Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

In these United States, must you pay $60,000 for the “crime” of publicly telling the truth about someone?

What if you’re a mere blogger rather than a network news anchor?

Back in March of last year, a jury decided that Minneapolis blogger John Hoff must pay $35,000 for lost wages plus $25,000 for emotional distress to Jerry Moore because Hoff had blogged, in 2009, that Moore was involved in mortgage fraud. After Hoff’s post hit the cyberwaves, Moore was booted from the University of Minnesota.

The jury did not find that Hoff had libeled Moore. Instead, Hoff had supposedly committed “tortious interference” with Moore’s employment, presumably by giving the university information that it found convincing and relevant. (Hoff didn’t fire Moore. The university did.)

Luckily, this verdict, though horrific, didn’t provide the final word. The Minnesota Court of Appeals has just overturned it, arguing, in part: “Because truth is an absolute defense to a claim for defamation, truth should also be a defense to a claim for tortious interference with a contract arising out of an allegedly defamatory statement.”

Eugene Volokh of The Volokh Conspiracy judges the case a “big victory for free speech.” Apparently, the First Amendment can take a licking and keep on ticking.

It’s unfortunate, however, that this truth had to be affirmed at the cost of three years of time, trouble and anxiety for Mr. Hoff.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

7 Comments

  1. Drik says:

    It is unfortunate that the judge presiding over that first jury trial could not adequately instruct a jury to the effect that free speech trumps this legaleeze pandering.

  2. Eric S. Harris says:

    If counter-suing were not such a crap-shoot and hassle, it would be wonderful to see Jerry Moore pay for his bizarre lawsuit.

  3. Eric S. Harris says:

    Trying to remove my e-mail address, which the browser is “helpfully” saving.

  4. Nobody at all says:

    Trying to remove my e-mail address, which the browser is “helpfully” saving.

  5. MoreFreedom says:

    Here we’ve a government employee who is a criminal engaged in mortgage fraud. There’s no indication he’s being prosecuted for his fraud, so he’s among the class (government employees) who can break the law with impunity, unlike the rest of us normal folk. And instead of prosecuting him, he sues someone who published the truth about him.

    Moore deserves to go to jail. I guess he’s a Democrat with Democrat prosecutors giving him a pass.

    Moore also deserves to go to hell for his suit, as it’s an abuse of his position working for us.

  6. Hoff Historian says:

    The following is the only point of the article I disagree with:
    “It’s unfortunate, however, that this truth had to be affirmed at the cost of three years of time, trouble and anxiety for Mr. Hoff.”

    Hoff can be compared to a swine, the dirty farm animal. Hoff’s entire blog is based on dirt and constantly pushing the limits of socially acceptable filth and accusations which are commonly based on his personal opinions. He never felt any anxiety over this case. This case brought him attention and for someone who lives to stir things up from the bottom, all this case did was encourage him to push the limits even further in the future. What is worse is he claims to be a journalist but, Hoff makes trash-journalists like Geraldo look like well respected, highly ethical journalists.

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