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Editor’s Picks: Can Defamation Suits Save the Media? | SolarWinds Lessons for Lawyers | How Families are Erased

As a longtime journalist, defamation suits tend to make me cringe. Yet as I write this, I am struck by a recent interview of Erik Connolly and the $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, Rudy Guiliani, and Syndey Powell.

Connolly shares his perspective on the potential value of defamation cases in reining in the flood of misinformation we’re seeing passed along by traditional news sources and that is particularly flourishing on social media.

These cases can play a role in “correcting the trajectory of disinformation,” Connolly tells @theBar hosts Jonathan Amarilio and Trisha Rich.

Smartmatic v. Fox News Edition isn’t the first time Connolly has taken on a large media organization. One of his most notable cases involved a suit against Disney and ABC on behalf of a company producing a processed beef product the network named “pink slime.”

To this day, Connolly won’t utter that nickname but shared the similarities in the cases, including that many of the same lawyers working on that case are on this current litigation team.

A SolarWinds Perspective for Law Firms

If you’re using a third party for services (Seriously though, who isn’t?), cybersecurity expert Jeffrey Wells can explain some routine ways to be sure those vendors aren’t putting you at greater risk.

On Digital Detectives, Wells disentangles the supply chain spider web. He explains how one third-party vendor relies on another and that one relies on another and so on.

It’s up to lawyers to help clients trust but verify. Verify is the keyword there. Using the SolarWinds hack as an example, Wells tells hosts John Simek and Sharon Nelson how lawyers can help clients do evaluations and how they can and should do evaluations of their own practice and firm relationships with vendors.

Books for Lawyers: Death Penalty Edition

On The Modern Law Library, veteran journalist Maurice Chammah, a reporter with The Marshall Project, details his interest in the history of the death penalty with a particular emphasis on Texas aka the “epicenter” of the death penalty.

From pioneering lethal injections to far surpassing any other state in carrying out executions, Texas has maintained its position as the capital of capital punishment.

Chammah talks about his book, Let The Lord Sort Them: The Rise and Fall of the Death Penalty and this particular niche in the law. He tells host Lee Rawles how vagaries of these cases “poisons the relationships between lawyers.”

What to Watch: ‘Erasing Family’

Some of the most heartrending court cases are in family court, involving divorce and separation. Activist documentary filmmaker Ginger Gentile builds on her personal family experiences to dive into life post-divorce, in which she maintains millions of Americans become erased from their families. 

Gentile speaks with Legal Talk Today host Laurence Colletti about Erasing Family and how the adversarial court system and judges without training in child psychology can exacerbate the problems.

The documentary is also streaming now on Amazon Prime and YouTube

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Thumbnail image is from the documentary film “Erasing Family.”

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Molly McDonough, a longtime legal affairs journalist, is a producer for the current events show "Legal Talk Today." She also is a media and content strategist with McDonough Media LLC. McDonough previously served as editor and publisher of the ABA’s flagship magazine, the "ABA Journal." She writes about access to justice at "A Just Society."