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Paul Levy
Cyberlitigator on free speech issues at Public Citizen
Recent Activity
by Paul Alan Levy In a motion to quash filed today, three Facebook users are challenging search warrants issued by federal prosecutors seeking to rummage through accounts in which they supported protests against the inauguration of Donald Trump on the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2017 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy In my blog post yesterday about developments in the litigation over the search warrant to DreamHost, I recounted the encouraging signs from DC Superior Court Chief Judge Morin’s written order and colloquys with counsel during oral... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2017 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Late last week, DC Superior Court Chief Judge Robert Morin issued an opinion explaining his oral ruling at last month’s hearing on a search warrant issued to DreamHost demanding production of its files pertaining to,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2017 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Today we filed our brief on behalf of three anonymous Internet users who object to the breadth of the proposed orders submitted by the Government and by DreamHost, each spelling out their alternative versions of the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2017 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy In a motion for leave to intervene filed today, three anonymous Internet users who sought information from the DisruptJ20 web site, who joined listservs through which such information was communicated, or who volunteered to provide legal... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2017 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy In a decision issued late Thursday morning, DC Superior Court Chief Judge Robert Morin said that he was ready to order DreamHost to comply with the federal prosecutors’ scaled-down search warrant, but enunciated strict procedural restrictions... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2017 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Responding to an outpouring of popular outrage as well as legal filings (including one from Public Citizen as well as an amicus brief from Avaaz) showing that the First Amendment protects the right to read anonymously... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2017 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy This morning we filed a motion for leave to intervene in the proceeding, now assigned to Chief Judge Robert Morin of the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, in which DreamHost has been opposing the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2017 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy On Friday morning, a panel at the annual meeting in New York of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers will be discussing an issue dear to the heart of blawgers who discuss subjects that make powerful... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2017 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy This past spring, Twitter garnered significant attention, and widespread praise, for a lawsuit it brought against the Trump Administration this past spring to block enforcement of an administrative summons seeking to identify the owners of a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2017 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Two decisions were issued late yesterday in cases involving the procedures for adjudicating subpoenas seeking to identify anonymous Internet speakers who are accused of actionable speech. An appeals court in California embraced most elements of the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2017 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued an order signed only by the Clerk declaring that a significant free speech issue bearing on the rights of anonymous Internet users will be... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2017 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy An important appeal is pending in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals – the highest appellate court in D.C. The federal government served D.C. warrants on Facebook, demanding access to the entirety of 90 days... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2017 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Ever since Eugene Volokh and I started writing last year about the phenomenon of “fake defamation litigation” — lawsuits filed to suppress online criticism while ensuring that the person whose speech is to be suppressed never... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2017 at CL&P Blog
This article at Think Progress points to some worrisome waivers in the terms of service for the DNA testing service at argues in response that the some of the concerns are overstated but that in any event it... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2017 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Pursuant to the settlement in Smith v Garcia and Chief Judge Smith's ensuing order in that case, counsel for Richart Ruddie arranged to have a motion filed in the names of Bradley Smith and his debt... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2017 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Last year I discussed an attorney fee application that I prepared on behalf of a small company making canvas totes that poke fun of such high-fashion royalty as Louis Vuitton by scrawling the words “My Other... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2017 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy With the signature of Governor Terry McAuliffe having been added last week, Virginia has adopted a modest improvement to its very narrow anti-SLAPP statute. The new law, SB 1413, is not nearly as strong as in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2017 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Over the past few months, I have reported, to some extent jointly with Eugene Volokh, on a purportedly pro se lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island. Brought against... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2017 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy The Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue, a coalition of nearly 100 consumer organizations on both sides of the Atlantic, will be holding its annual meeting in DC from March 19 to March 21, including a public forum on... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2017 at CL&P Blog
Two factoids in the article that struck me when I read it yesterday morning appear in these sentences. "The arbitration was first filed in 2008 . . . . The class-action case, still unresolved, now includes One of the original women who brought the case, those lawyers said, died in 2014 as proceedings crawled on without resolution." So arbitration, touted as providing a fast alternative to the all-too-cumbersome courts, can take even longer. This arbitration proceeding is now into its NINTH year.
Nicely written, John, other than that weird graf in the middle that you put in quotation marks and then identify YOURSELF as the person quoted.
A fundamentally bad idea, in my opinion. Even "dishonest, lying scum" have First Amendment rights
by Paul Alan Levy i-Geniuses is a Houston company that repairs Apple products; it especially touts its ability to repair computers suffering from liquid damage on a fast turnaround schedule. A number of former customers have expressed concerns about the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2017 at CL&P Blog
Charles Harder says in his comment that I "asked [him] to provide [me] information for [my] piece" and complains that I did not provide a link to his client's web site. This is the request I sent him (to which he replied by sending me a link to his client's propaganda web site, which I thought irrelevant to my questions). From: Paul Alan Levy Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 3:29 PM To: '' Subject: Your demand letter to Diaspora I am working on a piece about your demand letter to Diaspora on behalf of the fellow who claims to have invented email and has a history of suing people who dispute that claim. I am wondering if you would answer some questions. What is the basis for your claim that Diaspora, as the host of user comments that criticize your client, is legally liable under Massachusetts law for intentional infliction of emotional distress, based I gather on the intent of the user who posted the comments, and subject to Massachusetts law “remedies [that] include monetary damages, punitive damages, and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief?” Is there some reason why section 230 immunity does not apply? As I read your letter, you also claim that Diaspora, the host of the comments, is subject to “substantial monetary damages and punitive damages” under a libel theory under Massachusetts law. Have I misunderstood your claim? And again, what is the basis for avoiding section 230 immunity?. Finally, I am also curious about your contention that, because your letter is subject to copyright protection, publication is prohibited. Are you contending that publication would constitute infringement? Have you registered the copyright?