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Law School Case Brief

Lee v. Paulsen - 273 Or. 103, 539 P.2d 1079 (1975)

Rule:

There is an absolute privilege for publications that are consented to. 

Facts:

Plaintiff teacher was notified that his contract was not going to be renewed. The teacher received written notice of the reasons for the nonrenewal. At a public meeting, the teacher's attorney requested that the school board publicly state the reasons contained in the written notice. The teacher then filed a defamation action alleging that the publication was defamatory. The trial court granted defendants' motion for an involuntary nonsuit. On appeal, the court affirmed. The court affirmed the order of the trial court granting defendants' motion for an involuntary nonsuit in the teacher's defamation action.

Issue:

Did the trial court err in granting defendant's motion for an involuntary nonsuit?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The court held that the statements were absolutely privileged because the teacher requested and consented to their publication, and the teacher knew the exact language of the publication before he requested the publication.

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