Burbage v. Burbage at the Texas Supreme Court

by   |  08.29.14  |  Libel

I want to direct your attention to a decision that came out of the Texas Supreme Court today. Burbage v. Burbage is a libel case involving two brothers, and the decision has several interesting facets. But the most important aspect to me relates to a discussion we had in class but one we have not studied thoroughly.

Essentially, the court overturned a trial court decision enjoining one brother from “publishing, disseminating or causing to be published or disseminated, . . . to third-parties by any means, . . . any statement or representation that states, implies or suggests in whole or part” any of four pages of forbidden topics.

“Prohibitive injunctions of future speech that is the same or similar to speech that has been
adjudicated to be defamatory,” the court wrote, “operate as impermissible prior restraints on free speech.”