Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
The full case caption appears at the end of this opinion. Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. (“Cochran” ), a noted trial attorney famous for successfully representing former football player O.J. Simpson on murder charges, brought adiversity libel action against NYP Holdings, Inc., which owns the New York Post newspaper, and Post columnist Andrea Peyser. The Post published a column byPeyser containing the following statement about Cochran: “Cochran has yet to speak up [regarding his involvement in a civil damages action by police brutality victimAbner Louima]. But history reveals that [Cochran] will say or do just about anything to win, typically at the expense of the truth.” [FOOTNOTE 2] The issue in this case is whether the foregoing statement, viewed in the context of Peyser’ s column as a whole, is capable of serving as the basis for a libel action.Finding the statement to be protected under the First Amendment, the district court dismissed Cochran’ s defamation action pursuant to Federal Rule of CivilProcedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons set forth in then District Judge Wardlaw’ s published memorandum of decision and order, Cochran v. NYP Holdings, Inc., 58 F. Supp. 2d 1113(C.D. Cal. 1998), we affirm. We hereby adopt the introductory statement and Parts I, III, and IV of Judge Wardlaw’ s carefully analyzed decision, id. at 1113-17,1120-27. [FOOTNOTE 3] As Judge Wardlaw recognized, see id. at 1121, a statement of opinion is not automatically entitled to First Amendment protection simply by virtue of its status asopinion; rather, a statement of opinion may be actionable to the extent that it “impl[ies] a false assertion of fact.” Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1, 19(1990). In this case, however, no reasonable factfinder could conclude that Peyser’ s expression of opinion implies any false assertion of undisclosed facts serving asthe basis for her views. Accordingly, for the reasons well-stated in the district court’ s decision, dismissal of Cochran’ s action was proper. AFFIRMED. :::FOOTNOTES::: FN1 The Honorable William W Schwarzer, Senior United States District Judge for the Northern District of California, sitting by designation. FN2 Before the district court, the parties agreed that the “history” referred to by Peyser related solely to Cochran’ s representation of Simpson in Simpson’ s criminalcase. We agree with the parties and the district court that in the context of the column this is the only reasonable interpretation of Peyser’ s statement. FN3 Because the issues addressed in Part II of the district court’ s memorandum, pertaining to personal jurisdiction and transfer, are not at issue in this appeal, we donot adopt that portion of the district court’ s decision.
Cochran v. NYP Holdings, Inc. JOHNNIE L. COCHRAN, JR., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. NYP HOLDINGS, INC., a Delaware Corporation; ANDREA PEYSER, Defendants-Appellees. No. 98-56536 United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit D.C. No. CV-97-09086 KMW Appeal From: United States District Court for the Central District of California Argued and Submitted: April 4, 2000 Before: Stephen Reinhardt and Diarmuid F. O’ Scannlain, Circuit Judges, and William W Schwarzer, District Judge [FOOTNOTE 1] Counsel for Appellant: Barry B. Langberg and Deborah Drooz Counsel for Appellees: Slade R. Metcalf and Trina R. Hunn Filed: April 28, 2000
Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

More From ALM

Premium Subscription

With this subscription you will receive unlimited access to high quality, online, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry. This is perfect for attorneys licensed in multiple jurisdictions or for attorneys that have fulfilled their CLE requirement but need to access resourceful information for their practice areas.
View Now

Team Accounts

Our Team Account subscription service is for legal teams of four or more attorneys. Each attorney is granted unlimited access to high quality, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry along with administrative access to easily manage CLE for the entire team.
View Now

Bundle Subscriptions

Gain access to some of the most knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with our 2 bundle options! Our Compliance bundles are curated by CLE Counselors and include current legal topics and challenges within the industry. Our second option allows you to build your bundle and strategically select the content that pertains to your needs. Both options are priced the same.
View Now

Women Influence & Power in Law Awards 2021

October 07, 2021
Washington, DC

Women Influence & Power in Law Awards honors women lawyers who have made a remarkable difference in the legal profession.


Women Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) 2021

October 06, 2021 - October 08, 2021
Washington, DC

WIPL is the original global forum facilitating women-to-women exchange on leadership and legal issues.


General Counsel Conference Midwest: SuperConference 2021

October 12, 2021 - October 13, 2021
Chicago, IL

GCC Midwest addresses today's legal issues facing companies by providing general counsel with insight and best practices.


Legal Assistant/Paralegal (Wayne, PA)

Wayne, Pennsylvania, United States

Console Mattiacci Law, LLC, a mid-sized plaintiff-side employment litigation firm, is seeking a full-time (30+ hours per week) litigation as...

Apply Now ›

Legal Assistant/Case Manager

Houston, Texas, United States

We are looking for EXPERIENCED personal injury case managers/legal assistants to join our team. Come work with us!   The right team m...

Apply Now ›

Employee Benefits Associate

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Duane Morris seeks an associate with 3-4 years of experience to join its Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group. Candidate shoul...

Apply Now ›



JAVERBAUM WURGAFT HICKS mourn the passing of our Co-Founding Partner, collegue, and friend.

View Announcement ›



Barton Gilman Expands Into Connecticut

View Announcement ›



Barton Gilman LLP is excited to announce that its expansion into Philadelphia

View Announcement ›