Shoemaker’s lawyers respond to Seidel

Attorney Clifford Shoemaker has now filed a memorandum in support of his harassing subpoena of blogger Kathleen Seidel. The memorandum, signed by attorneys John F. McHugh and Brian T. Stern, is every bit as absurd and internally-self-refuting as one might have dared hope. Seidel skillfully marks it up with links on key phrases, some providing substantive background on the controversy, other ironically commenting on the apparent belief of Shoemaker & Co. that a court will agree to construe as “a series of intentional torts” a blogger’s investigative journalism based on publicly available sources. Earlier posts here. More: Orac.


  • 3. Since this action was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, I have inititated been made aware of a pattern of harassment of against the principal plaintiff, Reverend Lisa Sykes, her son’s pediatrician Dr. Mary Megson, and expert witnesses, Dr. Mark Geier and his son David Geier, all by one Kathleen Seidel, who runs a web site called guy’s got stones.

  • Kathleen Seidel reminds of Marcy Benstock, who with others, stopped the Westway project in New York City, a project backed by Mayor Koch, Governor Cuomo, and President Reagan. Both are little engines that wouldn’t stop.

    The anti-vaccine people argue that there theories should be taken seriously as they wish to avoid significant harm to children. That is all well and good, with the problem being that the anti-vaccine people, like the Agent Orange people, Gulf War Syndrome people, and the Breast Implant people, will not accept null findings. Tons of research has been done on the thimerosal with no proof of harm. Ms. Seidal is absolutely correct that it is time to discard the thimerosal theory as quackery, especially since the failure to vaccinate puts children at provable risk. Ms. Seidal is a heroine!

  • For those who have been following the case of Sykes v. Bayer, we have an update. This is the case in which disagreement over whether mercury in medicines causes autism was turned into a discovery witch hunt. Kathleen Seidel backs her position regarding autism on a Web site devoted to issues involving autism, disability and other topics. Among other things, her Web site criticizes Lisa Sykes, who is suing Bayer and believes mercury does cause autism.

    Recall that on April 21, the court quashed an incredibly broad subpoena from attorney Clifford Shoemaker, who represents Sykes. Shoemaker did not just request that Seidel release her correspondence with Bayer; he also demanded all of her documents pertaining to the issues she has written about on her Web site, as well as all of her correspondence with attorneys, physicians, the federal government, non-governmental political organizations, religious groups, and scientific and academic boards. To make matters worse, Shoemaker tried to defend his discovery demands by accusing Seidel and Bayer of conspiring to defame Sykes.

    On Tuesday evening, Public Citizen, on behalf of Seidel, filed papers arguing that sanctions against Shoemaker were appropriate because the requests in his subpoena were irrelevant to the lawsuit against Bayer and “abusive and burdensome.” In its brief, Public Citizen cites the Supreme Court case Reno v. ACLU to support its argument that anyone can present “findings and conclusions” freely on the Internet if he or she so chooses, and argues that the use of discovery to harass a critic warrants sanctions. For more information, visit

  • […] in her resistance of abusive subpoena, with assistance of Public Citizen [her site, theirs, and our comment section]; Seidel is among autism bloggers profiled in NY mag [w/pic]; profile of thriving Boston […]