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Calling a lawyer whose modeling business Web site linked to porn sites a “pornographer” does not constitute slander per se, but saying that he “lives with under-aged girls” may be actionable, a New York judge has ruled. Especially when the girl in question is old enough to drink legally. State trial court Justice Rolando T. Acosta has allowed a defamation action initiated by Manhattan solo practitioner William J. Unroch against his neighbor, Carol Turchin Monderer, to go forward. The defense claim that the statement was “substantially true” because Unroch, 53, lives with a 22-year-old woman “is disingenuous at best,” Acosta held. “The statement clearly implied that plaintiff was sexually involved with minors. Consensual sex with a minor is a serious offense.” The dispute apparently began when Unroch launched a campaign to unseat current members of the co-op’s board. Unroch denied that his Web site contains porn. “A couple of links list to sites that are regular modeling and mild adult stuff, not adult-adult,” he said.- New York Law Journal Not for amateurs A New Jersey woman who said she fell off a slippery bar and injured herself while dancing in a “Shake It Like Shakira” contest is suing the saloon that sponsored the competition. Megan Zacher, 22, fell at Calico Jack’s Cantina in New York City, suffering a torn knee ligament that required surgery, according to her lawyer, Lawrence Simon. He said that Zacher and two friends were celebrating a birthday and had been at the establishment about an hour. She was working on her second drink and was dancing on the bar, vying for the $250 prize, when she fell. Pop songstress Shakira is famous for her eye-catching belly dance moves in her videos and in-person appearances. Zacher’s lawsuit says the bar’s owners should have known that the contest was “dangerous and likely to lead to injury.”- Associated Press Slur, not slander So it was “ill-informed,” “mean-spirited,” “insulting to voters.” But defamatory? Well, not so much. That’s the judgment from Illinois’ 5th District Appellate Court about a campaign flier targeting Gordon Maag, now an ex-member of the same court. Maag was defeated in 2004 both for retention and for election to the Illinois Supreme Court. He blamed the flier, which painted him as a friend of brutal criminals and sex predators, and filed a $110 million defamation suit. He got little more than sympathy from his former colleagues. The flier more or less accurately described his bottom-line rulings, the appellate court said. If its descriptions of his legal reasoning was “simplistic and misleading,” well, that’s politics.- Staff Reports

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