Kathleen Seidel blogger-subpoena furor

After much discussion in the blogosphere this story would seem more than ready to cross over into mainstream-press coverage; here’s a local columnist who says he left three messages with attorney Clifford Shoemaker but got no response (Dave Brooks, “What a Web of actional links we can weave”, Nashua Telegraph, Apr. 9)(via Liz Ditz/I Speak of Dreams’ ongoing list monitoring coverage).

Update 5:30 p.m.: Here’s James Taranto at WSJ Best of the Web, giving just the shove the story may need:

It might behoove the ACLU, or some organization devoted to civil liberties, to devote some resources to figuring out how to defend speech that is inconvenient to plaintiffs lawyers.


  • I doubt it will get much mainstream press, unfortunately, because (1) it’s complicated (compared to how news stories are presented, anyway) and (2) the good guys in the story are bloggers.

  • This lawyer needs some jail time. The coercive powers of the courts are not to be hijacked so attorneys can intimidate others from speaking out. If I were the judge, I would simply throw this guy in jail for contempt of court.

  • I don’t know why the Seidel story hasn’t been picked up by the mainstream press. I’ve emailed the story to a couple of my reporter contacts.

    However I have four speculations about the cause of the lack of interest:

    1. “Oh, it’s a blogging thing. Who cares what happens to some blogger? They’re not real journalists”
    2.”Oh, it’s an autism thing. Shrug.”
    3. “Oh, it’s a vaccine thing. Shrug.”
    4. “What’s the big deal with a subpoena? What does she have to hide?” — the last from people who fail to grasp the point that Seidel has nothing whatever to do with the matters addressed in the litigation.

  • As a party who whose cyber entity is named (twice as it happens) in this rickety subpoena I would be happy to testify at whatever hearing Mr Shoemaker would like me to, but he would have to be fair and above board about it and meet my terms equitably (do you know what equity means Mr Shoemaker?

    To begin with I am not even sure I could travel to the USA legally, It might require a special visa for me as I am not free to travel to the US without one, and even then my travel arrangements would need to accommodate my disabilities, (I do not fly and you would not want to share the confined space of an Aeroplane with me, be assured of that). I think a video link would be more pragmatic, indeed if Mr Shoemaker or any interested third party wants to set it up and can pay all my out of pocket expences, then why not.

    I don’t think he would like my testimony however and he would have to be prepared to answer my questions under oath himself. I would very much like to oblige him but the terms would involve his paying top dollar for a UK barrister (Michael Mansfield perhaps) to assist me in presenting the evidence he requires.

    My religion Mr Shoemaker, Born again Baptist!

    Then again if Mr Shoemaker is correct in what he is litigating for I am nothing but a mercury damaged head case with nothing sane nor sensible to say, he should be getting me my compensation đŸ™‚