Punching Back Twice As Hard

On Friday, Patrick Frey’s lawyer filed a set of motions in the Naffe v. Frey federal lawsuit in the District Court in LA. Ms. Naffe, who seems to be connected to Team Kimberlin, has sued Mr. Frey under 18 USC 1983 for allegedly violating her civil rights by blogging truthful things about her. Here’s what the statue says.

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.

In order for Mr. Frey, who is a LA County Assistant District Attorney, to have been acting under color of law, he would have had to be blogging in his official capacity, but he blogs on his own with a disclaimer that nothing he writes comes from his employer. In any event, blogging truthful things garnered from public domain sources about someone isn’t illegal. It’s not surprising that two of the motions relate to dismissing the suit.

Under California’s Anit-SLAPP statute, Mr. Frey is entitled to ask that Ms. Naffe post a bond in order to continue her suit, and one of his motions does just that. He’s asking that she be required to post a $75,000 bond in order for the suit to go forward. He’s asking for a hearing on 14 February on the bond.

UPDATE—Team Kimberlin tweets a comment within a few minutes.rbrynaert21030111

Pro bono lawyers routinely ask for fees, and they are often awarded.

UPDATE 2–I would remind those who have their panties in a knot because of the title of this post that it’s the advice from Barack Obama (although certainly not original with him) about how one should deal with one’s opposition.

1 thought on “Punching Back Twice As Hard

  1. Oh snap. As they say in the streets, “S**t just got real!”

    It is a literal case of put up or shut up being requested. Just how strongly does Ms. Naffe and her attorneys really feel in their case against Mr. Frey.

    Team Kimberlin loves to try to say that pro bono work means that nothing the lawyers do can be compensated via an award of attorneys fees. If that were true there would be no penalty that can be ordered by the court for frivolous suits that have pro bono lawyers working on them…which is so obviously not the case that you wonder why they even try to make that argument.

    Common sense says that while they may not be charging those they represent, pro bono lawyers STILL are spending time on work that has an accepted material value. If forced to use that time due to provably incorrect/improper motions, etc…they should have the right to at least ASK that their time be recompensed by the parties that required they do the work in the first place.

    IANAL but, I believe those rules are in place to prevent someone from making pro bono work so expensive that most lawyers would never consider doing pro bono work in the first place.

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