Defamation Case Lingers for 18 Years:

From the homeland of Franz Kafka, evidence that modern litigation dragging on forever is not just an American phenomenon:

[I]n the early days of the Velvet Revolution, in November 1989, three students of architecture described their Communist professor as an arrogant careerist and demagogue.... [I]n 1991 [the professor] took the students to court for defamation of character, and demanded an apology. They refused.

Eighteen years later, and the case is still languishing in the Czech courts. On Tuesday the Constitutional Court in Brno heard its third complaint in the case, and for the third time ruled in the students' favour.... The lower court will now resume hearing the case....

Thanks to Ted Schuerzinger for the pointer.

I wonder if the Czech legal system underwent substantial transformation as a result of the overthrow of Communism. Maybe one of the reasons a garden-variety defamation case takes 18 years to resolve is that a court system was trying to process a whole new way of doing things.
8.6.2009 1:09pm
Dave N (mail):
Steve is probably right but I have to say, I thought our system was slow at times but this seems ridiculous.
8.6.2009 1:31pm
Regime change has got nothing to do with the delay, the court Judge simply couldn't find his way through the airport all this time.
8.6.2009 2:22pm
wva (mail):
Never mind Kafka. (Just re-read "Bleak House."
8.6.2009 6:38pm
Dave N (mail):
Of course, I should note that one of my death penalty cases was originally filed in 1992 and is still far, far from being resolved.
8.6.2009 7:53pm

I wonder if the Czech legal system underwent substantial transformation as a result of the overthrow of Communism.

Yes. The overthrow of Communism, the adoption of a Constitution (which happened after the filing of the lawsuit blogged about here), the advent of a true common law / case law (as opposed to solely statutory sources of law), and entry into the EU were all big changes.

I taught the in-house counsel at Unipetrol, and she previously worked as an advokat for the Communist government. She said a lot changed.

Also, is defamation of character really "modern litigation"? I don't really know, but it strikes me as one of the older types of litigation.
8.6.2009 10:51pm
But he's happy to have been described as a communist?
8.7.2009 8:29am
lonetown (mail):
Is the professors name George Costanza?

"Its not a lie if you believe it"
8.7.2009 8:47am

Post as: [Register] [Log In]

Remember info?

If you have a comment about spelling, typos, or format errors, please e-mail the poster directly rather than posting a comment.

Comment Policy: We reserve the right to edit or delete comments, and in extreme cases to ban commenters, at our discretion. Comments must be relevant and civil (and, especially, free of name-calling). We think of comment threads like dinner parties at our homes. If you make the party unpleasant for us or for others, we'd rather you went elsewhere. We're happy to see a wide range of viewpoints, but we want all of them to be expressed as politely as possible.

We realize that such a comment policy can never be evenly enforced, because we can't possibly monitor every comment equally well. Hundreds of comments are posted every day here, and we don't read them all. Those we read, we read with different degrees of attention, and in different moods. We try to be fair, but we make no promises.

And remember, it's a big Internet. If you think we were mistaken in removing your post (or, in extreme cases, in removing you) -- or if you prefer a more free-for-all approach -- there are surely plenty of ways you can still get your views out.