Monday, September 22, 2014


CAROL C. NEUMANN and DANCING DEER MOUNTAIN, LLC, an Oregon domestic limited liability company, Plaintiffs-Appellants Cross-Respondents,
CHRISTOPHER LILES, Defendant-Respondent Cross-Appellant.

" relying on federal cases, defendant asserts that his statements are not defamatory because, in his view, the context of the statements demonstrates that they are figurative, rhetorical, or hyperbolic. See Obsidian Finance Group, LLC v. Cox, 812 F Supp 2d 1220, 1222-25 (D Or 2011), aff'd in part, rev'd in part on other grounds, 740 F3d 1284 (9th Cir 2014) (describing test used by the Ninth Circuit to determine whether a statement is opinion or fact for defamation purposes under its First Amendment jurisprudence, and noting several examples of nonactionable hyperbole, figurative language, and rhetoric).

To the extent that extra-jurisdictional authority informs our analysis, we disagree that defendant's statements, as a whole, are hyperbolic.

True, some of what defendant says in the challenged post is opinion and is hyperbolic (e.g., "worst wedding experience of my life!").

However, the bulk of the post is nonrhetorical and factual (e.g., "[t]he owners did not make the rules clear"; "when they saw something they didn't like they waited until the day of the wedding to bring it up"; "[w]e were told we had to leave at 9pm, but at 8:15 they started telling the guests that they had to leave immediately"; "[t]he `bridal suite' was a tool shed that was painted pretty, but a shed all the same").

Those factual details demonstrate that defendant's statements are not mere hyperbole and, more to the point, would not be brushed off as mere hyperbole by a reasonable reader of those statements. See Wheeler v. Green, 286 Or 99, 104-06, 593 P2d 777 (1979) (analyzing whether recipient of statements would have understood statements to defame the plaintiff in order to determine whether statements were defamatory)."

Source and Full Court Document,48&as_vis=1