short stay on the SDMB.

[ /Modding ]