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Biro v. Conde Nast

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

December 8, 2015

PETER PAUL BIRO, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
CONDÉ NAST, a division of Advance Magazine Publishers Inc., DAVID GRANN, ADVANCE MAGAZINE PUBLISHERS INC., LOUISE BLOUIN MEDIA INC., GLOBAL FINE ART REGISTRY LLC, THERESA FRANKS, PADDY JOHNSON, YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS, Defendants-Appellees, PATRICK BAHNERS, GEORGIA MUSEUM OF ART, INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF MUSEUMS, DAN RATTINER, MANHATTAN MEDIA LLC, DAN'S PAPERS, LLC, GAWKER MEDIA LLC, BUSINESS INSIDER, INC., Defendants

October 2, 2015, Argued

Peter Paul Biro was the subject of a 2010 article in The New Yorker written by David Grann and published by Condé Nast, a division of Advance Magazine Publishers Inc. Biro sued Grann, Condé Nast, and Advance for defamation, adding defendants who he alleged republished the defamatory statements from the original New Yorker article or, in some cases, further defamed him when referring to the article. The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Oetken, J.) dismissed Biro's complaint, holding that Biro was a limited-purpose public figure who failed to plead sufficient facts to give rise to a plausible inference of actual malice. We affirm.

RICHARD A. ALTMAN, Law Office of Richard A. Altman, New York, NY, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

DAVID A. SCHULZ, Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, LLP, New York, NY; Chad R. Bowman, Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, LLP, Washington, DC, for Defendants-Appellees, Condé Nast, a division of Advance Magazine Publishers Inc., Advance Magazine Publishers Inc., and David Grann.

Diane Boenig Cavanaugh, Desmond C.B. Lyons, Lyons McGovern, LLP, White Plains, NY, for Defendant-Appellee, Louise Blouin Media Inc.

ANTHONY N. GAETA (William A. Friedman, on the brief), Levine DeSantis, LLC, Springfield, NJ, for Defendants-Appellees, Global Fine Art Registry LLC and Theresa Franks.

DARREN W. JOHNSON (Lynn B. Bayard, Danielle B. Polebaum, on the brief), Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, New York, NY, for Defendant-Appellee, Paddy Johnson.

FLOYD ABRAMS (Brian Markley, on the brief), Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, New York, NY, for Defendant-Appellee, Yale University Press.

Before: JACOBS and LOHIER, Circuit Judges, and CRAWFORD, District Judge.[*]

OPINION

Page 542

LOHIER, Circuit Judge :

In this appeal from a dismissal of a defamation suit, we address whether Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a limited-purpose public figure to plead in a plausible way that defendants acted with actual malice. We conclude that it does. We therefore affirm the judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Oetken, J.) dismissing plaintiff Peter Paul Biro's complaint on the ground that he failed to plead sufficient facts to give rise to a plausible inference of actual malice. We dispose of Biro's remaining arguments on appeal in a separate summary

Page 543

order filed simultaneously with this ...


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