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Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Upcoming 2020 Victor Schwartz Lecture in Torts: Modernizing Defamation Law

I am honored to be giving the 2020 Victor Schwartz Lecture in Torts at the University of Cincinnati College of Law on October 6. Here's my topic: 

The common law tort of defamation acquired its distinctive shape and labyrinthine doctrines over the course of the last five centuries. In this century, the tort is being confronted with its biggest challenge since the invention of the printing press, namely how can defamation law protect reputation and free expression in a world where social media invite billions of people to impulsively comment on every conceivable topic from devices they carry in their pockets, all while creating a record of their carelessly chosen words? At this juncture in defamation’s long history, the American Law Institute has appointed reporters Robert Post and Lyrissa Lidsky (that would be me), along with a stellar panel of advisers, to “restate” the tort of defamation. The launching of this project creates an opportunity to reconsider how defamation law can accommodate free speech and reputation in a society that weights them very differently than Sixteenth Century England or even the United States of the late 1970s when the Restatement (Second) of Torts: Defamation was completed. This presentation (and a forthcoming essay) will examine and critique recent trends in defamation cases to scry what they portend for modernizing defamation law for the digital age.

Posted by Lyrissa Lidsky on September 1, 2020 at 06:46 PM in Lyrissa Lidsky, Torts | Permalink


Is anybody from Northwestern here to report on how the struggle sessions are going? I'm not sure we've ever tried Maoist tactics in higher education before and so I was wondering if anyone could give us a progress report.

Posted by: thegreatdisappointment | Sep 2, 2020 12:05:55 PM

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