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Photo-retouch blogging draws lawyer nastygram

Photographer Anthony Citrano:

On Tuesday night, I received an aggressive and threatening letter from Martin Singer, Demi Moore’s attorney. It is marked “Confidential Legal Notice – Publication or Dissemination is Prohibited”. However, since Mr. Singer and I have no confidentiality agreement, and it provides essential context to the matter at hand, I have decided to publish it.

Citrano’s original post on Boing Boing discussed evidence that a Vanity Fair cover photo of the actress had been retouched. Now Boing Boing reports that it too, as well as other blogs such as Jezebel, have received nastygrams from Singer, and responds with new evidence on the retouching question. And it adds:

Yes, the discussion at hand is only about an image of a celebrity on the cover of a fashion magazine. But the ability to freely discuss the provenance and technical history of a photo, including those with more crucial news value — say, images of detainee abuse, or Iranian missiles — is a freedom we believe should be preserved.

On the Lavely & Singer firm’s “don’t you dare print this nastygram” demands, see, e.g., this earlier post. More: Scott Greenfield.

December 15 roundup

  • “Truck drivers with positive drug tests should not file lawsuits … period.” [Jon Hyman, Ohio Employer’s Law]
  • Tiger Woods hires a Hollywood law firm famous for its nastygrams to the press [Bronstad, NLJ; earlier on Lavely & Singer]
  • “Mom Who Let Kids Play Outside Threatened by Cops” [Aliso Viejo, Calif.; Free-Range Kids]
  • When you’re embarking on the business of not raising pigs, best to start small and ramp up from there [Coyote, U.K.]
  • Harvey Silverglate, author of Three Felonies a Day, guestblogging at Volokh Conspiracy on, inter alia, “honest services fraud“;
  • If you’re uneasy about the FTC’s claims to regulate blogger freebies and other entanglements of commerce with online speech, wait till the agency gets the beefed-up enforcement powers it’s seeking [WSJ editorial]
  • Replaying a discussion familiar in this country, Israel wonders whether it’s got too many lawyers [Jerusalem Post]
  • “Wrongful Death Suit Filed Against O’Quinn Estate Over Fatal Car Crash” [Texas Lawyer]

April 2 roundup

  • Illinois Justice Robert R. Thomas libel ruling award reduced to $4 million, but otherwise upheld by trial judge. “Essentially, the chief justice is still taking advantage of the system he dominates by trying to grab a personal windfall just because an opinion column in a newspaper speculated about politics on the bench.” (earlier) [Chicago Tribune; update from Lattman with opinion]
  • Alabama woman claims Starbucks coffee caused burns when she spilled on herself, sues. But I thought only Albuquerque McDonald’s coffee could cause burns? [Birmingham News (h/t P.E.)]
  • Update: Amway claims jurors in Utah case based $19.25 million award (Mar. 21) on number of P&G lawyers sitting at the table and engaged in improper averaging to reach nonunanimous result. [Salt Lake Tribune]

  • Copyright claimed in hedge-fund advertising brochure posted by blog [DealBreaker; Reuters]
  • N.D. Cal. federal judge: National Environmental Policy Act can be used to make speculative global-warming arguments against overseas government investment. [AP/Forbes]
  • Honor among thieves? Law firms turn on Milberg Weiss [press release]
  • Lawyer-to-the-stars Marty Singer (Dec. 9, Jan. 27, 2006) was also paid $25k from Senator Harry Reid’s campaign fund in failed attempt to squash AP coverage of fishy land deal. [WaPo]
  • Consumer World head has an idea that is so good, it must be mandated. [Kazman @ CEI Open Market]
  • This date in Overlawyered. 2001: NY legislature refuses to act on accident fraud. 2002: Roger Parloff on 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. 2004: Reparations claims against the British over 19th century actions. 2006: $1M for the first fifteen minutes of unlawful detention, $1M/year thereafter.