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Paul Levy
Cyberlitigator on free speech issues at Public Citizen
Recent Activity
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 4 days ago 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 http://paulalanlevy.blogspot.com/2017/02/first-amendment-implications-of-bar.html
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: 'charder@hmafirm.com' 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?
by Paul Alan Levy Shiva Ayyadurai is a computer scientist who insists that it was he who, as a child prodigy, invented email. Although his claim has been widely derided by many of the major figures who were party to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2017 at CL&P Blog
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by Paul Alan Levy During the 2016 election cycle, the slogan “Keep America Great” emerged as a counterweight to the Make America Great Again slogan on which candidate Donald Trump was campaigning. A fellow named Andreas Mueller tried to capitalize... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2017 at CL&P Blog
Responding to widespread complaints from its consuming public, including some articles on this blog as well as a consumer gripe site, DC United has withdrawn a demand that its season ticket holders sign away the right to talk about the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2017 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Could Donald Trump, who is notorious for his intolerance of public criticism, and who has promised to "open up the libel laws," evade the First Amendment and section 230 stricture on defamation claims by repackaging them... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2016 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy An announcement from the White House today listed the Consumer Review Fairness Act as one of several bills that President Obama signed into law yesterday. Here is my public statement on the development. And today I... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2016 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy The Michigan Court of Appeals issued a decision today on the standards for deciding whether a plaintiff claiming to have been wronged by anonymous (or pseudonymous) online speech may compel the host of that speech to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2016 at CL&P Blog
Max, there has been no change in the language. I did my renewal, and my credit card was paid in full, before they came up with this cockeyed language. My guess is that they are not going to want to give me my $2000 back (I have four season seats) for not signing the agreement. Note that there is a new blog post on this subject http://pubcit.typepad.com/clpblog/2016/12/two-immediate-applications-for-the-consumer-review-fairness-act.html, and a new "protest web site" addressed to it http://www.dcunitedseasontickets.com/
Are we as consumers getting a broader range of choices, or is cattle class just getting worse and worse?
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by Paul Alan Levy Now that both houses of Congress have passed the Consumer Review Fairness Act, which invalidates the inclusion of clauses barring consumer reviews in form contracts, and sent the bill to the President for his signature (this... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2016 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Tuesday morning, Judge Jim Jordan of the Texas District Court for the 160th Judicial District heard oral argument on our motion for an award of attorney fees and deterrent sanctions, as provided by the Texas Anti-SLAPP... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2016 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy There have been a few key developments in the story of Bradley Smith v. Deborah Garcia, the fake lawsuit filed for the purpose of getting certain articles written by Steve Rhode on the Get Out of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2016 at CL&P Blog
This article in the New York Times discusses the increasing role of the cell phone number as a key personal identifier and source of credit-related information. Should it receive privacy protection comparable to the Social Security Number? Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2016 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Over the past decade, I have had occasion in several separate cases to help consumers in opposing creative ways in which dentists (Stacy Makhnevich, Mitul Patel, Gordon Austin, and others) have tried to insulate themselves from... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2016 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Profile Defenders, which has been linked to a pattern of defrauding courts to get material removed from the Internet altogether or, at least, suppressed in search engine results, has refused to comment directly on the spate... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2016 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy I had previously suggested that similarities in the wording of consent orders in Patel v. Chan, filed in state court in Baltimore, and Smith v. Garcia, filed in federal court in Rhode Island, implied that some... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2016 at CL&P Blog
BY PAUL ALAN LEVY AND EUGENE VOLOKH There are about 25 court cases throughout the country that have a suspicious profile: All involve allegedly self-represented plaintiffs, yet they have similar snippets of legalese that suggest a common organization behind them.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2016 at CL&P Blog
To Anthony's first point: The First Amendment does not limit what a private company can do, but it DOES apply to court rulings that impose injunctions or damages (or enforce subpoenas!). So the way this plays out in litigation is that the company sues, the fan asserts the First Amendment as a defense to the lawsuit, the company says that the agreement waived the First Amendment rights being asserted, and the court has to decide whether the waiver was effective (or whether the contract clause violates the applicable law). You can read the briefs we filed in the Prestigious Pets case (linked from the main post) to see how that plays out. Anthony's other points are spot on. Not copyright or trademark, but a different sort of right at issue.....