Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


One of the reasons that I (sort of) jokingly refer to Team Kimberlin getting their legal advice from the same outfit that sells stuff to Wile E. Coyote is that the theories they advance are usually as harebrained and effective as all those fine Acme products. Six years ago, I became the first of several individuals to hold Bill Schmalfeldt accountable for his online harassment, and he spent most of 2013 trying to figure out how to get that first peace order issued against him set aside. This Prevarication Du Jour from six years ago today dealt with one of his failed approaches.

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ftrrnews201310092359ZDoes Eugene Volokh agree with Bill Schmalfeldt’s interpretation of U. S. v. Cassidy? Well, it’s certainly true that Prof. Volokh agrees that writing about someone on the Internet is protected speech. But how about writing to someone? I’ll let the good professor speak for himself. Here’s what he had to say when writing about the patently unconstitutional peace order Brett Kimberlin secured against Aaron Walker last year, an order that forbade Mr. Walker from writing about Kimberlin—

The old narrow restrictions might well be constitutional (see, e.g., Rowan v. U.S. Post Office Department), but precisely because they deal with essentially one-to-one speech — restricting such unwanted speech to an unwilling listener leaves the speaker free to keep talking to other, potentially willing listeners.

Of course, it is just that sort of one-to-one speech that the Cabin Boy engaged in after being asked to stop which violated Maryland’s harassment law. Prof. Volokh also notes that

[p]erhaps a specific statute that bars the deliberate sending of one-to-one messages to a person who has asked that the messages stop, or who would otherwise clearly be substantially distressed by the messages, might be constitutional.

So it looks as if Prof. Volokh might agree that old-fashioned harassment statutes apply to behavior on the Internet just as they do in the real world. Perhaps the Cabin Boy should ask Eugene Volokh to file an amicus brief.

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In fact, Eugene Volokh did wind up filing an amicus brief in one of the Kimberlin case. He filed it in support of Aaron Walker, and as I understand his brief, he agrees with the point of view I expressed in my post.

Some More Gilmore v. Jones, et al. News


Brennan Gilmore was present at the Charlottesville riot in 2017. He recorded a car being driven into a crowd that resulted in the death of a women, and he posted that video online. He also made appearance in the news media discussing what he saw. As a result, Gilmore and his video became a topic of controversy, and Gilmore was upset with some of the commentary. He has sued Alex Jones and a host of others for defamation in federal court. When the judge in the case denied most of the motions to dismiss, two separate groups of defendants filed motions for reconsideration or for an interlocutory appeal of the dismissals to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The judge has granted a motion certifying an interlocutory appeal of the following question:

Where an online journalist or publisher with a national audience purposefully and primarily focuses their coverage underlying the suit-related conduct on forum-state events and persons, is such conduct sufficient for a forum court to assert specific personal jurisdiction over that journalist or publisher?

I found footnote 1 interesting.

However this question is limited, the Fourth Circuit may nevertheless review uncertified issues contained within the Court’s order on Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss. “[W]e would not necessarily be limited to only those questions expressly or implicitly identified as ‘controlling’ by the district court; under § 1292(b), appeal is from the order certified, not from particular rulings embodied within it.” Fannin v. CSX Transp., Inc., 873 F.2d 1438, 1989 WL 42583, at *3 (4th Cir. 1989) (unpublished).

IANAL, but seems as if the judge in taking note that the defendants could raise other issues related to the motions to dismiss beside the certified question in their appeals.

This could be interesting.

Gilmore v. Jones, et al. News


It’s been about two years since Brennan Gilmore filed a defamation suit in the U. S. District Court in Charlottesville, Virginia, against Alex Jones and a non-related group of defendants. Earlier this year, the judge ruled against most of the defendants’ motions to dismiss (Allen West’s motion was granted), and all but one of the remaining defendants then filed motions for reconsideration or for an interlocutory appeal to a higher court to resolve disputed matters of law. Those motions were fully briefed, so the court scheduled a hearing to consider them on 5 September. However, the court gave notice last week that it would rule on the motions based on the written briefs and that the hearing was cancelled.

Since the briefs were filed, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a ruling that bears on when a district court must certify a question for an interlocutory appeal. The lawyer representing several of the defendants had planned to bring that ruling to the court’s attention during the hearing. Because he will no longer have that opportunity, he has filed a motion to be allowed to supplement his brief.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


The idea for Blogsmoke came out of a lame attempt by Matt Osborne at Breitbart Unmasked Bunny Billy Boy Unread to make fun of me as someone who imagined himself as the sheriff of the Internet. And so, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System was born. As the Twitter Town Sheriff’s department expanded, Blogsmoke begat BlognetThis episode first ran five years ago today.

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BlognetTitleCardMUSIC: Theme. Intro and fade under.

NARRATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

MUSIC: Up, then under …

NARRATOR: You’re a Detective Sergeant. You’re assigned to Internet Detail. A noted anti-First-Amendment activist has sued a group of bloggers trying to shut down their free speech and free press rights. Your job … get the facts.

MUSIC: Up then under …

ANNOUNCER: Blognet … the documented drama of an actual case. For the next few minutes, in cooperation with the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Department, you will travel step by step on the side of the good guys through an actual case transcribed from official files. From beginning to end, from crime to punishment, Blognet is the story of the good guys in action.

MUSIC: Up and out. Continue reading

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


This episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign first ran five years ago today.

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Johnny Atsign Logo 2ANNOUNCER: From Westminster, it’s time for—

SOUND: Skype rings once.

JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.

RULE 5 GIRL: (Telephone Filter) Hi, Johnny.

JOHNNY: Hello.

RULE 5 GIRL: (Telephone Filter) Johnny, have you checked GoodGuysUnmasked today?

JOHNNY: Not yet. What will I find?

RULE 5 GIRL: (Telephone Filter) The Bunny has published photos The Bomber says he took of some green cards before he mailed them.

JOHNNY: Yeah?

RULE 5 GIRL: He’s saying the photos are proof you got things wrong about whether the cards he submitted to the court are genuine.

MUSIC: Theme up and under.

ANNOUNCER: The Lickspittle Broadcasting System presents W. J. J. Hoge in the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous free-lance Internet investigator …

JOHNNY: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!

MUSIC: Theme up to music out. Continue reading