What must Dewey Love prove to be successful in his defamation claim

Sam Superstar is working as a reporter at the Anytown Times newspaper when he runs into Lisa Brooks, an old high school friend. Lisa explains to Sam that she is working as an assistant for the very famous movie star Dewey Love. Lisa tells Sam that Dewey has unpaid child support and uses narcotic drugs without a prescription. Sam writes down all Lisa’s statements. Sam believes Lisa’s statements since she was known in high school as having a stellar reputation for honesty. However, Sam does some research and finds out that Lisa actually works for a man named Louis Dove, a retired teacher, not Dewey Love as she claimed.

Regardless, Sam writes an article stating that Dewey Love uses drugs and has unpaid child support. The headline reads, “Dewey Love Says Yes to Drugs and No to Child Support!” On November 1, Sam prints the article believing the statements he printed were false. On November 2, Dewey reads the article and makes the following statement to his business manager at the breakfast table, “I wonder how he knew about the drugs and child support? Oh well. You can’t keep those things a secret, I guess. It’s all true, you know.” On November 3, Dewey sues the Anytown Times for defamation. On November 4, Sam is suspended by the Anytown Times newspaper for his reporting on the Dewey Love incident. Sam goes home and connects to the Internet. He visits two social media sites and posts the following statement on both sites: “I hate my job and the Anytown Timesnewspaper. The Times is losing money on ads, so they are charging their customers more next year! My paper suspended me for reporting on the Love article, even though I did nothing really wrong. I just made up some facts on some movie star!” The next day, November 5, Sam begins to regret the statements he made on the Internet. He deletes the statements from the social media sites. On November 6, Sam is fired by the Anytown Times.


  1. What must Dewey Love prove to be successful in his defamation claim?
  2. What can Anytown argue to the court, or present as evidence at trial, to defend against Love’s claim for defamation?
  3. Sam sues the Anytown Times and requests the court require the newspaper to give him back his job as a reporter. What is the most likely legal reason the newspaper can use to substantiate Sam’s firing?







Michael is a real estate developer. He is looking for a new tract of land to build a gated community called Sudden Valley for family homes. Michael finds a 100-acre tract of land and starts to build homes. Prior to development, Michael believed he had title to the property. On the first day of development, September 20, 2003, one of the construction workers, Buster, loses a ring as he is hammering a nail into a wall. He tries to find the ring, but it is lost. Finally, the last home is completed on February 17, 2006. The next day Michael sells his first home to a magician named Gob. Michael gives Gob a quit-claim deed for the home. The next day Gob looks into one of the cupboards and finds Buster’s lost ring. Gob wants to sell the ring. He heads to a local coffee shop to find a buyer. Gob runs into an old friend Gene. They talk and Gene offers $200 for the ring. Gob replies, “Come on! This ring is worth $3,000 easy.” Gene then offers $800 for the ring. Gob replies, “I guess we have a deal.” Gene says, “We have a deal.” Gene gives Gob $800. Due to the bad economy in 2008, Buster loses his job as a construction worker. His longtime girlfriend, Lucille, won’t marry him because of his lack of employment. Lucille says to Buster, “I will marry you on the condition you give me your 5,000 shares of Stand-Poor Incorporated.” Buster says, “Yes, I agree.”


  1. Lucille has a change of heart and doesn’t want to marry Buster. Buster sues Lucille and requests the court to force her to marry him. What can she argue to the court if she wants to win? Why?
  2. Assume that unbeknownst to Michael, the 100-acre tract of land where Sudden Valley was built is actually owned by Tobias. Tobias bought the land in 1995. Tobias sues Gob for his home and land back. If Tobias wins, what is the most likely reason for that outcome?
  3. Do Gene and Gob have a valid contract? Why or why not? Is there a way for either party to get out of the contract? Why or why not?
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