CHICAGO, Sept. 16, 2020 — Just published by the American Bar Association, “Cyberbullying Law” examines what author Thomas A. Jacobs refers to as the “first pandemic of the twenty-first century.” No country has escaped this phenomenon of the internet age, and litigation surrounding cyberbullying has been around since the 1990s. This year has seen cyber abuse related to COVID-19 as well as race relations and protests.
“Cyberbullying Law” presents cases, comments and legal research for attorneys, judges and anyone interested in the rights and responsibilities of those involved in cyber abuse or harassment. Due to the ubiquity of all things digital, litigants invariably become enmeshed in electronic communication. This may lead to petitions for orders of protection or sua sponte orders from the bench regarding communication among parties, victims and witnesses.
Practitioners in civil, criminal, family and juvenile courts regularly confront instances of cyber abuse, including harassment, intimidation, stalking or threats. The legal issues include:
- First Amendment protections are not absolute, although often claimed as a defense in many cyberbullying cases.
- Sexting, revenge pornography and defamation are subjects of litigation across the country.
- Wrongful death lawsuits (“bullycide”) have been filed against youthful bullies and their parents.
- Employment law also sees its share of cyberbullying involving employees and management.
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is often the basis of a legal action for discrimination at work or wrongful termination.
- School districts face lawsuits alleging negligent handling of reports of bullying or “deliberate indifference” to reported incidents, based on Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Thomas A. Jacobs, J.D., was an assistant attorney general in Arizona from 1972-85, where he practiced criminal and child welfare law. He was appointed to the Maricopa County Superior Court in 1985, where he served as a judge pro tem/commissioner in the juvenile and family courts until his retirement in 2008. He also taught juvenile law for 10 years as an adjunct professor at the Arizona State University School of Social Work. He continues to write for teens, lawyers, judges and law students.
Editor’s note: Review copies are available by sending an email to Francine Bennett-Beasley at [email protected]. If you publish a review of this book, please send tear sheets or a copy for our files to Francine Bennett-Beasley, ABA Book Publishing, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.
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