(1) Is this case fair? Why/why not? Explain your position in 1-2 paragraphs. Try to convince the reader to agree with you. (20 points)
Social media posts have been used to invalidate settle- ment agreements that contained confidentiality clauses. CASE EXAMPLE 5.13 Patrick Snay was the headmaster of Gulliver Preparatory School in Florida. When Gulliver did not renew Snay’s employment contract for 2010–2011, Snay sued the school for age discrimination. During mediation, Snay agreed to settle the case for $80,000 and signed a confidentiality clause that required his wife and he not to disclose the “terms and existence” of the agreement. Neverthe- less, Snay and his wife told their daughter, Dana, that the dispute had been settled and that they were happy with the results. Dana, a college student, had recently graduated from Gulliver and, according to Snay, had suffered retaliation at the school. Dana posted a Facebook comment that said, “Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver. Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.” The comment went out to 1,200 of Dana’s Facebook friends, many of whom were Gulliver students, and school officials soon learned of it. The school immediately notified Snay that he had breached the confidentiality clause and refused to pay the settlement amount. Ultimately, a state intermediate appellate court agreed and held that Snay could not enforce the settlement agreement.
(2) Consider the following case, you work for the attorney representing The Welltown Times. What would you advise the attorney to argue? In 1-2 paragraphs advise the attorney on the merits of Ms. Buchanan’s case. Consider what you have learned about defamation, cyber activity, etc. (25 points)
Ms. Dana Buchanan is an actress who has appeared in 2 blockbuster films over the past few years. She is a fervent PETA supporter and has appeared at many protests at clothing companies and restaurant headquarters. The Welltown Times is a newspaper in Ms. Buchanan’s hometown. Last month the newspaper published an article on its website with a picture showing Ms. Buchanan eating a chicken wing and asserting that she wears fur and regularly eats meat. The picture and information for the article came from Ms. Buchanan’s former assistant. The newspaper knew that Ms. Buchanan had recently fired this assistant. The article link posted on social media was re-linked by national news media and seen by millions of people. Ms. Buchanan has received hate mail and there have been protests at her current workplace (a movie set in North Carolina). Ms. Buchanan has sued The Welltown Times for defamation.