Expert Says UVA Dean Faces Tough Road In Lawsuit Against Rolling Stone


University of Virginia associate dean Nicole Eramo is suing Rolling Stone and writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely for statements in the now-retracted “A Rape on Campus” story. UCLA law Prof. Eugene Volokh says in the Washington Post that, “Eramo could have a case, but it won't be an easy one.” Volokh says a court probably will throw out claims based on some of the statements in the article on the grounds that the statements don't make factual claims about Eramo but are either opinions or statements about the university as a whole).

For the others, Volokh says, “Eramo will have to show that they are false, and show by clear and convincing evidence that the defendants knew the statements were likely false.” He believes her strongest claim is about a statement she denies making that “nobody wants to send their daughter to the rape school.” Volokh says she would have to show she didn't say it, and show by clear and convincing evidence that Erdely and the Rolling Stone editors knew that she likely didn't say it, and that the alleged rape victim who reported it was lying or misremembering.

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