Thursday, March 8, 2007

Bad review? Yes. Libel? Not likely.

The New York Times has an interesting article on libel suits for bad restaurant reviews. Amusing in many ways, the article nails the issue on the head here:

But American judges have apparently never punished even tough, mean and wrongheaded restaurant reviews. As the federal appeals court in Manhattan put it in 1985, “reviews, although they may be unkind, are not normally a breeding ground for successful libel actions.”

American juries feel the same way, said Charles L. Babcock, a Dallas lawyer who defended The Morning News in the suit brought by Il Mulino, a restaurant there that has since closed.

“Juries just are absolutely skeptical of claims about restaurant reviews,” Mr. Babcock said. “They believe it’s just classic opinion.”

Not something I would want to try with an Indiana jury.Publish