Brennan Gilmore is the person who happened to have a camera recording the incident in Charlottesville in which a car was driven into a crowd of demonstrators, killing one of them. He achieved his 15 minutes of fame by posting the video on Twitter and appearing on cable news outlets. As a result, he became a public figure whose actions were commented upon. Gilmore is suing some of those commenters for defamation.
Earlier this year, the judge in the case issued a surprising (to me at least) ruling denying most of the motions to dismiss. IANAL, but it seems to me that the judge went against the existing case law on personal jurisdiction and the Internet. The lawyers for one of the groups of defendants which includes Alex Jones filed a motion for reconsideration or certification of an appeal of the ruling. A second group of defendants filed a brief supporting that motion, and Gilmore’s lawyers filed an opposition to the motion. Last night, the two groups of defendants filed their responses to that opposition.
In short, the Court’s decision decided an important question of law in a way that chafes against governing authority, conflicts with other courts’ views on that question, and will lead to serious consequences. In these circumstances, reconsideration or certification for immediate appeal is warranted.
Mercer changed the law. This decision, handed down after the Undersigned Defendants’ motion to dismiss was submitted to this Court, made it clear that a plaintiff ignores the specific requirements of Virginia’s long-arm statute at the peril of seeing his or her case dismissed. This Court should find that the emergence of Mercer has demonstrated that it made a clear error that must be rectified by reconsidering this Court’s March 29 decision, and dismissing the Undersigned Defendants.
Finally, footnote 8 in the second brief mentions Aaron Walker’s surgery earlier this year. The purpose was to correct an aortic aneurysm, so he now has a short stretch of synthetic plumbing installed. He’s fully recovered and back at work.