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Social Media and Online Defamation. Keeping Out Of Court

gillian shaw northern voice legal issues bloggingCan speaking your mind cost you in court? What constitutes defamation? Can you be held liable for posts and comments posted by others on your blog or web site? What are the penalties for defamation? If you are defamed online, what do you do? 

This panel will explore these and other questions in a discussion of defamation law and how it can affect you. We’ll hear from the legal side, mainstream publishing and the owner of a web site that’s at the centre of a ground-breaking defamation case in Canada.

Talking about their experiences and answering your questions, the panel will include:

Panel mediator: Gillian Shaw, Digital Life writer, at The Vancouver Sun and Postmedia News, tweeting @gillianshaw with a digital business card at

marko vesely northern voiceMarko Vesely:  a commercial litigator and head of the defamation and media law group at Lawson Lundell LLP.

patricia graham northern voicePatricia Graham: editor-in-chief at The Vancouver Sun, who, as a lawyer and journalist knows well the practical realities of publishing to deadlines and the growing issue of user-generated content.

Jon Newton: creator and owner of, a site at the centre of a ground-breaking case that is currently awaiting a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada. Newton was sued for defamation in 2006 over links he had in an article posted on his website and Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa predicts the ruling could have “a major impact on the shape of the Internet in Canada.”

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