Slabbed New Media wins historic case under the US SPEECH Act.
US District Court rejects claims of US Citizens that forum shopped a defamation case to a foreign country in an act known as libel tourism. Record $425,000 Nova Scotia defamation judgment is “Repugnant to the Constitution” of the United States under the SPEECH Act.
Bay St Louis, Mississsippi December 20, 2012: U.S. Federal court rules against Canadian libel tourists -$425,000 judgment unenforceable:
United States District Court Judge Louis Guirola ruled yesterday saying that Louisiana native Vaughn Perret and his life partner Charles Leary had not met the U.S. standard of proof for their claims against Mississippi investigative journalist and blogger Doug Handshoe in a Nova Scotia court issuing a summary judgment December 19, 2012 for Handshoe and denied the claim by Perret, Leary and Trout Point Lodge, a Nova Scotia luxury resort property linked to a major political corruption scandal in New Orleans.
The pair had won a large defamation judgment in Nova Scotia against Handshoe and his highly-acclaimed political blog, Slabbed, and filed suit in Mississippi in an attempt to enforce that judgment. Handshoe did not defend the suit in Nova Scotia, and a default judgment was entered against him.
“It was an obvious case of libel tourism from the start and I was not going to dignify it with a response,” Handshoe contended, referring to what Judge Guirola described in his decision as “…the practice of “circumventing [U.S. Consitution] First Amendment protections”…“by filing lawsuits in foreign jurisdictions that lack similar protections.”