A lawyer who’d been widely and scathingly criticized over his handling of a case — unfairly he thought — proceeded to sue bloggers and journalists for defamation, so many that the total of defendants reached 74. It’s over now, but a New York state judge declined to award sanctions, which may possibly say something about the difficulty of obtaining sanctions under today’s prevailing legal standards, especially in New York. [Tom Crane, San Antonio Employment Law Blog; Popehat ("Our legal system is so broken that it can take years to resolve even the most patently vexatious, harassing, and incompetently prosecuted lawsuits like this one.")]
Quoting Ken White at Popehat:
The blog Retraction Watch tracks, and probes, retractions in scientific journals. They say they do so because retractions are a “window into the scientific process,” because doing so helps create a repository of retractions and publicize them, because retractions can be the lead-in for a great story about misconduct, and because tracking retractions can help keep scientific journals honest.
Unsurprisingly, this does not make them popular among some of the scientists they cover. Last month a researcher at a well-known Texas cancer center menaced the site with a lawsuit, soon unleashing the Streisand Effect. And now, in a separate case, a pharmaceutical chemist is threatening to sue them because they reported on one journal’s “Expression of Concern” about one of his pieces, and in the terminology of scientific journals, an “Expression of Concern” is a different thing than a “Retraction,” which, he says, means that the website’s title is exposing him to defamation. Per Ken, this is not exactly the world’s most meritorious theory either.
The academic writer and blogger, co-author with Stuart Taylor Jr. of Until Proven Innocent, has long been a thorn in the Duke administration’s side over its conduct in the lacrosse case. The university has been fighting in court to force Johnson to hand over emails and correspondence that it says it needs to defend other litigation, and some of its informational demands have been very broad indeed. Too broad? [Johnson, Durham-in-Wonderland]
Update March 6, that was fast: Duke backs down.
“Judges rejected a bid from unpaid bloggers at the Huffington Post to revive a lawsuit against AOL that contends the company should pay them a third of the $315 million it spent last year to buy the news site.” [Alexander Kaufman, The Wrap] “The problem with plaintiffs’ argument is that it has no basis,” observed the Second Circuit. [Politico, earlier here, here, etc.]
…and the complainant seems to have connections with principals in earlier courtroom lawfare waged against blogger Aaron Walker. Ron Coleman and Ken at Popehat to the rescue!
While we’re at it: a UK/Canadian view of “How to avoid getting sued if you blog” [Dave Gamble, Skeptical Science] And is Orly Taitz preparing to sue Kevin Underhill of Lowering the Bar?
Jon Hyman finds the National Labor Relations Board’s policy on social media in the workplace a “bungled mess.” More: Reed Smith.
And the next thing you know, they sue him [Josh Wright, Mike Masnick] The blog post by Enrique Dans, who is professor of information systems at IE Business School, is here.
Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing covers the story the story of how Houston’s Burzynski Clinic has been “sending threatening letters to bloggers who questioned the science behind Burzynski’s therapy.” In particular, Ken at Popehat has been crossing swords with one particular correspondent who has been making menacing noises about the clinic’s reputational interests.