SSRN Removes Academic Paper Due to Defamation Claim

Ann Lipton, Tulane’s renowned corporate lawyer scholar, recently published “Capital Discrimination”, a paper that examines the effects of gender discrimination on business disputes. After she finished her draft, she uploaded it on SSRN. She also submitted it for law review, which is what one does. Houston Law Review. The paper was then given unfavorable publicity.

Philip R. Shawe attorneys sent a cease and desist letter to SSRN in December. They claimed that Shawe’s comments on Shawe’s behavior in a business dispute were defamatory. Professor Lipton recalls that SSRN pulled the paper. Houston Law ReviewIt informed her it couldn’t guarantee her publication of the article.

Tulane University supports Professor Lipton and has sent its own letter to SSRN asking for the paper’s repost. According to Professor Lipton, the sources of all the pertinent factual claims can be cited, mostly in the context of legal proceedings. As such, the opinions of Professor Lipton about the facts and their significance are constitutionally protected expressions.

SSRN has yet not responded to the request. The article by Professor Lipton is still available online and contains a comment on these events. We hope the article will attract a wider audience than before.