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View Full Version : Steeler fans. Serious question about Libel


whatdoiknow
09-28-2010, 09:21 AM
Hey fans. I am NOT a Lawyer. I was wondering, are there any steeler fans in here who are ? Okay maybe I am thinking this is too serious to be considered " Libel "
But again, I don't know. Below is the link to PFT Week 3 Power rankings. They have the Steelers # 1 :applaudit:


But please fans, go there and read the caption written about Ben. Is THAT or can that Legally be considered Libel ? Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks.



http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/09/28/week-three-power-rankings/

eafratitpm3
09-28-2010, 09:30 AM
Here's what they said about the Titans this week "It became easier for the Titans to rebound from the butt-kicking they took against the Steelers once the Titans realized that most teams will take a butt-kicking from the Steelers this year".

I love it!!!! GO STEELERS!!!

whatdoiknow
09-28-2010, 09:39 AM
Here's what they said about the Titans this week "It became easier for the Titans to rebound from the butt-kicking they took against the Steelers once the Titans realized that most teams will take a butt-kicking from the Steelers this year".

I love it!!!! GO STEELERS!!!




What does that have to do with my question ? Or about the legality of a Libel statement ?

Rotorhead
09-28-2010, 09:46 AM
No it is not a libel statement people are aloud to say most things they want as freedom of speech. If anything this would be a defamation of character suit if anything were to come of it. The fact that BB has no history of drug abuse (just woman) makes this statement defamatory, unlike the Braylon statement who just got busted for a DUI.

whatdoiknow
09-28-2010, 09:54 AM
No it is not a libel statement people are aloud to say most things they want as freedom of speech. If anything this would be a defamation of character suit if anything were to come of it. The fact that BB has no history of drug abuse (just woman) makes this statement defamatory, unlike the Braylon statement who just got busted for a DUI.




I KNOW it is a Defamation of Character. But it is in LIBEL form, i.e., Written form. If it were say spoken on a NFL Pre-game show by a NFL announcer, then it would be Defamation of Character by a " Slander " form..( Spoken )


Please can we get an opinion from someone with a confirmed LEGAL Background. And not one from someone without any High School educational Background! :rofl:



Now you see what I just wrote..THAT is a Libelous statement. The only difference is I am not writing it on a national NFL Media site, or in a published Paper.

eafratitpm3
09-28-2010, 10:06 AM
What does that have to do with my question ? Or about the legality of a Libel statement ?

You obviously have too much time on your hands. Just be happy the Steelers are 3-0. I apologize about posting somethiing positive about the Steelers maybe I should have started another useless thread. GO STEELERS!!!!!:tt02::tt02:

zulater
09-28-2010, 10:22 AM
We should go on that site and say something to the effect of, Hey Florio, go back to watching kiddie porn and leave the football talk to the experts, and see what he thinks of that?

LVSteelersfan
09-28-2010, 10:31 AM
This tool is obviously trying to be humorous but failing miserably. I do like what he has to say about the Ratbirds and Bungles though. Batman and Robin have only 30 more passing yards received than Austin Collie of the Colts. Thank goodness I got rolled the first week in Fantasy Football and was able to pick up Collie. As an added bonus, Kolb going down the first week netted me Kyle Orton and my team has been rolling ever since. As for Ben rolling a blunt, I have no idea where this moron came up with that statement. That was the best thing he could say about the team that he picked #1 in the power rankings? You can sue anyone for anything these days but I seriously doubt that is a valid libel suit. No, I am not a lawyer but I seriously doubt you will find many lawyers around here.

What do you call a busload of lawyers running off a cliff in a firey crash? A GOOD START.

P.S. you can easily change lawyers out for the press in that statement and it is just as true.

Curtain_of_Steel
09-28-2010, 01:07 PM
whatdoiknow

The problem is BB brought it on himself by putting himself in those positions. You would have to show that because of some idiot on a message board said this or that, caused damages to BB's name and or stature and earning power. Considering he is more tarnished than the gold in the undersea world of Atlantis right now, it would be hard to say that post cost him money, credibility or stature.lol
good question though, but its a hard to prove libel anymore, as most of the time people are reiterating Gomething that is out and or expanding upon it.
Its like your wife out in a school parking lot, jabbering to the mom's, the story gets bigger and bigger and bigger, lol

I defend BB all day long to my loser jets and eagles fans, lol

whatdoiknow
09-28-2010, 01:16 PM
whatdoiknow

The problem is BB brought it on himself by putting himself in those positions. You would have to show that because of some idiot on a message board said this or that, caused damages to BB's name and or stature and earning power. Considering he is more tarnished than the gold in the undersea world of Atlantis right now, it would be hard to say that post cost him money, credibility or stature.lol
good question though, but its a hard to prove libel anymore, as most of the time people are reiterating Gomething that is out and or expanding upon it.
Its like your wife out in a school parking lot, jabbering to the mom's, the story gets bigger and bigger and bigger, lol

I defend BB all day long to my loser jets and eagles fans, lol





I appreciate your responce, but you are wrong on Ben bringing this on himself. How exactly ? First off Ben was never even arrested. Let alone charged or Indicted or convicted. And second, this was a clear case of a National Known Writer on an OFFICIAL NFL Site saying Ben is rolling a Blunt. When has Ben ever failed a drug test ? When has he ever been accused of even possibly smoking Pot before ?


That's like you being a public school teacher, and me being a writer, and saying you have had sex with children in a national newspaper. And because of the public pressure, the school fires you. What ? You don't think you have a Lawsuit ? Ben would have to prove damages as a result of Florio writing what he did. But, when you are a Major public figure who gets commercials and what not, if say that stops, Ben and his Lawyers can say it is directly a result of the Libelous writings of Florio.


And Florio cannot say it is because of Ben's other accusations cause nothing ever came of it. So technically, according to the Law it can't be considered in a Libel Lawsuit. Like it or not, what Florio wrote can possibly be worth Millions to Ben IF he chose to persue it. But make no mistake about it, Ben did NOT in any way bring THAT statement on himself.

zulater
09-28-2010, 01:19 PM
I appreciate your responce, but you are wrong on Ben bringing this on himself. How exactly ? First off Ben was never even arrested. Let alone charged or Indicted or convicted. And second, this was a clear case of a National Known Writer on an OFFICIAL NFL Site saying Ben is rolling a Blunt. When has Ben ever failed a drug test ? When has he ever been accused of even possibly smoking Pot before ?


That's like you being a public school teacher, and me being a writer, and saying you have had sex with children in a national newspaper. And because of the public pressure, the school fires you. What ? You don't think you have a Lawsuit ? Ben would have to prove damages as a result of Florio writing what he did. But, when you are a Major public figure who gets commercials and what not, if say that stops, Ben and his Lawyers can say it is directly a result of the Libelous writings of Florio.


And Florio cannot say it is because of Ben's other accusations cause nothing ever came of it. So technically, according to the Law it can't be considered in a Libel Lawsuit. Like it or not, what Florio wrote can possibly be worth Millions to Ben IF he chose to persue it. But make no mistake about it, Ben did NOT in any way bring THAT statement on himself.

He might have a winnable suit, but the problem is any time you sue, you open yourself up for all sorts of character assassination. Basically anything in Ben's history could be brought up against him in order to prove lack of damage to his reputation.

the best thing the Steelers could do is to see that turd never enters their locker room.

DoubleYoi
09-28-2010, 01:57 PM
I appreciate your responce, but you are wrong on Ben bringing this on himself. How exactly ? First off Ben was never even arrested. Let alone charged or Indicted or convicted. And second, this was a clear case of a National Known Writer on an OFFICIAL NFL Site saying Ben is rolling a Blunt. When has Ben ever failed a drug test ? When has he ever been accused of even possibly smoking Pot before ?


That's like you being a public school teacher, and me being a writer, and saying you have had sex with children in a national newspaper. And because of the public pressure, the school fires you. What ? You don't think you have a Lawsuit ? Ben would have to prove damages as a result of Florio writing what he did. But, when you are a Major public figure who gets commercials and what not, if say that stops, Ben and his Lawyers can say it is directly a result of the Libelous writings of Florio.


And Florio cannot say it is because of Ben's other accusations cause nothing ever came of it. So technically, according to the Law it can't be considered in a Libel Lawsuit. Like it or not, what Florio wrote can possibly be worth Millions to Ben IF he chose to persue it. But make no mistake about it, Ben did NOT in any way bring THAT statement on himself.

I thought you were joking with this post but apparently you're serious. Wouldn't it be better off posting this on a legal website if you're looking for a technical legal response? Instead, you jump on the first person who doesn't address your question which has nothing to do with football and everything to do with law.

Technically, Florio never implied there were any illegal drugs involved at all so this "blunt" could be a victory cigar for all we know. He kind of left it up to the reader to interpret what a blunt is. Maybe Ben wanted to celebrate the Steelers' early success with a nice stogie like Farrior did in the locker room after SB XLIII.

SteeleReign
09-28-2010, 01:57 PM
This Florio dude obviously thinks he's funny. To everyone but Steeler's fans, Ben's family, and his assorted (or maybe sordid is a better word) girlfriends it's not. But just relax, if he comes back & plays like a man possessed the media will ease up.

Just look at Vick - everyone in the media loves him again.

Spinlcrack
09-28-2010, 02:23 PM
I'm sure someone in Ben's camp has seen this. I agree with whoever wrote about restricting acces to the locker room. As far as I know, there has never been a substance issue (except booze, of course) and I spend way too much time reading everything I can, so what is Florio implying here?

It is reckless journalism. It would be wrong if Rog, believing "where there is smoke, there is fire", tried to make something out of this. If he wrote it about 'Tone, it would make sense, but this is sloppy and seems just mean-spirited.

That said, he will be tested, just like every other player and when he passes, this will be just one more moronic statement in a career of moronic statements. And this guy works with NBC now?

SteelCityMom
09-28-2010, 02:53 PM
Florio is now, or at least used to be, a lawyer. He knows how difficult is is to prove slander and libel. His defense on this (were it ever pursued) could be any number of things. He could claim this was written as an opinion piece (since it is a power rankings list, it falls under an opinion piece), meaning that if the allegedly defamatory assertion is an expression of opinion rather than a statement of fact, defamation claims usually cannot be brought because opinions are inherently not falsifiable.

Or, the claimant (Roethlisberger) is incapable of further defamation...i.e. the claimant's position in the community is so poor that defamation could not do further damage to the plaintiff. Such a claimant could be said to be "libel-proof", since in most jurisdictions, actual damage is an essential element for a libel claim. Essentially, the defense is that the person had such a bad reputation before the libel, that no further damage could possibly have been caused by the making of the statement.

I do not claim to be a lawyer (though much of my first year in college was studying Criminology, which included civil and criminal law...with a large chunk of it being civil)...but I've seen enough court room shows to understand that the above is inherently true and that libel and slander are some of the toughest claims for a person to prove. Basically, Ben would have to show that his reputation was damaged beyond repair by this statement. He has already damaged his reputation (whether you like it or not) by his earlier actions, so this is basically as close to impossible as it gets. Florio knows this, trust me.

SteelCityMom
09-28-2010, 03:24 PM
I appreciate your responce, but you are wrong on Ben bringing this on himself. How exactly ? First off Ben was never even arrested. Let alone charged or Indicted or convicted. And second, this was a clear case of a National Known Writer on an OFFICIAL NFL Site saying Ben is rolling a Blunt. When has Ben ever failed a drug test ? When has he ever been accused of even possibly smoking Pot before ?

He was not arrested, but he was investigated in a high profile case, and then suspended by the NFL and part of that was undergoing psychological evaluations. Let's not pretend Ben just did nothing here...he showed a pattern of behavior that was seen as detrimental (both by the Steelers FO and by the Comish). Whether you agree with it or not is not the point.


That's like you being a public school teacher, and me being a writer, and saying you have had sex with children in a national newspaper. And because of the public pressure, the school fires you. What ? You don't think you have a Lawsuit ? Ben would have to prove damages as a result of Florio writing what he did. But, when you are a Major public figure who gets commercials and what not, if say that stops, Ben and his Lawyers can say it is directly a result of the Libelous writings of Florio.

Not the same at all. If Ben had a squeaky clean image, and Florio was spreading rumors of drug use, or sexual misconduct...then there might be a case for libel. This is not the situation though. This is not comparable to a teacher, who by all accounts has a good standing record, being accused by a writer of sexual misconduct and losing their job. This of course would result in a lawsuit. Unfortunately though, Ben has been accused twice and suspended once for his behaviors. That makes libel all but impossible to prove. Plus, he isn't going to be reprimanded further b/c of what Florio wrote as an opinion piece. Ben would have to show that his personal life and job was somehow damaged by these statements. That will never happen.


And Florio cannot say it is because of Ben's other accusations cause nothing ever came of it. So technically, according to the Law it can't be considered in a Libel Lawsuit. Like it or not, what Florio wrote can possibly be worth Millions to Ben IF he chose to persue it. But make no mistake about it, Ben did NOT in any way bring THAT statement on himself.

I'm sorry, but this statement is just flat out wrong. Something did come of the accusations. Ben was suspended from his job. What Florio wrote is worth nothing to Ben when it comes to lawsuits. It would be laughed out of court immediately. Proving libel is complicated. It gets even more complicated when you've actually been accused of heinous crimes and have had some kind of reprimand for it...that's when it becomes near impossible.

SteelersInCalifornia might be able to explain it a little bit more clearly (since he is a lawyer), but I'm 100% sure he'll agree that Ben and his lawyers would be out of their gourds to try and pursue a libel case.

stb_steeler
09-28-2010, 03:50 PM
Gotta love the internet, makes a reporters job easier...:smash::frustrate

Atlanta Dan
09-28-2010, 04:15 PM
Florio needs to keep his off the field misconduct allegations straight - as one of the posters to his site told Florio, the comment makes sense if you are referring to Santonio ("It's Time To Wake And Bake") Holmes - the alleged misconduct of #7 involves other vices

Florio laid out the bait and the person that started this thread took it

SteelersinCA
09-28-2010, 06:08 PM
Florio is now, or at least used to be, a lawyer. He knows how difficult is is to prove slander and libel. His defense on this (were it ever pursued) could be any number of things. He could claim this was written as an opinion piece (since it is a power rankings list, it falls under an opinion piece), meaning that if the allegedly defamatory assertion is an expression of opinion rather than a statement of fact, defamation claims usually cannot be brought because opinions are inherently not falsifiable.

Or, the claimant (Roethlisberger) is incapable of further defamation...i.e. the claimant's position in the community is so poor that defamation could not do further damage to the plaintiff. Such a claimant could be said to be "libel-proof", since in most jurisdictions, actual damage is an essential element for a libel claim. Essentially, the defense is that the person had such a bad reputation before the libel, that no further damage could possibly have been caused by the making of the statement.

I do not claim to be a lawyer (though much of my first year in college was studying Criminology, which included civil and criminal law...with a large chunk of it being civil)...but I've seen enough court room shows to understand that the above is inherently true and that libel and slander are some of the toughest claims for a person to prove. Basically, Ben would have to show that his reputation was damaged beyond repair by this statement. He has already damaged his reputation (whether you like it or not) by his earlier actions, so this is basically as close to impossible as it gets. Florio knows this, trust me.

He was not arrested, but he was investigated in a high profile case, and then suspended by the NFL and part of that was undergoing psychological evaluations. Let's not pretend Ben just did nothing here...he showed a pattern of behavior that was seen as detrimental (both by the Steelers FO and by the Comish). Whether you agree with it or not is not the point.




Not the same at all. If Ben had a squeaky clean image, and Florio was spreading rumors of drug use, or sexual misconduct...then there might be a case for libel. This is not the situation though. This is not comparable to a teacher, who by all accounts has a good standing record, being accused by a writer of sexual misconduct and losing their job. This of course would result in a lawsuit. Unfortunately though, Ben has been accused twice and suspended once for his behaviors. That makes libel all but impossible to prove. Plus, he isn't going to be reprimanded further b/c of what Florio wrote as an opinion piece. Ben would have to show that his personal life and job was somehow damaged by these statements. That will never happen.




I'm sorry, but this statement is just flat out wrong. Something did come of the accusations. Ben was suspended from his job. What Florio wrote is worth nothing to Ben when it comes to lawsuits. It would be laughed out of court immediately. Proving libel is complicated. It gets even more complicated when you've actually been accused of heinous crimes and have had some kind of reprimand for it...that's when it becomes near impossible.

SteelersInCalifornia might be able to explain it a little bit more clearly (since he is a lawyer), but I'm 100% sure he'll agree that Ben and his lawyers would be out of their gourds to try and pursue a libel case.

I'm a lawyer and I approve these messages.

whatdoiknow
09-28-2010, 06:14 PM
I may not be a Lawyer. But I KNOW whatever Ben's past ACCUSED Actions cannot be a determining factor in the type of Libelous statement that Florio made about Ben, and his Blunt. It's called " PRIOR BAD ACTS "
And they are NOT a consideration. And ANY Lawyer saying different should tear up their State Bar Cards!



But as for the rest, I will defer.

SteelCityMom
09-28-2010, 06:31 PM
I may not be a Lawyer. But I KNOW whatever Ben's past ACCUSED Actions cannot be a determining factor in the type of Libelous statement that Florio made about Ben, and his Blunt. It's called " PRIOR BAD ACTS "
And they are NOT a consideration. And ANY Lawyer saying different should tear up their State Bar Cards!



But as for the rest, I will defer.

You're missing the point. The accusations (specifically the last one) brought against him drew a suspension by the league (and if the league hadn't done it, the Steelers FO would have). The fact that he was reprimanded for his personal actions means that they would be a determining factor in trying to prove libel. They certainly are a consideration. Trying to bring a libel case to court would be POINTLESS. No lawyer would advise his client to take this kind of action in this kind of situation.

I think you think that any time someone says something bad about someone else (either in print or in spoken word) it is a case for libel or slander. This is absolutely, 100% FALSE. To prove libel and slander you have to prove that the statements made affected your personal or professional life in such a detrimental way that caused you to lose work, or caused irreparable personal damage. There is no way Ben (or his lawyers) could ever prove this, since his reputation was already in question, and since he was already suspended from his job for personal actions. Even if he hadn't been in trouble before, it would be a very, VERY longshot chance that he could sue for libel for such a statement...unless it affected his job standing b/c of said statement.

That's just how it is. In most cases, freedom of speech takes precedence over actually winning a libel or slander case.

whatdoiknow
09-28-2010, 06:35 PM
You're missing the point. The accusations (specifically the last one) brought against him drew a suspension by the league (and if the league hadn't done it, the Steelers FO would have). The fact that he was reprimanded for his personal actions means that they would be a determining factor in trying to prove libel. They certainly are a consideration. Trying to bring a libel case to court would be POINTLESS. No lawyer would advise his client to take this kind of action in this kind of situation.

I think you think that any time someone says something bad about someone else (either in print or in spoken word) it is a case for libel or slander. This is absolutely, 100% FALSE. To prove libel and slander you have to prove that the statements made affected your personal or professional life in such a detrimental way that caused you to lose work, or caused irreparable personal damage. There is no way Ben (or his lawyers) could ever prove this, since his reputation was already in question, and since he was already suspended from his job for personal actions. Even if he hadn't been in trouble before, it would be a very, VERY longshot chance that he could sue for libel for such a statement...unless it affected his job standing b/c of said statement.

That's just how it is. In most cases, freedom of speech takes precedence over actually winning a libel or slander case.





Mom, that part I agree with you on. Proving someone made a Libelous statement is one thing. But proving ACTUAL Damages is another. Bottom line is Ben does not do Illegal drugs. Or has any History of failing league tests. So...Nothing to see here I guess :noidea:

SteelCityMom
09-28-2010, 06:44 PM
Mom, that part I agree with you on. Proving someone made a Libelous statement is one thing. But proving ACTUAL Damages is another. Bottom line is Ben does not do Illegal drugs. Or has any History of failing league tests. So...Nothing to see here I guess :noidea:

No, there pretty much is nothing to see here. Florio was trying to make a joke...but is only a joke himself.

Now, if someone were to go to someone in the Steelers FO or the NFL and try to say that Ben was smoking dope or doing drugs or something and it resulted in some sort of action against him by the Steelers or NFL, then he would have a case for slander, but not something like this. Or say an article written about him talking about him doing drugs (and he could prove he was clean) resulted in the loss of sponsors or action by the league he would have a case for libel.

whatdoiknow
09-28-2010, 06:48 PM
Oh BTW " Mom "...I heard you are having an affair with Troy Polamalu :-)...Ooops,,sorry Mom but this is just a message board Rant :-) No Libel here!..( Just kidding )...I don't wanna face you Mom on Judge Judy! :-)

SteelersinCA
09-28-2010, 06:57 PM
I may not be a Lawyer. But I KNOW whatever Ben's past ACCUSED Actions cannot be a determining factor in the type of Libelous statement that Florio made about Ben, and his Blunt. It's called " PRIOR BAD ACTS "
And they are NOT a consideration. And ANY Lawyer saying different should tear up their State Bar Cards!



But as for the rest, I will defer.

I don't even know what you are saying here. Depending on what the bad acts were they most certainly can be admissible. Crimes of moral turpitude are by default admissible.

SteelersinCA
09-28-2010, 06:59 PM
Maybe you should have done a google search, it's not that hard.

http://www.medialaw.org/Template.cfm?Section=Libel_FAQs
http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=1153
http://www.expertlaw.com/library/personal_injury/defamation.html

SteelCityMom
09-28-2010, 07:13 PM
Oh BTW " Mom "...I heard you are having an affair with Troy Polamalu :-)...Ooops,,sorry Mom but this is just a message board Rant :-) No Libel here!..( Just kidding )...I don't wanna face you Mom on Judge Judy! :-)

:chuckle: If this were true I'd take it as a compliment and not slander!

whatdoiknow
09-28-2010, 07:16 PM
:chuckle: If this were true I'd take it as a compliment and not slander!



Oh I'm sorry Mom, I meant to say that such a claim of you having sex with Troy would be slanderous to TROY!.......:doh:



Again Mom, just kidding :hug:

SteelCityMom
09-28-2010, 07:17 PM
I don't even know what you are saying here. Depending on what the bad acts were they most certainly can be admissible. Crimes of moral turpitude are by default admissible.

Turpitude is one of the best words ever. Right up there with smarmy, gleek and phalange.

SteelCityMom
09-28-2010, 07:18 PM
Oh I'm sorry Mom, I meant to say that such a claim of you having sex with Troy would be slanderous to TROY!.......:doh:



Again Mom, just kidding :hug:

:flap: I'm suing you now!

kirklandrules
09-28-2010, 07:19 PM
It's not libel nor slander because the majority of his column attempts to use exaggeration and obvious false statements in the spirit of parity. Even though he failed in his joke about Ben rolling a blunt (it would have been funny had he written this under the Jets section and used Tone as the subject), most people would understand he was doing this in jest. This is how Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, E Soup, etc can demean people and get away with it.

No, I'm not an attorney ... I was too intelligent to go that path. :coffee: