ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Jeremy Telman
Oklahoma City University
School of Law

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Great News for Libelous Bloggers Everywhere!

Screenshot 2023-03-07 at 7.19.12 AMOver at the Volokh Conspiracy, the man himself, Eugene Volokh (left), reports on Arthaud v. Fugliea case in which plaintiff alleged that he had been defamed by a blog post that was published in 2018.  Plaintiff did not discover the post until 2021 and sued within weeks of discovery.  North Dakota's Supreme Court ruled that the two-year statute of limitations had lapsed.  The statute of limitations runs from the time of publication, not from the time of discovery.

This is a boon to all bloggers, especially those whose posts are rarely discovered.  We feel newly empowered to remove the gloves!

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The Unbearable Lightness of Obscurity. (And even if they sue us, we are judgment proof because . . . obscure.) Still, it reminds one of the advisability of forcing posters into indemnification agreements with the Host. Oops, did i say that out loud?

Posted by: Sidney DeLong | Mar 10, 2023 6:10:24 AM

Somewhat more to the point, all libel law is local, as some defendants in actions brought in the U.K. have discovered to their distress. The two year statute of limitations thus applies only if you are sued in North Dakota. Enterprising plaintiffs will find a more accommodating forum with a longer statute. The real issue will be the one we all struggled with as 1Ls in Civil Procedure, which is where a poster on the internet may be sued consistently with Due Process.

Posted by: Sidney DeLong | Mar 10, 2023 6:21:14 AM