Posts Tagged ‘bloggers and the law’

March 5 roundup

NYT travel columnist comments on air crash, gets sued in Brazil

Joe Sharkey, a well-known travel columnist for the New York Times, was aboard an Embraer business jet in Brazil that collided with another plane but managed to land safely although all 157 aboard the other plane died. Sharkey later discussed the episode on one of his blogs, and was quite critical of Brazilian air traffic control and some others involved in the affair. Now, according to an Oct. 16 press release, the widow of one of those who died on the other plane is suing Sharkey for having “launched personal attacks against Brazil’s President, air traffic controllers and other notorious individuals and, repeatedly and piercingly, started offending Brazilians indiscriminately”. “Only amends will restore the widow’s dignity,” states Rosane Gutjhar’s lawyer, Oscar Fleischfresser, who may have one of the best lawyer surnames ever (Fleischfresser = carnivore)(, Oct. 21; JREF Forum; O Estado de Sao Paolo/ATC Brasil). In a presumably unrelated sidelight, a federal court this summer turned down an attempt by Brazilian survivors to file injury claims for the crash in the U.S., ruling that they should instead be heard in Brazil, where the awards are likely to be much lower.

November 26 roundup

  • Businesswoman takes to her blog to criticize the business practices of a video-production firm, and then the lawsuit arrives [Inc. magazine via MediaBloggers; Vision Media Television v. Leslie Richard/Oko Box]
  • Litigious Minneapolis strip club owner “sued a one-time housemate for, among other things, not returning some pillows and a coat rack.” [Star-Tribune via Obscure Store]
  • Really now, says judge to Coughlin Stoia class-actioneers, $1,365.95/night in travel expenses is a bit rich in this Coke settlement [Krauss, PoL]
  • L.A. attorney Terry Christensen sentenced to three years in Pellicano wiretap scandal [AP/Variety] Did L.A. Times skew coverage toward Pellicano defense? [Patterico, more]
  • New Louisiana lawyer-ad rules: would they restrain lawyers from blogging or posting on Facebook/Twitter? [Coleman, Ribstein vs. O’Keefe vs. Greenfield]
  • Electing public defenders is bad idea to start with, and things get particularly dicey when the local cops throw their support to one candidate [Balko, Reason “Hit and Run”; Jacksonville, Fla.]
  • Online carpooling service? Great idea until the bus authorities get you closed down [Save PickUpPal in Ontario via Coyote; Canada]
  • Horizon Blue Cross agrees to settle suit over coverage of eating disorders, will pay $1.18 million to some policyholders to cover extended bulimia and anorexia treatments, and $2.45 million to class action lawyers led by Bruce Nagel of Roseland, N.J. [NJLJ]

Unsolicited-email plaintiff John Ferron

Eric Goldman (Oct. 7) discusses an Ohio case filed by John Ferron, “one of several ‘repeat’ plaintiffs around the country suing over unsolicited email (perhaps not coincidentally, he’s also an attorney)”. Goldman gives some particulars of the suit and then rather abruptly ends the post (or its current version) with the statement “[This post has been amended in response to emails from John Ferron alleging that my prior post was defamatory.]”

I suppose it is displaying too much curiosity to wonder what the amended material was. Perhaps its nature can be inferred from this Oct. 13 post on TechDirt on the Goldman post, or perhaps it’s something entirely different. At any rate, bloggers might wish to be careful in future in writing about “anti-spam litigation entrepreneurs” — a phrase that appears in quotation marks in TechDirt’s summary of Goldman’s original post, but now cannot be found in his amended post.

More on repeat spam litigation here, here, and here.

Update: Bloggers cleared in Virginia developer’s lawsuit

“The four bloggers named in a lawsuit brought forth by Christiansburg developer Roger Woody have been cleared of all charges by a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge.” The judge did not find it necessary to reach First Amendment issues but instead dismissed the case on demurrer; the four defendants had criticized Woody’s business practices.

Having invested a lot of time and energy into the issue, [defendant Terry Ellen] Carter said she was pleased with the judge’s decision and relieved after having gone through what she described as “the longest 10 and a half weeks ever.”

“We have a right to express our opinions without being hauled into court, and that right was upheld,” Carter said.

(Lerone Graham, “Bloggers cleared in lawsuit”, Roanoke Times, Oct. 15; earlier).

Bullied by Dozier, ISPs took down customer’s sites

Waving threats of “contributory trademark infringement” and the like, Virginia lawyer and emerging Overlawyered favorite John Dozier has gotten more than one hosting intermediary to yank the Dozier-critical websites of opponent Ronald Riley. (Paul Alan Levy, Consumer Law & Policy, Oct. 3). “Unfortunately, when faced with a legal threat, many hosting sites will sacrifice your freedom of speech and send you looking for a new home on the Internet.” (David Ardia, Citizen Media Law Project, Oct. 9)(earlier). More: Ryan Gile, Las Vegas Trademark Attorney (via Ron Coleman).