I have found on the Internet this very useful reflection on defamation lawsuits. Mind, the language is very explicit.
This article is written by a U.S. Criminal defence attorney, and it is aimed at outlets based in the US. It is, I think, useful for every reader, but it should be of particular interest for bloggers of US based blogs.
By delving into the subject matter you will find interesting consideration about what is “libel”, and for example learn that the “a” word (“you are an a-word”) is, in general, opinion and not actionable. A second interesting takeaway is that a blogger generally does not answer for libellous comments on his combox. A third one is that the libel is seen in the contest of the article, say: the use of the expression “Father Rosica must be on cocaine” is allowed if the context makes clear this is an hyperbole or a way to express surprise, without the intention of letting his readers believe that Father Rosica, in actual fact, sniffs.
Similarly, rhetorical figures like (to make an example): “Father Rosica has already shown his tongue has an uncanny ability to reach the strangest places of people who can can help him to honours and favours” only express in a hyperbolic way the writer’s opinion that Father Rosica is an ecclesiastical ladder climber, ready and willing to host and praise excommunicated priests if he thinks they have friends in high places who can be useful to him.
Please click the link, get over the language, and educate yourself a bit over a matter about to become more frequently discussed in the months leading to the Synod.
There are further links there, that I will follow when time allows.
A prayer for this potty-mouthed but rather useful attorney is, I think, fully in order.