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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Judge Dismisses Slander Suit against Valley Patriot

Judge Hopkins issues ruling in Thompson vs. The Valley Patriot Slander/Libel Lawsuit (LINK TO DECISION)
Judge Hopkins of Lawrence Superior Court issued a ruling today in the slander and libel lawsuit filed by Kevin Thompson against the Valley Patriot, Thomas Duggan and Paula Porten. The judge ruled: "One cannot be so prominent and vocal a partisan in a public debate, particularly when one has had a hand in creating the debate in the first place, and then cry foul at the rough and tumble of the merketplace of ideas. Thompson cannot establish that any of the claims in the op-ed are anything other than opinion or, if they are fact, that they are false. Therefore, he cannot, a fortiori, prove that they were made with “actual malice.” Consequently his claim must be dismissed. – Judge Merita Hopkins, Justice of the Superior Court.
Thompson sued The Valley Patriot and it's owners individually for publishing an opinion piece back in March of 2006 entitled; Father's Priorities are Out of Wack, There's a New Greg Hyatt in Town. The editors of The Valley Patriot will issue a press release within 48 hours. Attorney Peter Caruso of Andover (who once represented the Eagle Tribune for decades on 1st amendment issues) is the attorney for The Valley Patriot in all legal matters. Valley Patriot president Tom Duggan would only say that he will be discussng the issue "in depth" on his Paying Attention! radio program on 980AM WCAP, Saturday morning at 10AM. Duggan said the "bogus lawsuit" cost the monthly newspaper "thousands of dollars in legal fees." The Valley Patriot still faces a lawsuit by Attorney William DiAdamo who was fired by the City of Lawrence after losing the Andrea Traficanti case. DiAdamo is suing the newspaper in an attempt to force Valey Patriot President, Tom Duggan to reveal his sources on the story of his firing. RELATED STORY NUMBER 1: Fired attorney's firm member made millions on taxpayers: Andrea Traficanti files for permanent disability RELATED STORY NUMBER 2: Defending the First Amendment and protecting confidential sources - Lawrence Attorney was confidential source
Anyone wishing to donate to the The Valley Patriot Legal Defense Fund using the PayPal button at

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