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Michelle Macdonald
Michelle Macdonald

Bar Buzz: Court of Appeals schedules MacDonald orals

Oral arguments are set for Dec. 12 as lawyer Michelle MacDonald appeals a lower court’s dismissal of her defamation suit against blogger/politico Michael Brodkorb. Judges also were assigned to the case Wednesday.

MacDonald, a past and likely future state Supreme Court candidate, sued Brodkorb in 2018.

She claims that he and his writing partner, Allison Mann, defamed her by asserting on their blog that she was “a person of interest” in a 2013 case involving two missing teens.

She also claims Brodkorb has falsely accused her on social media of having a drunken-driving conviction on her record, a claim he says he never made. And she claims Brodkorb published a “false image” of her face. Ramsey County Judge Richard H. Kyle Jr. agreed the photo was unflattering, but otherwise genuine.

Kyle granted Brodkorb’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing the case, on March 1.

Arguments in the appeal will be heard at 10 a.m., Dec. 12, in Room 200 of the Minnesota Judicial Center. Court of Appeals Judges Lucinda E. Jesson, Kevin G. Ross and John R. Rodenberg are assigned to the case, though all are subject to substitution.

Contacted by email Wednesday, Brodkorb said he expect the court will decide in his favor.

“Michelle MacDonald’s frivolous lawsuit was designed to block the exercising of our rights guaranteed by the First Amendment,” he said. “We’re confident the Minnesota Court of Appeals will affirm the dismissal of MacDonald’s lawsuit by a judge in Ramsey County.”

MacDonald also responded by email Wednesday. “The bigger picture of this case is the definition of fake news, and how that comes about, including defamation,” she said.

Her legal case, she said, illustrates that Brodkorb and his website have a need ‘to manipulate the truth to convey falsehoods by the written word.”

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About Kevin Featherly

Kevin Featherly, who joined BridgeTower Media in mid-2016, is a journalist and former freelance writer who has covered politics, law, business, technology and popular culture for publications and websites in the Twin Cities and nationally since the mid-1990s.

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