Article in Judges' Journal is opinion, not actionable under defamation or false advertising law

Board of Forensic Document Document Examiners, Inc. v. American Bar Ass’n, No. 17 C 01130, 2018 WL 1014510 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 22, 2018)The Board of Forensic Document Examiners, and seven of its members, alleged defamation by an article appearing in The Judges’ Journal, published by the ABA. Members of the Judicial Division of the ABA receive a complimentary subscription to the Journal. In August 2015, a special issue titled Forensic Sciences – Judges as Gatekeepers focused on various subjects of forensic science that judges might encounter when qualifying experts. One article, Forensic Handwriting Comparison Examination in the Courtroom, was written by defendant Thomas Vastrick, who is a forensic document examiner certified by a different board, namely, defendant American Board of Forensic Document Examiners. Vastrick also sits on the board of the American Board and is one of its past presidents. The court commented that he really should have disclosed that…

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