Are any of those Texas cases?The Public Figure question is a question of law, not fact. The law finder is the judge, so he could determine that at this point in the proceedings. I'd say he'd probably have to to reach a conclusion for the purpose of the TCPA. That being said, Vic is almost certainly not a general purpose public figure or public official. As for limited purpose, there are two meanings to that:
1. A person who "have thrust themselves to the forefront of particular controversies in order to influence the resolution of the issues involved." Gertz v. Robert Welch Inc., 418 U.S. 323 (U.S. 1974).
2. individuals who have distinguished themselves in a particular field, making them "public figures" regarding only those specific activities.
Vic wouldn't meet the first meaning as he did not thrust himself into a major controversy, but was forced into it by the tortuous actions of the defendants. The second meaning is also limited. To quote, "These limited-purpose public figures are not the Kobe Bryants, who are regarded as all-purpose public figures, but rather the journeymen basketball players of the league." Also, for these limited purpose public figures, "the actual malice standard extends only as far as defamatory statements involve matters related to the topics about which they are considered public figures. To return to our basketball example, the actual malice standard would extend to statements involving the player's basketball career; however, it would not extend to the details of his marriage." In Vic's case, the defamatory statements made against him have nothing to do with his career as a voice actor; he wasn't alleged to have used his position for sexual favors, to have been a bad employee, or to have robbed his employer. The defamatory statements were made about his private life, his private sexual conduct, and his private interactions with the defendants and their acquaintances. None of the alleged incidents of Vic's behavior happened on company time or involved the company. Under That standard, I would say that Vic is not a limited public figure in this case, and this is the best argument moving forward.
Also, in regards to whether or not someone has forced their way into a case to become a limited purpose public figure the court looks at:
1. The depth of the person's participation in the controversy.
2. The amount of freedom he or she has in choosing to engage in the controversy in the first place (e.g., if they were forced into the public light). See Wolston v. Reader's Digest Association, 443 U.S. 157 (1979).
3. Whether he has taken advantage of the media to advocate his cause. See Time, Inc. v. Firestone, 424 U.S. 448 (U.S. 1976).
To further elucidate how the court may rule on this subject, here is a list of those found to be limited purpose public figures:
1. A retired general who advocated on national security issues. See Secord v. Cockburn, 747 F.Supp. 779 (1990).
2. A scientist who was prominent and outspoken in his opposition to nuclear tests. See Pauling v. Globe-Democrat Publishing Co., 362 F.2d 188 (1966).
3. A nationally-known college football coach accused of fixing a football game. See Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, 388 U.S. 130 (1967).
4. A professional belly dancer for a matter related to her performance. See James v. Gannet Co., 40 N.Y.2d 415 (1976).
5. A Playboy Playmate for purpose of a parody. See Vitale v. National Lampoon, Inc., 449 F. Supp 442 (197.
And here is a list of those NOT found to limited purpose public figures:
1. A well-known lawyer and civic leader engaged in a very public trial involving police brutality. See Gertz v. Robert Welch Inc., 418 U.S. 323 (1972).
2. A socialite going through a divorce who both collected press clippings on herself and held press conferences regarding the divorce. See Time, Inc. v. Firestone, 424 U.S. 448 (U.S. 1976).
3. A Penthouse Pet for purposes of parody. See Pring v. Penthouse Int'l Ltd., 695 F.2d 438 (1982).
That doesnt seem likely considering he has to go through an appeals court and the Texas Supreme CourtThe appeals court could find everything Chupp said is gibbering idiocy and he failed to do his job but that his actual decision itself was right anyway and uphold all the dismissals, giving their own reasons for doing so.
Monica and Jamie wouldnt qualify as fellow contractors at Funimation? Even if the acts Jamie accused Vic of doing occured on Funimation property? Wouldnt Funimation's defamation be career based since it was an official statement? Could he be found to be lppf and not lppf on separate causes of action?That would be an important distinction to make, though. To go back to the basketball player example I used: If our theoretical journeyman basketball player was accused of cheating on his wife with a fan by a jealous colleague and this costed our basketball player his marriage, and he sued said colleague for defamation, that would not make him a limited purpose public figure because that directly pertains to his personal life, not his career or position within the basketball industry; said fan might as well be a random woman he slept with for the purposes of the allegation, as it still would of had the same effect regardless of who the woman was. However, if he was accused of using his position as a basketball player to force interns working for the franchise he is playing for to have sex with him, that would make him limited purpose because that directly pertains to his career as basketball player and his conduct as a member of a basketball franchise. Same if he was accused of throwing one of his games, versus someone claiming he engages in dog fights on his spare time; the first regards his career as a player, the second does not.
Vic never used his position or influence to, say, coerce younger actresses or other personnel working on his shows to have sex with him, nor is he even alleged to have done so. Sleeping with those few people who are fans of his shows and/or of him personally doesn't make him a public figure, even a limited purpose one, anymore than if he was sleeping with random women. Merely being appealing to women because of his job doesn't make him a public figure, anymore than a lawyer being rich enough to have any woman he wants be enough to make him a public figure.