Lane & Waterman attorneys Ian Russell, Abbey Furlong, and Jenny Juehring successfully defended Lee Enterprises, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Roy Biondi, Ray Farris, Tod Robberson, and Kevin Mowbray in a lawsuit brought by former Davenport City Administrator Craig Malin.
Malin’s lawsuit claimed he was defamed in a 2019 editorial published in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that discussed the upcoming trial of a separate lawsuit Malin brought against Lee Enterprises concerning 2014 and 2015 Quad-City Times publications about Malin’s involvement in a casino project in Davenport. On the eve of that trial, the 2019 editorial called for a result “that upholds press freedoms and rejects frivolous efforts to stifle aggressive reporting.” Approximately seven months after a jury returned a verdict in favor of Lee Enterprises and the Quad-City Times, Malin filed suit over the 2019 editorial.
In 2022, the Iowa District Court for Scott County granted summary judgment and dismissed Malin’s claims. On January 24, 2024, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s decision, noting that the point of the 2019 editorial was “to highlight the importance of journalism to the public and stress it should not be suppressed through litigation efforts.” A copy of the Iowa Court of Appeals opinion can be found here.
This is the second time the Iowa Court of Appeals has ruled against Malin in his lawsuits against Lee Enterprises. Lane & Waterman LLP was also successful in defending Lee Enterprises and the Quad-City Times in Malin’s first lawsuit. A copy of the Iowa Court of Appeals opinion in that case can be found here.
Ian J. Russell joined Lane & Waterman in 2005. He has extensive experience in commercial litigation, medical malpractice defense, and personal injury. He also counsels clients and provides analysis of issues involving media and first amendment law, election issues, and aviation matters. Ian is also the 137th Iowa State Bar Association President and he previously served as a past President of the Iowa State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.
Abbey Furlong joined Lane & Waterman in 2010. Her trial law practice primarily consists of professional malpractice, employment law, and products liability.
Jenny Juehring joined Lane & Waterman in August 2020. Her practice focuses primarily on litigation with focus areas of commercial litigation, employment litigation, medical malpractice, and appellate practice.