Students seek $178,000 for fees in failed defamation case

 February 3, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Students at Notre Dame University have gone to court seeking $178,000 to be reimbursed for fees and costs associated with defending a failed defamation case that was brought against them.

Students who run the independent The Irish Rover publication are being represented by The Bopp Law Firm.

The publication is "devoted to preserving the Catholic identity of Notre Dame" and requested a court order requiring Tamar Kay, a teacher at the school, to pay that sum for legal fees over the "frivolous" defamation case brought against the publication.

The state court in South Bend, Indiana, just days ago dismissed the case, based on Indiana's "Anti-SLAPP" law that protects someone when exercising their right of free speech against a frivolous suit dismissing the case.

The legal team explained, "The Anti-SLAPP law also requires the person who filed the meritless suit to pay the attorney's fees for the defendant. That is exactly what happened to The Irish Rover and is why the court dismissed Dr. Kay's lawsuit. Now, Dr. Kay will be obligated to pay The Irish Rover's attorney's fees."

"Indiana's Anti-SLAPP law provides a way for defendants who are accused of defamation without any basis in law and fact to recoup their attorney fees and is intended to be a deterrent for people bringing these types of frivolous cases," explained James Bopp, Jr.

"My firm concentrates on defending First Amendment rights—we were happy to defend The Irish Rover's right to free speech in this case."

The publication had written about Kay, accurately quoting public statements by the noted abortion rights promoter.

"Kay posted a sign on her Notre Dame office door which stated, 'This is a SAFE SPACE to get help and information on ALL Healthcare issues and access—confidentially with care and compassion.' Her Twitter account regularly shared information supporting her pro-abortion stance—including information about 'Plan C Pills' (a common term for pills used to induce abortion, often at home)."

The court concluded the reporting was accurate and lawful.

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