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Book Chapter
An Alternative Solution to the Problems of Libel Litigation
Roselle Wissler and Randall P. Bezanson et al.
Entertainment, Publishing, and the Arts Handbook
John David Viera & Robert Thorne eds., Clark Boardman Company 1988


The article begins with a discussion of an empirical study that found a disjunction between the underlying assumptions and goals of media libel law, on the one hand, and the real interests of the parties and what the system actually accomplishes, on the other. The article then discusses several responses that have been proposed to address the problems of the libel litigation system. These include the media's prevention of suits with better handling of complaints, expanded use of the special verdict, declaratory judgments, and nonlitigation alternatives. An experimental, voluntary, alternative program is described, along with a case that illustrates the potential benefits of such an alternative process.
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