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Tag Archives: Libel

Blogger’s comment wasn’t libel, then it was (access required)

In politics, it’s known as the non-apology apology. North Carolina political strategist Ed Rapp offered one in the wake of an accusation he posted on his blog about Brunswick County (N.C.) Superior Court Judge Ola M. Lewis. But it didn’t help: The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that Rapp couldn’t be sued for his initial mistake, but when he stuck to his guns in the apology, even knowing he was wrong, he committed libel per se.

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Ousted preacher collects award for libel, slander  (access required)

After a relatively minor tax mistake triggered a series of increasingly bitter and bizarre spats between a pastor and the Hartsville church he led for 18 years, a jury ultimately rendered unto him a six-figure award for his suffering. The Rev. Isaac Johnson (pictured) sued the Jerusalem Baptist Church in August 2008, alleging that its leaders had falsely accused him of tax evasion and had no right to terminate his contract with the church. The accusations began bubbling up after the IRS notified the church that it owed about $4,000 in back taxes, according to Johnson’s attorney, John D. Clark of the Clark Law Firm in Sumter. In the weeks following the tax trouble, Johnson was locked out of the church, charged with interfering with a religious service by an undercover officer in the congregation, and his reputation was so badly damaged that he has not been able to find work as a pastor at another church, according to Clark.

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