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Paul Levy
Cyberlitigator on free speech issues at Public Citizen
Recent Activity
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from its consuming public, including some articles on this blog as well as a consumer gripe site, DC United has withdrawn a demand that its season ticket holders sign away the right to talk about the...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 2 days ago 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, and a new "protest web site" addressed to it
Are we as consumers getting a broader range of choices, or is cattle class just getting worse and worse?
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.....
by Paul Alan Levy My friends know that one of my main passions outside of work is soccer; I root for various teams abroad, for the US national teams, and especially for my home team, DC United; I even travel... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2016 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy The New York Times carries a story this morning about patient advocacy groups that do not speak out on high drug prices because they are dependent on financial support from the companies that charge those prices.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2016 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Late yesterday, we filed an application for an award of attorney fees and sanctions, seeking a six-figure award against Prestigious Pets, the Dallas pet-sitting firm whose suit for breach of a nondisparagement clause was dismissed last... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2016 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy In Doe v. Coleman, a decision issued yesterday, the Kentucky Supreme Court overruled a decision of the state court of appeals which, considering the validity of a subpoena to identify defendants who had been sued for... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2016 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy News comes from Chris Morran over at Consumerist that the House version of a bill banning non-disparagement clauses in form consumer contracts, which passed the Senate late last year, was passed on a voice vote in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2016 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy This blog has carried a number of articles recently about the bizarre story of “Patel v. Chan” a case in which a pro se lawsuit, seeking relief for defamation based on comments posted on several interactive... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2016 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy I blogged here last month about a peculiar pro se lawsuit and consent order which, in retrospect, has all the hallmarks of a sloppy effort by some blackhat SEO outfit trying to help a dentai client,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2016 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy A state District Court in Dallas (Judge Jim Jordan of the 160th District) has struck down a lawsuit over a non-disparagement clause in a form consumer agreement, holding that it could not be enforced against a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2016 at CL&P Blog
When I first posted about the bogus court order compelling the removal of Matthew Chan's reviews of Mitul Patel from five web sites, I criticized for removing the version of the review that was posted there without giving any... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2016 at CL&P Blog
A few days ago I wrote here about a lawsuit and consent order that were filed in Baltimore, Maryland, determining that a series of criticisms posted against Georgia dentist Mitul Patel by Matthew Chan, one of his patients in Georgia,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2016 at CL&P Blog