KTTC: Doctor’s Defamation Lawsuit Sent To Jury

Standard

January 13, 2012

“Doctor’s Defamation Lawsuit Sent To Jury”

KTTC

A Minnesota appeals court said a jury should decide whether a Duluth, Minnesota, man defamed a local doctor by posting derogatory comments about his bedside manner on rate-your-doctor websites.

The appeals court Monday sent the case back to St. Louis County for trial. A district court judge had earlier ruled Dr. David McKee was not defamed by the criticism and threw out his lawsuit against Dennis Laurion. McKee wants $50,000 in damages from Laurion for posting the statements on the Internet. Judge Eric Hylden said Laurion’s comments were opinions and constituted statements that were too vague to be defamatory.

The Duluth News Tribune says Laurion was critical of the treatment his father, Kenneth, received from McKee after suffering a stroke and spending four days at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota last year.

Source

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Web Posting

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Patient Complaint

Plaintiff David McKee’s Reply To Patient Complaint

Plaintiff David McKee’s Cease And Desist Letter To Defendant Dennis Laurion

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Complaint To Minnesota Board Of Medical Practice

Plaintiff David McKee’s Complaint To Sixth Judicial District Duluth Court

Plaintiff David McKee’s Response To Minnesota Board Of Medical Practice

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Answer To Plaintiff David McKee’s Complaint

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Motion For Summary Judgment

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Deposition Extracts

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony About Circumstances Before Encounter With Laurion Family

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony About Encounter With Laurion Family

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony About Circumstances After Encounter With Laurion Family

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony In Response To Questions By Marshall Tanick

Affidavits By Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Parents

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Supplemental Motion For Summary Judgment

Plaintiff David McKee’s Motion To Oppose Summary Judgment

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Reply Memo In Support Of Motion For Summary Judgment

Sixth Judicial District Court’s Order On Motion For Summary Judgment

Plaintiff David McKee’s Appeal Of Order On Motion For Summary Judgment

Plaintiff David McKee’s Brief To Minnesota Court Of Appeals

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Brief To Minnesota Court Of Appeals

Plaintiff David McKee’s Reply Brief To Minnesota Court Of Appeals

Minnesota Court Of Appeals Order To Strike Portion Of Plaintiff David McKee’s Reply Brief

Minnesota Court Of Appeals Announces Decision

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Petition For Review By Minnesota Supreme Court

Plaintiff David McKee’s Opposition To Review By Minnesota Supreme Court

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Brief To Minnesota Supreme Court

Plaintiff David McKee’s Brief To Minnesota Supreme Court

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Reply Brief To Minnesota Supreme Court

Minnesota Supreme Court Decision On David McKee MD V. Dennis K. Laurion

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2010

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2011

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2012

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2013

McKee V Laurion Is A Textbook Case

Democratic Underground: Minnesota High Court Says Online Post Legally Protected

Standard

January 30, 2013

Minnesota High Court Says Online Post Legally Protected

Democratic Underground

The Minnesota Supreme Court says a man’s online post calling a doctor “a real tool” is protected speech.

The high court on Wednesday dismissed a case by Duluth neurologist David McKee, who took offense when a patient’s son posted critical remarks about him on some rate-your-doctor websites. Those included a claim that a nurse called the doctor “a real tool.”

The justices say the comments posted by Dennis Laurion don’t add up to defamation.

Source

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Web Posting

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Patient Complaint

Plaintiff David McKee’s Reply To Patient Complaint

Plaintiff David McKee’s Cease And Desist Letter To Defendant Dennis Laurion

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Complaint To Minnesota Board Of Medical Practice

Plaintiff David McKee’s Complaint To Sixth Judicial District Duluth Court

Plaintiff David McKee’s Response To Minnesota Board Of Medical Practice

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Answer To Plaintiff David McKee’s Complaint

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Motion For Summary Judgment

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Deposition Extracts

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony About Circumstances Before Encounter With Laurion Family

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony About Encounter With Laurion Family

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony About Circumstances After Encounter With Laurion Family

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony In Response To Questions By Marshall Tanick

Affidavits By Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Parents

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Supplemental Motion For Summary Judgment

Plaintiff David McKee’s Motion To Oppose Summary Judgment

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Reply Memo In Support Of Motion For Summary Judgment

Sixth Judicial District Court’s Order On Motion For Summary Judgment

Plaintiff David McKee’s Appeal Of Order On Motion For Summary Judgment

Plaintiff David McKee’s Brief To Minnesota Court Of Appeals

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Brief To Minnesota Court Of Appeals

Plaintiff David McKee’s Reply Brief To Minnesota Court Of Appeals

Minnesota Court Of Appeals Order To Strike Portion Of Plaintiff David McKee’s Reply Brief

Minnesota Court Of Appeals Announces Decision

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Petition For Review By Minnesota Supreme Court

Plaintiff David McKee’s Opposition To Review By Minnesota Supreme Court

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Brief To Minnesota Supreme Court

Plaintiff David McKee’s Brief To Minnesota Supreme Court

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Reply Brief To Minnesota Supreme Court

Minnesota Supreme Court Decision On David McKee MD V. Dennis K. Laurion

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2010

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2011

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2012

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2013

McKee V Laurion Is A Textbook Case

A Conflict Of Interest?

Standard

March 23, 1996

“A Conflict Of Interest?”

Allan Wolper

Can an attorney adequately represent sent two conflicting points of view of two separate cases in the same district court?

Is it proper for a lawyer to cite a decision he lost, but was appealing, to help another client with a totally different legal position, in the same district court?

Does an attorney defending a journalist from a prosecutor’s subpoena lose credibility if he subpoenas the notes of another journalist in a civil suit?

At what point in a legal relationship should a lawyer inform his client about possible conflicts of interest?

Marshall M. Tanick, a Minneapolis attorney whose legal arguments on behalf of the Minnesota Daily, a student newspaper, have won him wide acclaim, is at the epicenter of all those questions.

Tanick’s representation of media and anti-press clients has been debated in the Twin Cities at private and public forums. Lawyers and journalists have been reluctant to criticize Tanick, citing the past 15 years of an impressive string of free press triumphs for the Minnesota Daily.

In a celebrated 1983 United States Supreme Court case, Tanick fought off the University of Minnesota’s attempt to grab control of the student newspaper after it published a “Christ Speaks” satire.

Tanick also won two important Freedom of Information suits against the university that forced it to open its books on scandals involving its wrestling and basketball teams.

But in recent years, Tanick expanded his specialized First Amendment law practice into one that included clients who were strongly anti-First Amendment.

He served as adviser to a group trying to persuade legislature to pass an invasion of privacy statute that the Minnesota Newspaper Association said would cripple news coverage. Tanick also defended General Mills in a trademark case claiming the public had no right to know the names of the defendants in a lawsuit.

Many Minnesota journalists and lawyers believe Tanick is hurting the credibility of First Amendment specialists by arguing for and against press freedoms, sometimes in the same courthouse.

Tanick, once a journalist with the Voice of America and several weekly newspapers, insisted he has never represented one client to the detriment of another.

“I don’t take positions in court that clash with positions of a client in another one,” Tanick said in an interview. “It is advantageous to a client to have an attorney who views cases from different perspectives.”

Tanick also contends that he studiously avoids conflicts between his media clients and those in his non-journalistic community.

“I haven’t heard any criticism about my practice,” he said.

But now even the Minnesota Daily student journalists, who once saw Tanick as a legal knight in shining armor, are accusing him of a possible conflict of interest.

The Minnesota Daily asked Tanick to invoke the Minnesota Free Flow of Information Act – the shield law – to fight a Hennepin County prosecutor’s subpoena for unpublished photos in a criminal case. As part of the case, Tanick was asked to fight a subpoena that eventually would force one of their reporters to testify at the trial.

But even as Tanick was invoking the state shield law in the Daily, case, he was attacking it on behalf of a client involved in a multimillion dollar civil suit against the Minneapolis, Star Tribune.

At one point, Tanick cited a negative court decision against the Minnesota Daily, he was in the process of appealing to win legal points for the client suing the Star Tribune.

Both cases were heard during the same time period in the Hennepin County District courthouse.

Michele Ames, editor in chief of the Minnesota Daily, says she will consider asking the Minnesota Bar Association to investigate Tanick’s legal conduct.

“To my knowledge, Marshall Tanick’s representation of our newspaper has been solid and professional,” said the 26-year-old editor.” But I am distressed by what I have learned the past two months.

Source

“Defamation Damages”

Standard

July 16, 2014

“Defamation Damages”

Marshall Tanick, Bench and Bar of Minnesota

Those seeking or defending against remedies for defamation, consisting of harm to reputation, face a number of issues not encountered in other torts, as reflected in Green v. Kellen, 2014 WL 2178783 (Minn. App. 2014)(unpublished), which affirmed denial of general damages and remanded for determination of special damages.

The remedy of injunctive relief generally is not available due to 1st Amendment restrictions on restraining freedom of expression.  A number of types of monetary damages may be sought.  They include the following:

  • General damages, consisting of intangible harm to reputation, generally shown by testimony of the claimant’s reputation before and after the offensive communications;
  • Special damages, comprising tangible, hard evidence of economic loss;
  • Presumed damages, which may be awarded without proof of specific loss for per se defamatory accusations such as criminal or immoral behavior, improper professional behavior, or a contagious disease.
  • Punitive damages, awarded for willful or malicious defamatory communications;
  • Nominal damages, consisting of a slight amount as a balm to the defamed claimant.

Claimants and their advocates should be aware of these varied categories and the different kinds of evidentiary support necessary to achieve them.  Those defending against these claims should advance appropriate legal arguments and compelling evidence minimizing or negating the claimed harm.

Remarks

Dennis Laurion: What defamation lessons were learned from McKee V. Laurion A11-5454?

Source