Defamation Business Ethics Case 3.5: Defamation and Essay

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Business Ethics Case 3.5: Defamation and Change of Venue

The National Enquirer is a tabloid newspaper and as such, makes its revenue primarily from printing stories regarding public figures that are not inherently supported by meaningful investigative journalism, professional ethics, protection of privacy or adherence to responsible fact-finding. This is demonstrated in the defamation and invasion-of-privacy case delineated here, where Shirley Jones has pressed charges against the widely popular publication for printing an article which she believed portrayed her inaccurately and in a manner that will have damaged here reputation as a performer or as a private citizen.

Because the publication and its president are based in Florida and the suit has been brought in California, there is some pertinent debate regarding the defendant's attempt to have the venue moved to its home state. Here, The National Enquirer has appealed to the argument that its operations being in Florida and the original act of alleged defamation having occurred in Florida, it is the entitlement of the publication to have its defense heard in its home state.
However, this change of venue, according to the text by Cheeseman (2010), may only be supported in the event that a 'forum-selection clause' has previously existed in some manner of agreement between the defendant and the plaintiff. According to Cheeseman, "a forum-selection clause in a contract specifies what court will hear the case if there is a dispute concerning a domestic or international contract. . . If the parties are from different states, the clause designates which state court will hear the case." (Cheeseman, p. 43)

Based on the clause stated here above, it is not unreasonable that the National Enquirer sought the intervention of an administrative judge regarding venue. Presumably, the National Enquirer might have put forth the argument that its contractual agreement with the customers in its multi-state circulation range carries just such a clause where….....

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