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Paul Levy
Cyberlitigator on free speech issues at Public Citizen
Recent Activity
by Paul Alan Levy Dr. Rosalind Griffin, a Michigan psychiatrist who apparently derives a significant part of her income by testifying as a medical expert for parties defending against tort claims, but also serves as a member of the Michigan... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2016 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Over the past couple of weeks, several bloggers, most impressively Rebecca Tushnet, have published their analyses of a decision by Judge Jesse Furman granting summary judgment dismissing a lawsuit by Louis Vuitton Malletier against a tiny... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2016 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy A few years ago, Gordon Austin, a Georgia dentist from the small town of Carrollton, about 50 miles west of Atlanta, was indicted on multiple charges stemming in part from Medicare fraud and in part for... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2016 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Last week the Seventh Circuit addressed several recurring issues pertaining to libel law in McCarthy v. Fuller, a case involving a falling out between by two sets of religious advocates pertaining to the holiness of certain... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy In a case litigated over the past few days, the Mall of America filed an action against several leaders of Black Lives Matter in Minneapolis who had called a demonstration, to be held inside the famous... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy This morning I attended a hearing at the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment in a case relating to a neighborhood issue in which I have been engaged – an appeal by our local Advisory Neighborhood Commission... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy In a decision issued today, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sitting en banc overruled a 1981 ruling by the U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals and held that the portion of section... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy The Internet of Things and the world of smart devices has been heralded by industry giants like Philips for the conveniences that it provides for consumers, while allowing companies the “freedom to innovate,” but privacy advocates... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Last month I criticized a Butte, Montana newspaper which, having decided to switch on January 1, 2016, from a commenting system that allowed users to choose pseudonyms to one that will demand the publishing of real... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2015 at CL&P Blog
Since I published yesterday’s discussion of the Montana Standard’s retroactive elimination of anonymous commenting on its web site, there have been three informative developments. First, I was able to speak with the Standard’s editor, David McCumber, mostly off the record... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Over at Internet Daily’s Policy Blog, Wendy Davis brings us news that the Montana Standard, the daily paper in Butte Montana, is retroactively changing its policy for the posting of online comments to stories on its... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy On the eve of a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the Senate version of the Issa-Swalwell bill, (the latter is endorsed by Public Citizen) that would ban non-disparagement clauses in consumer contracts, the United States District... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy The Washington Post reports this morning that Yelp has begun, on an experimental basis, to show a warning sign when a restaurant has been visited by local inspectors and received an especially low food safety score. Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy New Jersey resident Nadiya Oliver was deeply frustrated by her experience with an Illinois company called Fertility Bridges, which sells services connecting couples that are unable to conceive a child on their own with women who... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Earlier this year, I discussed a troubling decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that reinstated a complaint by Multi-Time Machine, a maker of fancy watches, based on the way in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Yesterday I discussed a lawsuit filed by Amazon seeking relief against over a thousand anonymous individuals who offered to sell their services posting phony positive reviews about products available for sale on Amazon. The theory of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy The problem of false reviews bedevils web sites that invite customer reviews as a basis for other consumers to judge goods and services available to them on the market. Disgruntled merchants can be counted on bring... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2015 at CL&P Blog
The whole idea that a corporation can have "close friends" is laughable. Thank you, Citizens United!
Toggle Commented Oct 19, 2015 on With friends like these ... at CL&P Blog
You would probably assume that Ben Carson and his presidential campaign would be thrilled that so many people across America are creating T-shirts, mugs and other items touting his candidacy for the presidency, saying “Ben Carson for President 2016" or... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2015 at CL&P Blog
Yes, in fact, eBay's records were subpoenaed (the document was submitted at the trial), and the contents of the records were confirmed in a deposition: Med Express's claim about the numbers left in the DSR's was shown to be false. The facts are recounted in detail in the judge's opinion (linked from the post above). The pages of the opinion are un-numbered, but look on the 11th page of the PDF, paragraph number 36, and the 13th to 14th page, paragraph number 1. As for the USPS issue, Radey testified that he used USPS because it was cheapest (thus giving him more profit), even though he was aware of the problems with inaccurate shipping cost estimates; he also admitted that these problems are widely discussed among eBay sellers. "Janey"'s comment confirms that admission. So it was, it seems to me, entirely fair for Nicholls to hold Med Express responsible for the problem and fault Radey for poor communication. And, in any event, as the judge ruled, a rating is inherently subjective, an opinion, that cannot properly be the basis for a defamation claim, because defamation claims can be brought only over false statements of FACT.
by Paul Alan Levy Med Express, a Medina Ohio company that faced serious and widespread online obloquy during the spring of 2013 for filing a libel suit against two eBay users who posted mildly negative (but entirely truthful) feedback, has... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Louisiana lawyer David Groner has made a few mistakes. Which was the most serious? David Groner's Misconduct Toward Clients At some point time before January 18, 2007, one of Groner’s associates filed a lawsuit on behalf... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy This spring I reported on a decision of the Virginia Supreme Court that overturned a contempt citation against Yelp for honoring its users First Amendment right to post pseudonymous criticisms of a Virginia merchant called Hadeed... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Techdirt carries a discussion of a recent decision dismissing a class action complaint filed against Yelp on behalf of Yelp users contending that, because their reviews provide content that allows Yelp to profit through the sale... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2015 at CL&P Blog
The New York Times carries a story about the punishing pace that Amazon staff have to endure as the company squeezes every ounce of productivity out of them. Work-life balance? What's that? Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2015 at CL&P Blog