MONTGOMERY, Ala. – An Alabama attorney who was involved in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court libel case has died.
Amy Nachman says her father, Merton Roland Nachman, died Tuesday night in Montgomery at age 91.
Nachman represented Alabama officials in the 1964 New York Times v. Sullivan case. The case stemmed from an effort by authorities in Alabama to limit newspaper coverage of civil rights protests.
The newspaper ran a full-page advertisement describing the treatment of demonstrators, and public officials in Montgomery claimed it libeled them.
The Supreme Court's unanimous decision required public officials prove that false statements had been published knowingly or with reckless disregard for the truth.
The decades-old decision is still used by courts today and has been adjusted to account for new publishing platforms including social media.