“Law Professor Sues Above the Law Blog”

by Walter Olson on November 3, 2009

Ben Sheffner at Copyrights & Campaigns, Michael Krauss at Point of Law and Karen Sloan at the NLJ have details on a pro se suit filed by University of Miami lawprof Donald Marvin Jones.

{ 13 comments }

1 A.W. 11.03.09 at 10:03 am

The good news, however, is this: this is a law professor acting as a lawyer. so this should be a fairly easy victory regardless of the merits.

2 A.W. 11.03.09 at 10:13 am

mmm, meant to say “a fairly easy victory for the defense

D’oh!

3 Dirk D 11.03.09 at 1:15 pm

I took a look at the complaint. I’ve seen better from pro se prisoners plaintiffs.

4 A.W. 11.03.09 at 3:18 pm

Dirk D

Hey don’t put down pro se prisoners. some of them are pretty good.

But yeah, the complaint is terrible. see it here: http://abovethelaw.com/2009/11/03/Jones%20v%20Minkin%20complaint%20Donald%20Jones%20David%20Minkin%20David%20Lat%20Dead%20Horse%20Media.pdf

Forget stuff like uneven formatting, um, is this guy retarded.

Okay first, the guy is a public figure. that means that without actual or constructive malice, the case for false light is toast. And if it is parody, equally toast. so all the versions having him portrayed as a pimp, etc. toast. and as far as stating he had been arrested if you look at the past post, it says at the end he was arrested. now maybe that isn’t what happened, but tough.

And then there is fair use, etc. really every part of this is silly. btw, at patterico they found one of the causes of action barred by court decision. ooops.

5 A.W. 11.03.09 at 3:20 pm

btw, i love the last line of the complaint when he demands a jury trial on all issues that are “friable.”

No, that is not a typo. or rather, it is not my typo.

i guess he isn’t much of a frial lawyer.

6 Dirk D 11.03.09 at 3:45 pm

AW, Maybe I should qualify and limit it to illiterate prisoner pro se plaintiffs. The copyright claim is just bizarre. You can’t sue for violation of copyright unless you own the copyright. Otherwise, I’d be out suing people who download music off the the internet.

This guy is asking to get rule 11′d

7 A.W. 11.03.09 at 4:21 pm

Dirk

Agree 100%. i would sanction him so fast his head would spin.

8 Stephen G 11.03.09 at 7:17 pm

According to some Florida bloggers, the common law tort of false light is not recognized in that state–which if true would mean that it is indeed Rule 11 time, once the requisite safe-harbor notice is sent and expires.

Perhaps Professor Jones can link-up with Cyrus Sanai on this one?

My favorite part of the Complaint is where Jones demands a jury trial on all “friable” issues.

9 Jonathan Bailey 11.03.09 at 10:56 pm

I hear he thinks they’ve deliberately misplaced his favorite suit pants too……… :-)

10 Todd Rogers 11.03.09 at 11:17 pm

Those who can, do.

11 Richard A Harrison 11.04.09 at 9:04 am

Just look at Prof. Jones’ resume here: http://www.law.miami.edu/facadmin/mjones.php?letter=J

The man’s entire career has been built on racial issues, be they real or imagined. So of course, anything bad anybody says about him must be because he is black.

And yes, the Supreme Court of Florida declined to recognize the tort of false light about a year ago in Jews for Jesus, Inc. v. Rapp, 997 So.2d 1098 (Fla. 2008). For the benefit of Prof. Jones, it is the part of the opinion that syas, “we decline to recognize the tort. . . .”

12 George Tenenbaum 11.04.09 at 5:15 pm

I move to dismiss on the grounds that the issues are friable.

13 Ted Frank 11.04.09 at 6:45 pm

That “friable” “typo” shows the problems with using spell-check unthinkingly.

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