Libel: Gregory V. Gregory Case Analysis

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Libel is false, “published or broadcast communication that lowers the reputation of an individual by holding him or her up to contempt, ridicule, or scorn” (Pember, 691). Defamation is a broader, more encompassing term that includes both libel, which is published defamation, and slander, which is spoken defamation. In the case Gregory v. Gregory, plaintiffs Robert, Christopher, and Samuel Gregory sue their brother, W. Patric Gregory III (“Patric Gregory”) for libel. The brothers are in a family business together called New Jersey Galvanizing and Tinning Works, Inc. (“NJG”), where one of the plaintiffs, Robert Gregory, is the president. A few years ago, the plaintiffs were involved in a dispute that did not include the defendant Patric…show more content…
Defendant Patric Gregory did not demonstrate the existence of a qualified “family relationships” privilege because there was insufficient evidence to conclude Patric’s reasoning for sharing the Binder with his family members was necessary. Therefore, the court dismissed the defendant’s motion for the New Jersey law to recognize his proposed family-relations privilege.

Since Defendant Patric Gregory argues that statements made in the Binder are protected under “a subset of the common-interest privilege,” ECF No. 15 at 18, the court treats the argument instead as a qualified privilege matter, rather than a “family relationships” privilege matter. Qualified privilege is recognized under New Jersey law as "a communication ‘made bona fide upon any subject-matter in which the party communicating has an interest, or in reference to which he has a duty, is privileged if made to a person having a corresponding interest or duty, although it contains criminatory matter which, without this privilege, would be slanderous and actionable." Professional Recovery Services, 642 F. Supp. 2d at 400. In order to assess if a qualified privilege exists, the New Jersey Court refers to "(1) the appropriateness of the occasion on which the defamatory information is published, (2) the legitimacy of the interest thereby sought to be protected or promoted, and (3) the pertinence of the receipt of that

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