Another Amicus Brief in Gilmore v. Jones, et al.

Another group of law professors has filed a second brief in support of the plaintiff’s amended complaint in Brennan Gilmore’s defamation lawsuit. They seek to convince the court that Gilmore has properly pleaded a defamation case and that quashes any protection the defendants’ might enjoy under the First Amendment.

IANAL, but at first glance, this brief does appear to do a better job of pleading a defamation case that Gilmore’s amended complaint did. I’m not sure how that helps Gilmore’s case.

UPDATE—The judge has issued an oral order granting the motions to file the two amicus briefs.

Gilmore v. Jones, et al. News

Brennan Gilmore’s opposition to the motions to dismiss his amended complaint was due yesterday, and it was filed on time. Here’s a redacted copy. I have not included the exhibits because they would have to be heavily redacted.

A group of “legal scholars” is seeking to file an amicus brief on behalf of the plaintiff. They argue that existing case law should allow the court to exercise personal jurisdiction over the defendants.

IANAL, but the case law that seems most on point is a case the “scholars” attack: Young v. New Haven Advocate. Young was a similar personal jurisdiction case which also originated in the Western District of Virginia. In that case, the District Court ruled that Virginia’s Long Arm Statute applied to out-of-state defendants in a defamation suit, and the ruling was reversed by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The “scholars” seem to be arguing that because the New Haven Advocate is a local Connecticut newspaper with no (or trivial) circulation in Virginia and Infowars is an Internet website which can be viewed in Virginia, the facts of Young and Gilmore are sufficiently different so that Young should not apply. But if I read the Young decision by the District Court correctly, personal jurisdiction in that case was based on the publication of the alleged defamation on the newspaper’s website. That strikes me as essentially similar facts.

We’ll see if the court accepts the amicus brief and if it agrees with the amici.

UPDATE—The jurisdictional claims in Gilmore don’t seem to be all that different from Young.

This court concludes that the exercise of personal jurisdiction over these defendants is proper under Code of Virginia § 8.01-328(A)(3), as the defendants’ Connecticut-based Internet activities constituted an act leading to an injury to the plaintiff in Virginia. Likewise, this court holds that the defendants’ Internet activities are sufficient to satisfy the requirements of constitutional due process.

Young v. New Haven Advocate, 184 F. Supp. 2d 498, 511 (W.D.Va. 2001)

The “scholars” do not appear to have done their homework.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Back in April, 2014, Karoli Kuns posted a defamatory article about me at the eponymous Crooks & Liars website which misrepresented Maryland’s peace order and protective order statutes and falsely accused me of using them to harass Bill Schmalfeldt. Somewhat later, the Cabin Boy™ was whining about imagined abuse on Twitter—which led me to post the following four years ago today:

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wmsbroadcasting201406202218ZIf I’m senile, that means that I’m showing the signs of being elderly. Could someone please check with Karoli Kuns or some other expert on whether all this harassment I’m receiving from the Cabin Boy™ might be elder abuse?

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Oh, and I’m not finished with him yet.