Monday, November 21, 2005

Howard points to a column by David Hudson of the First Amendment Center on anonymity and blogging, citing Kurt from EFF, which discusses Doe v Cahill.
The usual caveats: Kurt's work is very important. David is an excellent reporter, I've always liked the way he's covered my cases. The defendant's lawyer, who did a great job, was my co-counsel in a previous Delaware anonymity case.
My guess is David has read the Cahill opinion, but doesn't know that it misrepresents the facts of the case, states the right legal standard, but reaches the wrong conclusion and was unjust to Mrs. Cahill. Her defamers disclosed that her husband had hepatitis, and called her an adulteress in a broken marriage. She could have readily withstood a motion for summary judgment if the court had done the right thing and remanded the case for summary judgment proceedings. She might not have prevailed at trial - invasion of privacy cases are hard to win. But she was entitled to her day in court. Proud Citizen was the key witness, who may (or perhaps may not) have known who the other Does were. If Proud has privacy concerns of his or her own, the deposition could have been held under seal. I do not even know for sure if Kurt knows the facts of the case and the injustice that was done.
A case currently pending before the Wisconsin Supreme Court raises many of the same issues, in an off-line context. http://ballots.blogspot.com/2005/11/04-0377-lassa-v.html
some of my earlier coverage:
to do: edit to add links, email dhudson at fac org.

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