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First Amendment Library:
Wayne B. Giampietro


In a magazine called American Opinion, the John Birch Society accused Gertz, an attorney, of being a “Leninist” and a “Communist-fronter” because he chose to represent clients who were suing a law enforcement officer. Gertz lost his libel suit because the trial judge found that the magazine had not violated the actual malice test for libel, which the Supreme Court had established in New York Times v. Sullivan (1964). The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the trial judge’s ruling.