Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wuterich Defamation Case

Interesting coverage today, here, of the defamation case brought against Rep. John Murtha for statements he made about Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich. Oral arguments were held today in the D.C. Circuit regarding Rep. Murtha's (DOJ's) appeal of a U.S. District Court order requiring him to respond to discovery. U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer ordered Murtha to produce documents and testify to make his claim for congressional immunity related to the statements, see report here.

Two days, two Wuterich appeals, see CAAF opinion coverage here, Sgt. Wuterich is his own legal docket.


Cloudesley Shovell said...

Rather interesting that in both Wuterich cases, the appellate court questioned whether it had jurisdiction over an interlocutory discovery matter, whether it be getting outtakes from CBS News or testimony from a sitting congressman.

Fakirs Canada said...

There is nothing in the coverage you reference that says Murtha made statements about an identifiable individual. In fact the report you cite says: "A Marine Corps sergeant is suing the 16-term congressman for alleging "cold-blooded murder and war crimes" by unnamed soldiers in connection with the deaths of Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha."
Here in Canada, disparaging remarks have to be about an identifiable "legal entity" in order to be actionable. I'd heard American laws were less friendly to defamation plaintiffs than Canadian law, but, apparently, that's not the case.