Friday, 7 May 2010
Comedian wins defamation suit by mother-in-law
Here's a charming story just in time for Mother's Day. The ABA Journal reports that a federal judge in New Jersey has ruled that stand-up comedian Sunda Croonquist's mother-in-law jokes were statements of opinion protected by the First Amendment. U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper of New Jersey concluded that the examples cited — including one in which Croonquist says her sister-in-law's voice sounds like a cat in heat — fell under the category of protected speech. The suit was filed by Croonquist’s mother-in-law, sister-in-law and brother-in-law, and claimed defamation, infliction of emotional distress, false light and unjust enrichment. The plaintiffs targeted video clips on Croonquist’s website and comments on her blog. Croonquist was represented in the suit by her husband’s law firm, Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Greenberg, Formato & Einiger in New York.