03.02 First Amendment Assignment

Obsidian Finance Group, LLC v. Cox

The report was describing the case ruling in the Obsidian Finance Corporation Vs. Cox case in Ninth Circuit. The case reflected on First Amendment negligence standard for private defamation actions.  The case was not limited to its institutional media defendants and Cox as a blogger. the case was held in 2011 that dealt with the concerns with online defamation. The Plaintiffs Obsidian Finance Group and its co-founder Kevin Patrick sued Crystal Cox for maintaining several blogs that accused Obsidian and Patrick of corrupt and fraudulent conduct.

The Obsidian Finance Group is a financial advisory firm which was managing the bankruptcy of Summit 1031, a real estate company and Crystal Cox is a self-proclaimed “investigative blogger” that wanted to exploit the company corruption. The result caused Obsidian and Patrick to brought up a law suit against Cox for defamation and exposing all of Cox’s claims were false and damaging Patrick’s reputation. The case is notable for it ruling that Cox, an internet blogger and was not a journalist. This did not allow any protection by Oregon’s media shield laws which is a legislation law set to protect the right of news reporters to refuse to testify as to information and/or sources of information obtained during the news gathering and dissemination process. So to that easily put; the jury ruled in favor of Obsidian and Patrick gaining $2.5 million in damages.

The case outcome is no surprise and is fairly reasonable ruling from the court. Cox’s was reporting based on her view of the company and not actual fact. The information could have even been made up for all we know; their was no backup to it. She was not even a journalist; so no one is going to feel sympathies for this person action. So all is fairly case and answers to my view and the case was handled correctly.

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