Re: RARA-AVIS: Beiderbecke and YOUNG MAN: Guthrie

From: Al Guthrie (
Date: 17 Sep 2002

----- Original Message ----- From: "Todd Mason" <>

> Heirs/estate agents have a habit of stomping those who would besmirch the
> memory, or at least those who don't enrich the estate for the use of the
> life story. She could only write with impunity if she could successfully
> claim not to be writing about BB. Though this may be somewhat different
> between US and UK. TM

It sure is.

Here's the ruling for England and Wales (Scotland is pretty similar):
"Civil claims for libel cannot be brought on behalf of the dead. If an individual living plaintiff or defendant in a libel case dies before the jury gives their verdict, the action 'abates', i.e. comes to an end, so far as their involvement is concerned, and no rights arising out of it survive either for or against their personal representatives."

And the US:
"Libels against the memory of the dead which have a tendency to create a breach of the peace by inciting the friends and relatives of the deceased to avenge the insult of the fanlily, render their authors liable to legal animadversion."


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