Navigating Libel Laws in Illinois

Here are some important Illinois libel law decisions.

1. “Continental Nut Co. v. Robert L. Berner Co.” (Decided April 15, 1965): A corporation’s libel action complaint, which specifically alleged figures of gross sales before and after publication and that the decrease was the result of the publication, sufficiently alleged special damages, even without naming customers lost.

2. “Fried v. Jacobson” (Decided June 23, 1982, but note that the judgment was vacated on December 1, 1983): It was held that broadcasts which stated that the Internal Revenue Service was considering legal action against an attorney and that 32 suits were filed by the state’s attorney against the attorney and his company were not libel per se. The same case on its later date confirmed that an action for defamation based on libel per se requires that the words used are in and of themselves so obviously and naturally harmful that proof of special damages is unnecessary.

3. “Cantrell v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.” (Decided October 1, 1981): This case clarified the four categories of words which constitute libel per se under Illinois law.

4. “Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. v. Jacobson” (Decided July 14, 1983): To allow a corporation to recover on a theory of libel per se under Illinois law, it must show that it has been accused of fraud, mismanagement, or financial instability.

5. “Paul v. Premier Elec. Const. Co.” (Decided March 22, 1984): This case established that under Illinois law, four categories of speech define libel per se.

6. “BASF AG v. Great American Assur. Co.” (Decided April 14, 2008): While not a libel case per se, it discusses the interpretation of an insurance policy that defined an advertising injury as a violation of a person’s right of privacy, which could be relevant in the context of libel .

7. “Costello v. Capital Cities Communications, Inc.” (Decided December 15, 1988): This case involved a libel action filed against Capital Cities Media, Inc. and the editor of a newspaper’s editorial page. The complaint was dismissed for failure to state a cause of action].


These decisions underscore the need to carefully consider the nature of the speech, the status of the individuals involved, and the role of online platforms in defamation cases. While free speech is a cherished right, it must be balanced with protection against false and harmful statements. As libel law continues to adapt to the digital age, these decisions provide valuable insights into the evolving landscape of defamation in Illinois. It is essential for individuals, media outlets, and online platforms to stay informed about these developments to navigate the complexities of libel law successfully.

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Is your reputation at risk due to a libel claim in the Wheaton or Naperville areas? Don’t leave your defense to chance. Lubin Austermuehle, known for its exceptional libel defense experience, is here to provide you with top-tier legal representation. Secure your free speech today with the best libel defense attorneys in the region!

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  1. Proven Track Record: Our experienced attorneys have a history of successfully defending clients in libel cases. We concentrate in navigating the complexities of defamation law and crafting customized defense strategies tailored to your specific situation.
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Your reputation, financial stability, and peace of mind are on the line. Here’s how you can take the first step toward protecting your reputation:

  1. Call Us: Reach out to Lubin Austermuehle today at (630) 333-0333. Our skilled libel defense attorneys are ready to listen to your concerns, evaluate the details of your case, and provide you with a confidential consultation to discuss your legal options.
  2. Email Us: If you prefer written communication, you can email us at to share the specifics of your situation. Our dedicated team will respond promptly and schedule a consultation to understand your needs.
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Don’t wait until your reputation is further tarnished. Lubin Austermuehle is here to provide you with the legal guidance and representation you need to navigate libel cases successfully.

Contact us today at 630-333-0333, and let’s work together to protect your reputation, rights, and future. Your good name deserves nothing less than the best in libel defense, and Lubin Austermuehle is here to deliver it.

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