Associated Press v. Boyd

In Associated Press v. Boyd, No. 05-04-01172-CV, 2005 WL 1140369 (Tex. App.--Dallas May 16, 2005, no pet.), Samuel Boyd, a Dallas attorney, sued the Associated Press and other media defendants over two articles published after trial began in a federal civil lawsuit filed against Boyd in which the Securities Exchange Commission ("SEC") alleged he had helped a securities broker defraud investors. The articles noted that the broker had been convicted and was serving a five-year prison term. Id. However, neither article expressly stated that the SEC lawsuit against Boyd was a civil proceeding. Id. Boyd claimed the gist of the articles gave the false impression that the SEC was criminally prosecuting him for securities fraud by making untrue representations, omitting material facts and misleadingly juxtaposing events. Id. Appellants moved for summary judgment on Boyd's claims on both traditional and no-evidence grounds, and the trial court denied the motions. Id. The Court reversed and rendered judgment that Boyd take nothing on his claims. The Court stated in part: "The "sting" of the articles of which Boyd complains was the accurate reporting of the SEC allegations of his participation in securities fraud and not the omission of whether it was a criminal or civil proceeding. Moreover, none of the cases cited by Boyd involved a media defendant accurately reporting allegations of wrongful conduct. Here, it is undisputed that Boyd had been accused of the unlawful conduct of participating in securities fraud. The forum in which those accusations were made, be it criminal or civil, did not materially affect the sting caused by the accurately reported allegations of Boyd's participation in a fraudulent scheme."