You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk? This month a Judge ruled against a blogger in a libel case of $2.5 million in a defamation case tried in a federal court in Oregon. Crystal Cox, who calls herself an investigative blogger who is also a journalist, wrote repetitively about the bankruptcy case of Summit Accommodations. Kevin Padrick, an Oregon attorney with Obsidian Finance Group, was appointed trustee in charge of paying Summit creditors. Cox accused Padrick of committing tax fraud, among other things. Padrick sued Cox and won a unanimous jury verdict. According to published reports, there wasn't any evidence that Padrick did anything wrong. Cox tried to use the Shield Law, which allows journalists to protect confidential sources, but the Judge ruled Cox was not a journalist and so is not entitled to the protections. This case is of most interest in both the blogosphere and in the media, as it outlines the continued growth of blogging, the gray area between journalists and bloggers and more libel cases born out of blog posts.
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