Zak Smith is suing his accusers

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pemerton

Legend
Unless someone is convicted and I can see the evidence I don’t care. No conviction means I could care less about accusations.
This doesn't quite make sense. As I understand it, ZakS is suing people who have accused him of stuff. if he wins, that will count as evidence (not definitive, of course) that the accusations were not true (I think truth is normally a defence in US defamation law, though am happy to be corrected on that). But no one will be convicted - defamation is a civil action and the remedy is damages.

Conversely, if the defendants win by arguing the truth of their allegations that will clearly count as evidence (again, not definitive) of that truth, even though no one will be convicted.
 

pemerton

Legend
Frankly, I'm so tired of accusations, allegations, rumors, insinuations, and alleged incidents, I really couldn't care less. That's not a great attitude, but there it is.
This seems confused. An allegation by X that Y did such-and-such too her may be true or false. But it's not an insinuation. And it's not a rumour. It is an accusation or an allegation, and I'm not sure why you'd be tired of those given that they're the main way we learn that wrong things have been done to human beings.
 

Jd Smith1

Explorer
This seems confused. An allegation by X that Y did such-and-such too her may be true or false. But it's not an insinuation. And it's not a rumour. It is an accusation or an allegation, and I'm not sure why you'd be tired of those given that they're the main way we learn that wrong things have been done to human beings.
In the USA you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Until that point had been reached there is neither a literal, nor legal, difference between accusation, insinuation, and rumor.

Autopsies are the main way way we learn that wrong things have been done to Human beings.

In any case, I don't care, and I'm done with this thread.
 

cmad1977

Adventurer
In the USA you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Until that point had been reached there is neither a literal, nor legal, difference between accusation, insinuation, and rumor.

Autopsies are the main way way we learn that wrong things have been done to Human beings.

In any case, I don't care, and I'm done with this thread.
Nobody cares if you don’t care. Odd that people need to say loudly and often ‘they don’t care!’. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
In the USA you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Until that point had been reached there is neither a literal, nor legal, difference between accusation, insinuation, and rumor.

Autopsies are the main way way we learn that wrong things have been done to Human beings.

In any case, I don't care, and I'm done with this thread.
This is a logical fallacy.

If you are accused of sexual harassment at work, you will probably lose your job, even though there is no court case. If an artist makes racist statements, people will stop buying their albums, even though there were no court case.
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
Zak I'm sure did everything he's accused of, though being rich, he will be able to walk away without punishment that a normal person would. That is the way the world works.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
This doesn't quite make sense. As I understand it, ZakS is suing people who have accused him of stuff. if he wins, that will count as evidence (not definitive, of course) that the accusations were not true (I think truth is normally a defence in US defamation law, though am happy to be corrected on that). But no one will be convicted - defamation is a civil action and the remedy is damages.

Conversely, if the defendants win by arguing the truth of their allegations that will clearly count as evidence (again, not definitive) of that truth, even though no one will be convicted.
So, a few observations.

It is my understanding that this lawsuit was filed in Canada, not the United States. Typical defamation forum shopping. I do not know enough about Canadian law to opine on the issue much, other than to say that Canadian law is much more plaintiff-friendly in defamation cases; from what I generally understand, Canada is considered one of the least speech-protective jurisdictions of the major commonlaw countries. The only reason you don't normally see this type of forum shopping by Americans is because you can't generally collect on a Canadian defamation judgement in America without re-proving it (SPEECH Act).

You are correct that truth is a defense; the old rule of "the greater the truth, the greater the libel" is not the case, and the idea of truth as a defense was established thanks to Alexander Hamilton in People v. Croswell (sidenote- Hamilton was such an amazing lawyer that his notes were used for almost 100 years by aspiring attorneys in New York). That said, the reason that American jurisprudence is so speech-protective is not just "truth as a defense;" it's more because there are multiple procedural protections, from constitutional (First Amendment) to statutory (anti-SLAPP laws in some places) that allow defendants to get rid of defamation claims quickly without having to engage in protracted and expensive litigation.

(whew)

So, with that said, why worry about defamation lawsuits in America?

Well, the US follows the American rule- that means that, absent a contract or statutory provision, each side pays their own attorney's fees. So if there is a power or wealth imbalance between parties, one party can simply hammer the other side - even if they lose, it might be worth it to them to inflict pain. After all, if both sides have to pay, say, 100k in attorney's fees, and one side has a billion dollars, and the other side makes 50k a year ....

So the gist of it is that powerful people can still use defamation law to harass less powerful people. They go in knowing that even if they lose, they win.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
I think it's going to be really hard to get any sort of thoughtful commentary on this issue because the "sides" have been firmly entrenched for or against Zak for decades for reasons completely unrelated to this particular issue. I.e., people have either defended him to the teeth, or hated his guts, long before these allegations were made, and I suspect those feelings will significantly color any commentary made in regards to this particular issue.

Either way, I suppose my biggest hope is that whoever the victims are in this case, they can get closure and the perpetrator(s) can get held accountable.
 
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