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Procedural ProblemsHerbert v Lando 1979 pg 382 USSC said libel plaintiffs had the right to inquire into journalist thought processes at the time of the alleged libel story was put togetherEntitled to this in a pre-trial Discovery process- allows each side to find out about the strengths and the weaknesses of the other persons case Each litigant is permitted to ask the opposition a variety of oral questions aka depositionWritten questions are interrogatoriesDuring depositions each side meets and questions hostile witness It is possible to lose a case at the deposition stageFacts Military officer sued CBS 60 MinutesHigh court said the 1st amendment does not provide immunity from the normal rules of the discovery processMedia people are required to take part in the discovery processA person must prove negligence and actual malice More and more people want to know where the libelous information came from Plaintiff will want to identify news sources However this is unethicalRefusing to identify sources or cooperate then the evidence may assume to be non- existent If you cant reveal the source then it doesnt count as a source Shield Laws Not all states have them and many are very limitedSome libel insurance requires that you reveal your sources if youre in a situation where its necessaryRetractions- a statement published or broadcast that attempts to retract of correct previously published or broadcast libelous matter A timely retraction will usually mitigate damages and in some states that have retraction laws plaintiffs must seek a retraction before beginning a lawsuit or they lose the opportunity to collect anything but special damagesCould preclude a lawsuit depending on the state Must be as prominent as the originally libel statementMust correct all libelous statements without libeling the person furtherThey actually do little good natural human tendency to believe the original charge Long-Arm Jurisdiction- called into court in distant states where their product is soldInternational Shoe v Washington- Lawsuits against journalists should have to meet the
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