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7 American Journal of Trial Advocacy 481 (1984)


The application of the innocent construction rule in defamation cases has led to illogical and questionable holdings. This article will explain the nature of that rule and illustrate its use by focusing on cases arising in Illinois. It will review the recent case of Chapski v. Copley Press, where the Illinois Supreme Court rejected the innocent construction rule, and raise the possibility that additional reform may be necessary in Illinois. Finally, other jurisdictions relying upon similar rules of interpretation will be identified and discussed.