The Minnesota chapter of Society of Professional Journalists has come to the defense of Minneapolis blogger John Hoff who is trying to overturn a jury's verdict that he pay damages for defaming a former community organizer.
Hoff, also known as "Johnny Northside," was sued for his blog post that defamed former community organizer Jerry Moore and was ordered to pay $60,000 in damages after Moore was fired after Hoff's defamatory statements, MPR News reported.
Hennepin County District Judge Denise Riley will consider whether to throw out the jury's verdict and the Society of Professional Journalists has asked to have its "friends of the court" brief considered in the decision, in a Star Tribune story.
Attorneys for the Minnesota SPJ have argued that the case is in their interest because the verdict implies that journalists and others can be held liable for making truthful statements online, which could lead to a chilling effect.
Some legal experts have said they doubt that the verdict will survive the appeal and Hoff showed his gratitude for the SPJ standing by his side in the appeal.