Defamation

David Minkin publisher AbovetheLaw Dealbreaker Breaking Media.jpgYesterday’s Lawsuit of the Day — Jones v. Minkin, a $44 million lawsuit against yours truly, Above the Law publisher David Minkin, and Dead Horse Media (now known as Breaking Media) — has been voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff, University of Miami law professor Donald Jones.

There was NO SETTLEMENT in this case. Above the Law has made no changes to our prior posts, and we have paid no money to Professor Jones. The case was dismissed by the plaintiff without anything from our side, except a letter from our lawyer.

UPDATE (3:35 PM): We have offered Professor Jones a guest post on Above the Law in which to provide his side of the story, about either the lawsuit or the underlying facts. We have offered to keep the comments on that post closed or open, depending on his preference. (And we would have done this in the first place, had he made such a request.)

A huge thanks to our counsel, Marc Randazza.

Comment from Randazza, plus links to the notice of voluntary dismissal and other news outlets and blogs — we will UPDATE continually, so do check back for fresh links — after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Breaking: Jones v. Minkin Dismissed!!!
(Plaintiff voluntarily dismisses lawsuit against ATL.)

David Minkin publisher AbovetheLaw Dealbreaker Breaking Media.jpgFor the first time in over three years of operation, Above the Law has been sued. We feel the lawsuit has no merit, but we will not comment further on this ongoing litigation. To access the pro se complaint, coverage by other news outlets and blogs, and ATL’s prior posts about Professor Donald Jones, click on the links collected after the jump.

Please note that we have closed comments on this post, out of respect for the judicial process. Thank you.

UPDATE: We will be continually updating this post with links to news and blogosphere coverage. We have already added new links from the ABA Journal, the WSJ Law Blog, and the Volokh Conspiracy, among other sources.

The fresh links will appear AFTER THE JUMP, so check them out there. Thanks.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Jones v. Minkin
(Or: Above the Law gets sued!!!)

autoadmit.JPGIf you were hoping for the AutoAdmit lawsuit to result in courtroom drama, with Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey breaking down in tears on the stand, then we’re sorry to disappoint you. The case has ended, somewhat anticlimactically.
Last week, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their case against the remaining defendants. From the Hartford Courant:

Two former Yale University law school students have quietly settled a high-profile lawsuit they brought against about two dozen anonymous authors who the students said defamed and threatened them by posting malicious falsehoods on an Internet message board.

Perhaps plaintiff Brittan Heller felt ready to put down her sword, now that she’s happily married. But note that the dismissal is without prejudice (so check yo self, Pauliewalnuts).
What did the plaintiffs get out of filing their lawsuit?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “AutoAdmit Case Ends Not With a Bang, But With a Whimper”

liskula cohen blog lawsuit.jpgBut with a hot blonde model as the plaintiff. From our sister site, Fashionista:

Liskula Cohen’s modeled for Versace and Armani and landed international Vogue covers, but recently she’s made less fashionable headlines.

Last year, a doorman smashed her over the head with a vodka bottle, and this year she’s sued Google to reveal the identity of an especially cruel blogger. The both tragic and anonymous person used Google’s blogger.com platform to unleash constant rants about the blond’s imagined sexual habits, but argued in court that the words were “non-actionable opinion and/or hyperbole.”

Find out how this fared, at Fashionista.
Internet Anonymity at its Worst [Fashionista]

samantha ronson martin garbus.jpgLindsay Lohan is kind of over as far as celebrity gossip goes: no more car accidents, no more sloppy drunk photographs, and in a relatively stable relationship. But now Lohan’s girlfriend, Samantha Ronson, is getting pulled back into the tabloids, and she’s dragging First Amendment attorney Martin Garbus along with her.

Martin Garbus prides himself on being “one of the country’s leading trial lawyers” and for “aggressively represent[ing] his commercial and criminal clients in both the courts and the public media.” He sounded like the perfect fit when Samantha Ronson decided to file a defamation suit against celeb gossip blogger Perez Hilton for calling her a “lezbot” and accusing her of selling access to Lohan to paparazzi.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the suit did not go well. Ronson didn’t want to pay Garbus’s exorbitant bills. She lost the suit. Now she’s on the hook for her and Hilton’s legal bills, to the tune of over $200k. Her solution was to sue Garbus for malpractice. He sued her right back for unpaid legal bills.

Ironically, the suit transformed Garbus, who had called celebrity blogs “trash,” into an unwitting comrade in Hilton’s quest for dirt on Ronson.

In order to defend himself, Garbus is going rooting in the garbage of Lohan and Ronson’s life together:

Garbus’ attorneys have identified Lohan as the most critical witness in the case besides the two litigants and have requested information concerning their relationship, finances, possible drug use and alleged rehab stays. In one measure of how far his defense plans to go, they have asked for copies of every text message and e-mail between the women over the last two years.

A trial is scheduled for May in Los Angeles. The parties spent the last few months squabbling over procedures for deposing Lohan and Ronson after lawyers for the women raised concerns that videotapes of the pretrial Q & As would be leaked to the media.

The only winner in all this seems to be Perez Hilton:

Watching from the sidelines, Hilton’s lawyer said he was stunned Ronson was pursuing the case. Coverage of the first suit had extended the life and increased the audience for a small blog item, he said, and the malpractice claim was making it even bigger.

Lindsay Lohan’s gal pal Samantha Ronson in big legal spat [Los Angeles Times/Newsday]

Ernest Murphy Judge Ernest B Murphy Above the Law blog.jpgBack in 2007, Judge Ernest B. Murphy won his libel case case against the Boston Herald. The Herald had reported that Murphy was soft on crime and, well, nobody puts Baby in the corner.
But winning just wasn’t enough for Judge Murphy. After he won he sent two threatening letters to Patrick Purcell, publisher of the Herald, on court stationery. The letters, which included the use of all-caps as pioneered by Chief Justice John Marshall, demanded that the Herald drop its appeal and hand deliver a check for half a million dollars more than the judgment, plus interest.
According to the Boston Globe, “Purcell testified that the letters were intimidating and looked like ransom notes.”
Yesterday, Murphy agreed to resign. Murphy claimed to have post-traumatic stress from his battle with the Herald. The Commission on Judicial Conduct had recommended a $25,000 fine, but they may amend their report in light of Murphy’s resignation.
We’d make a joke about how a judge could incur psychologically destructive stress from participating in a lawsuit, but we’re terrified that Murphy will sue us under the ADA.
Judge who sued Herald agrees to leave bench [Boston Globe via WSJ Law Blog]
Earlier: Murphy v. Boston Herald: Some Beantown Benchslappery

feyissa.jpgThe embarrassing Google hit is one of the great new fears of the modern age. If the number-one Google hit for your name is your work bio, Corporate Challenge race-time results, or nothing at all, consider yourself lucky. You could have something worse, like, “Kashmir Hill. Is that her real name or her porn screen name?” Or something much worse, like the derogatory comments that spurred the Autoadmit lawsuit.
Seattle lawyer Shakespear Feyissa is in a Google predicament. He wants a ten-year-old article removed from his college newspaper’s archives. The school administrators say sure, but the college newspaper editors are adamantly opposed. We love principled undergrads. From the Seattle Times:

While a senior at [Seattle Pacific University] 10 years ago, Feyissa was arrested on suspicion of attempted sexual assault and suspended. He was never charged, but the suspension stuck — indefinitely.
Feyissa complained that his punishment was more severe because of his race, he told the student newspaper at the time, but an investigation dismissed his claim.
He’s a lawyer now, and that article — still among the first hits for Feyissa’s name on Google — continues to hurt him personally and professionally, he said. So Feyissa, at 33, has been pressuring SPU to help clear his name.

We question his tactics. By going after the school, he has succeeded in getting the original Falcon article knocked back a few pages when Google searching his name. But due to the media coverage of his crusade, he now has tons of hits with the paragraph intro, “A decade ago Shakespear Feyissa was arrested on suspicion of attempted sexual assault.”
Read more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Google Hit Dilemma
(Or: another reason not to name your kid ‘Shakespear’)”

AutoAdmit xoxohth Anthony Ciolli Above the Law blog.JPGSee the links below for more details. Also note this, from Marc Randazza of the Legal Satyricon:

For anyone who is curious, I have personally spoken to the University of Texas adjunct who happens to bear the [same name as the formerly anonymous defendant known as :D ].

He IS NOT the person in question. I would appreciate it if any readers would keep that in mind, and educate anyone who might hold this mistaken belief. I can confirm with 100% certainty that the [individual identified as :D ] in the complaint is not an attorney and is not a law professor.

It has been a while since our last posting about the AutoAdmit lawsuit, so feel free to discuss the latest developments in the comments. If you’re not familiar with the case, peruse the postings collected here.
Another Amended Complaint in the Auto Admit Case [Legal Satyricon]
Yale Students’ Lawsuit Unmasks Anonymous Trolls, Opens Pandora’s Box [Wired]
Yale Students Name Austinite Who Allegedly Defamed Them [keyetv.com]
Lawyers for 2 Female Students at Yale Law School Learn Identities of Anonymous Online Attackers [Chronicle of Higher Education]

Barack Obama small Senator Barack Hussein Obama Above the Law blog.JPG* Spitzer may — or make that will — resign today. [CNN; New York Times]
* Obama wins Mississippi, picks up more Texas delegates than Clinton. [CNN]
* Gitmo war-crimes tribunal to hear detainee’s case. [MSNBC]
* Houses passes proposal to create independent ethics panel. [Washington Post]
* Another French trader taken into custody in connection with gigantic trading scandal. [AP]
* Irish appeals court chews up, spits out, libel ruling against restaurant critic. [AFP via Drudge]

In last week’s ATL / Lateral Link survey, we asked you to submit your nominations for Lawyer of the Year. Today, you get to vote!
The nominees, and select comments explaining why, are below:
Aaron Charney

For both the attention focused, success of action, and for the visibility [he] brought to the secondary issue of partner/associate relations (but not those kinds of relations).

Alberto Gonzales

Exemplifies why lawyers are so mistrusted in this country.

Barack Obama

The man had the credentials to do Biglaw. He chose public service instead. Although he is obviously politically ambitious, he at least appears to be in it for the people. He’s almost as hot as Judicial Hottie Jeffrey Sutton. I mean, did you see the Obama Girl videos? We’ve all got a crush on Obama. And he just might be president next year.

Hillary Clinton

She’s fabulous.

Loyola 2L

He’s generated the most thoughtful discussion of law school. That, and perhaps the publicity will help him get a job.

Ray Beckerman

For his tireless defense and continuous commentary in countless RIAA cases.

Whoever helps Chipmunk lady.

Because.

We know that last one should really be a 2008 Lawyer of the Year, not a 2007 Lawyer of the Year, but we just don’t care. You demanded the nomination right now.
So who should win? Cast your vote below.
Update: This survey is now closed. Click here for the results.

Page 12 of 141...891011121314