MOORE v. HOFF
821 N.W.2d 591 (2012)
Jerry L. MOORE, Respondent,
John HOFF a/k/a Johnny Northside, Appellant.
Court of Appeals of Minnesota.
August 20, 2012.
Jill Clark, Jill Clark, LLC, Golden Valley, MN, for respondent.
Considered and decided by HALBROOKS, Presiding Judge; BJORKMAN, Judge; and MUEHLBERG, Judge.*
Appellant challenges the district court's denial of his motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) or a new trial. Because the jury's verdict is contrary to established law and appellant's alleged tortious acts are too intertwined with constitutionally protected conduct to avoid infringing on appellant's First Amendment rights, we reverse and remand.FACTS
Appellant John Hoff writes a blog titled "The Adventures of Johnny Northside." In June 2009, Hoff was informed that respondent Jerry L. Moore was working for the University of Minnesota in the Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC). The UROC consisted of a group of residents from Hoff's and Moore's neighborhood that had been asked to "focus on foreclosures in the neighborhood." On June 21, 2009, Hoff blogged about Moore's new position:
[Moore] — who has been a plaintiff in a lawsuit against JACC [Jordan Area Community Council], and was fired from his executive director position for misconduct, (fistfight, cough cough) is nothing if not a controversial figure in the Jordan neighborhood....
... Repeated and specific evidence in Hennepin County District Court shows [Moore] was involved with a high-profile fraudulent mortgage at 1564 Hillside Ave. N.