Archive for April, 2012

Record Jury Verdict for Online Defamation in Texas

Friday, April 27th, 2012

topixJurors in Texas have handed a $13.8 million libel verdict to a married couple defamed on Topix.

Debra Cassens Weiss reports in the ABA Journal that Texas lawyer Mark Lesher and his wife Rhonda filed the suit against four defendants who posted anonymous comments accusing the couple of molestation, drug dealing, and perverted sexual behavior.

The Tarrant County jury apparently set a new record for online-libel verdicts. According to the Leshers, more than 25,000 defamatory posts forced Mark to shutter his law practice and Rhonda to close her beauty salon.

Meagan Hassan, the Lesher’s attorney, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “This was clearly a vendetta.”

“We originally sued 178 John and Jane Does, and it all came down to two IP addresses,” she said. That led them to a married couple, Shannon and Gerald Coyel, and two employees of the couple, Charlie and Pat Doescher.

A few years ago, Shannon Coyel had accused the Leshers of sexually assaulting her. That led to a case and an acquittal in 2009.

Righthaven Story by Defendant Eriq Gardner is ABA Journal Cover Story

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Eriq Gardner, legal-issues journalist for the Hollywood Reporter, has penned the ABA Journal magazine’s new cover story: “The Righthaven Experiment: A Journalist Wonders If a Copyright Troll Was Right to Sue Him.”

As a funny aside, the online version of the story says “Posted May 1, 2012 5:20 AM CDT.”

As I write this, it’s April 26, 2012 7:35AM CDT.

Posted May 1, 2012 5:20 AM CDT By Eriq Gardner

Debate Today: Should Lawyers be Licensed?

Monday, April 16th, 2012

DEBATE April 16 - Legal Licensure: Should Lawyers Be LIcensed ... At All?Today I’m debating Jacob H. Huebert at UND Law. Jacob will be arguing for the proposition that we don’t need any licensure of law schools or lawyers. I’ll argue the negative.

I really appreciate the Federalist Society for putting together and funding events like this. This is my second time as an opponent in a Federalist Society debate, and I’m really looking forward to it.

I’m Excited to Announce My New Book …

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Coming to a bookstore near you:
If you liked BLINK, SWAY, NUDGE, DRIVE, SWITCH, BLUNDER or BONK, you’ll love "BLURT" ! How non-fiction books with one-syllable verb titles are connecting with readers … but also how these books don't really have just one-syllable in their title, since they have a long explanation after that one-syllable word, kind of like this one. by Eric E. Johnson