New Edition! Sack on Defamation: Libel, Slander and Related Problems (5th Edition)

sack-on-defamationThe Fifth Edition of Sack on Defamation: Libel, Slander, and Related Problems is now available.

Written by Robert D. Sack, U.S. Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, and member of the adjunct faculty of Columbia Law School, Sack on Defamation provides in-depth coverage and analysis of the law of defamation, invasion of privacy and related torts. This seminal work covers the full range of issues, from the basic elements of a defamation claim and First Amendment protections to motion practice and appeals.

First published in 1980, Sack on Defamation remains an indispensable and authoritative resource in the field of defamation law and practice.

The new Fifth Edition features the latest cases on the standards of liability for private and for public figures, libel by implication, the single-publication rule, and pleading requirements in the federal courts. It offers expanded treatment of anti-SLAPP statutes, updates on privacy torts and “libel tourism,” and much more. And with a broader view, Judge Sack’s preface to the Fifth Edition assesses the state of defamation law and of the press in a changing political and social environment. It addresses the viability of the traditional concept of a marketplace of ideas in a time of “fake news,” talk of lowering the bar for libel plaintiffs, and the aggressive use of the privacy torts to seek recovery for statements not actionable as defamation because they are true.

As Judge Sack writes in the book,

“Information and what purports to be news are, instead, increasingly disseminated by a splintered array of digital, often home-made, media to cells of people who already agree with one another about what is being told them and its truth. Such media are fertile grounds for ‘confirmation bias.’ Subsequent discussion of what they report no doubt ensues, but it tends to be limited to those already persuaded. Their notions of what is true echo; they do not compete. If there is little serious interaction among people with different views on important issues, it is not literally or figuratively a “marketplace of ideas”; it is a Tower of Babel. A Tower of Babel seems to me to be virtually useless in the search for better ideas or a better society, government, or institutions.

If that is so, what effect has it on constitutional and other legal protection for the freedom of the press? If the marketplace metaphor is informed in part by the goal of enabling informed, vigorous debate, as the Sullivan Court suggested, what might or should the effect of its weakening be on its protection? If the New York Times no longer plays the role in public discourse and the dissemination of information and opinion that it did in 1960s, is the rule of Sullivan any the less wise or necessary?”

The update Treatise is available on PLI PLUS, our online research database.  If you’d like to order a print copy, please email or call 877-900-5291.

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