Business Law - Orlando V. Cole

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Case name Orlando v. Cole 76 Mass.App.Ct 1112, 921 N.E.2d 566 (2010)Appeals Court of Massachusetts Summary of facts’ cases a. Joseph M. Orlando was the attorney of a 17-year-old student in a sexual assault case involving a basketball coach, Thomas A. Atwater. b. Atwater admitted to Orlando of his act, signed an affidavit and confessed to the police. c. Orlando spoke to the local media about Atwater’s confession and shown the affidavit. d. Garrick F. Cole, the attorney who was later hired by Atwater, told reporters that the affidavit was “inaccurate” and Orlando’s actions were “deceitful” and “fraudulent”. e. Orlando sued Cole for slander but the trial court. Cole filed to dismissed the the complaint and was affirmed. Orlando appealed. History of the case Trial court Appeals court Decision of the court The motion to dismiss was overturned and the case was remand to court for a decision by jury. They believe that within the context of the article read would determined the statement to be fact and not opinion. Reasoning of the court The Appeals Court of Massachusetts held that: A. If a statement discredits an individual in the minds of any considerable and respectable class of the community, then the statement carries defamatory connotations. B. The law requires that a statement to be determined as whether it is a fact or opinion, because based on the First Amendment, that “there is no such thing as a false idea”. C. The three terms used by Cole are defamatory in nature since they imply misconduct of an attorney. D. Cole’s claim that the affidavit was “inaccurate” is a fact, and not an opinion, since its falsehood can be determined. E. Cole’s statements were based on undisclosed defamatory facts (unknown communication between Cole and his client) and thus not protected under the First

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