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Torts Keyed to Prosser
Belli v. Orlando Daily Newspapers, Inc.
Citation:389 F.2d 579, cert. denied 393 U.S. 825, 89 S.Ct. 88, 21 L.Ed.2d 96 (1968)
Melvin Belli (plaintiff) was a prominent attorney due to his high-profile clients, his success in obtaining large judgments for plaintiffs, and for pioneering the development of certain trial tactics. Jean Yothers was a columnist for Orlando Daily Newspapers, Incorporated (“Orlando”) (defendant). While conversing with another attorney, Yothers learned of an unflattering story concerning Belli. Per the story, Belli had been invited by the Florida Bar Association to serve as a panel member at a convention. Belli agreed with the understanding that the Association would pick up the hotel tab for himself and his wife. Belli and his wife allegedly ran up the hotel bill with clothing bills. This story, however, was false. Despite its false nature, Yothers ran the nine-year old story, with added embellishments, in her gossip column. Belli brought a defamation suit against the newspaper owner, Orlando.
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