Attorney to discuss legal issues for writers at May 20 meeting


We live in a litigious world, and even writers worry about getting sued. Attorney Rod Sullivan addresses many of the liability problems facing writers in his presentation, “Libel, Slander, Defamation of Character and the Right to Privacy,” at this month’s FWA Ponte Vedra Writers group meeting. The meeting takes place at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library.

Sullivan’s presentation addresses the potential liability of a writer when writing about a living person or a person who is deceased but whose name and reputation continue to have commercial value after death, the “actual malice” standard that applies to “public figures,” who is a public figure, the effectiveness of disclaimers and whether using pseudonyms provide adequate protection.

Sullivan has argued and won a case before the U.S. Supreme Court and practiced law for more than 39 years. He has appeared frequently in the media as an expert, including on “Nova,” “The CBS Evening News,” CNN, NPR, CCTC (China), KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) and Time Magazine. His legal commentary has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Times and the International New York Times. For eight years he was a law professor teaching Constitutional law. He is currently working on a historical romance titled “Searching for Mrs. Roosevelt.”

The Ponte Vedra Writers group is part of the Florida Writers Association, a statewide membership organization dedicated to the support of both aspiring and published writers in any genre. The May 20 meeting is free and open to members and nonmembers alike.

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