Playing catch up in our perusal of recent First Circuit and Law Court decisions, a First Circuit decision involving a defamation claim caught our eye. Sindi v. El-Moslimany, No. 16-2347. The panel were Judges Barron, Selya and Stahl. Judge Selya wrote the majority decision for himself and Judge Stahl, with Judge Barron dissenting in part. Eugene Volokh, a professor at UCLA, filed an amicus brief on behalf of himself.
The facts, in a nutshell, were that Defendant #1 and her husband hosted a Thanksgiving dinner at their home in 2010, with the plaintiff, a prominent Saudi scientist and entrepreneur then a visiting scholar at Harvard University. Several months later, Defendant #1 came to believe that her husband and the plaintiff were engaged in a “meretricious” relationship. #1 and her mother then launched a series of web posts accusing the Plaintiff of various untrue things. Plaintiff sued for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, tortious interference with contract, and tortious interference