I’m not going to go into any detail or comment much on the latest decision rejecting the Argus Leader‘s efforts to dismiss Dan Scott’s libel suit against it and executive editor Randell Beck. (The opinion is available in PDF format here thanks to PP.) Suffice it to say that the written opinion reflects comments I made early on. In fact, in noting that the question is how a “reasonable reader” would have viewed the column, the opinion discusses the same cases quoted in that post.
The next big question isn’t a legal one. It’s how long and bloody the road to trial or the next dispositive motions will be. One thing is certain. If tickets were available to Bill Janklow taking Beck’s deposition they would generate premium prices.
[T]he nature of the Argus, as well as the context in which Beck’s column appeared, may not signal to a reasonable reader that they were only reading a parody of Scott’s actual apology letter.
Memorandum opinion, Scott v. Beck and The Sioux Falls Argus Leader, April 28, 2008