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 Fannin v. CSX Transp., Inc., 873 F.2d 1438, 1989 WL 42583, at *3 (4th Cir. 1989) (unpublished).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.