The Chilling Power of Incredible Defamation Claims

Techdirt's Mike Masnick, one of the few bloggers who (along with Public Citizen's Paul Alan Levy and Simple Justice proprietor Scott Greenfield) dared to discuss Arthur Alan Wolk's defamation lawsuit against Reason, implicitly chides us for disabling comments on my recent post describing how the litigation was resolved:

Wolk also promised to sue us if we did not "correct" our post. Instead, we posted a direct reply to Wolk...and never heard from him again....

The Reason post...notes that just because the case has been settled, it "does not mean it never happened, so we are keeping our original posts and adding a link to the joint statement by Overlawyered.com and Wolk." Similarly, we don't believe that there is any benefit to taking down factual posts on historical events, even if they ended in an out-of-court settlement. In fact, we're a bit disappointed that Overlawyered would agree to take down historical posts without a court-ordered reason to do so. Meanwhile, the Reason blog notes that because it does "not want to see any further lawsuits filed as a result of comments on our site," it was disabling comments on that post. 

We will neither remove historical posts nor disable comments. As we noted in our last post on Mr. Wolk's email to us, we believe his intent in these lawsuits and threats was to silence people from talking about him—and we do not intend to be silenced by such threats when they do not appear credible to us.

While Masnick's resistance to bullying is commendable, our experience with Wolk vividly shows that credibility, in the sense of a plausible legal theory backed up by evidence, is not necessary to drag someone into expensive, time-consuming litigation. The issue with comment threads, for instance, arose because Wolk accused us of inciting readers to defame him. The alleged defamation consisted of crude jokes that no reasonable person would take seriously, the point of which was to mock people whose first impulse when they see something that offends them is to file a lawsuit. Because the Hit & Run commenters were obviously not asserting any facts, what they said could not have amounted to libel (just as the 1983 Hustler ad parody cartoon depicting a drunken Jerry Falwell having sex with his mother in an outhouse did not amount to libel). Even if the comments had been defamatory, federal law shields websites from liability for statements posted by visitors. None of this stopped Wolk from suing us (along with the commenters themselves) over those remarks as well as our own blog posts. Hence our concern about comment threads getting out of hand and chewing up even more of our time and resources.

If you are curious about the basis for Wolk's other claims, you really should take the time to look at his July 26 complaint (PDF), which rewards close study. It names 40 or so defendants, including pseudonymous commenters such as "Barely Suppressed Rage," "Latter Day Taint," and "Not Arthur Wolk." That last one had me imagining an Abbott-and-Costello-style scene in which a process server attempts to let "Not Arthur Wolk" know he has been sued:

Process Server: Are you "Not Arthur Wolk"?

Man: Yes, I am not Arthur Wolk.

Process Server: You've been served.

Man (looking at papers): Wait a minute. I am not "Not Arthur Wolk."

Process Server (puzzled): So you're Arthur Wolk?

Man: No, I'm not Arthur Wolk.

Process Server: You've been served.

And so on. But I digress. The complaint includes 34 counts, some of them highly creative. According to Wolk, saying mean things about him online constituted not only libel but also "Conspiracy to Engage in Internet Bullying," "Harassment by Internet," "Internet Stalking," "Invasion of Privacy," "Intentional Infliction of  Economic  Harm," and "Intentional Interference with Contractual, Actual and Prospective Business Relations." My three favorites: "Theft" (because "the  defendants  have  conspired  in  the  name  of  their  perverted  sense  of  nonexistent Constitutional protection for  libel,  and  furtherance  of  their bizarre reactionary political goals  to  steal  the  plaintiff's  life  and  profession  from  him"), "Conspiracy to Commit Assault" (because "defendants knew or had  reason to  know that their continuing conduct would cause  severe  injury  to  the  plaintiff"), and "Extortion" (because "the defendants are attempting to extort something of  value from the plaintiff, his reputation, to enhance the visibility and credibility of  their websites and to  use that destruction as a means to obtain more illegal tax deductible contributions").

The complaint says "the  damages  suffered  by Wolk  have  been  horrific." For instance, he "does not sleep," he "does  not  show  his  face  at  Bar functions," and he "now must carry a gun to  protect himself from  the  nut balls who are incited  by  these  defendants  all  with  the  sole  intention  of  causing  the  lunatic  fringe  who  are devotees of  these defendants from [sic] doing him bodily harm." It is no wonder that Wolk worries about "nut balls," given the brave stance he has taken against the vast conspiracy bent on taking him down and destroying the American justice system:

Defendant Reason.com...is one of  the mouthpieces for Overlawyered.com and its mentors, Manhattan, Cato and Enterprise, which  are  co-conspirators,  and  is  the  attack  dog  for  inter  alia,  The  Reason  Foundation,  a euphemism  for the  policies and  goals  of  the  Libertarian  Party,  a  right wing fringe  element that espouses what amounts to an abandomnent of  the institutions of  our  Republic and its substitution with a Govermnent by putative journalists, self appointed intellectuals and  right wing pundits but whose  real  goal  is  to  work  with  Overlawyered.com  and  Olson,  Frank,  Manhattan,  Cato  and Enterprise, and their respective trustees to assassinate the character of  individuals chosen for that purpose  because they are a threat to the America without laws Reason Foundation wants. Reason Foundation  raises  funds  for  their  anti-consumer,  anti-Government,  anti-court,  anti-judge  and often anti-Semitic, anarchistic views by proving to their donors how vicious they can be on their various media sites including Reason television, Reason.com and Reason magazine. Reason.com attempts  to  accomplish  these  ends  by  re-publishing  with  new  commentary  publications  of  Overlawyered,  Frank  and  Olson  for  the  purpose  undermining  the  civil  justice  system  in  the United States, by forming  an  Internet tag team  so if  one of  them is silenced for their falsity, the other simply  republishes  with more  false and defamatory comment to  keep the libel  alive. The idea is to whip up a frenzy to prove their dedication to the causes of  the Libertarian party, much like the Nazi's  of  the early  1930s, which will cull more donations from their very rich donors and blind them to the dangers to American institutions of  their radicalism. It is believed and therefore averred that employees or agents of  Reason.com are the anonymous bloggers.

These outlandish accusations are a more florid version of the theory set forth in Wolk's October 22 complaint (PDF), which avers that we "joined a conspiracy to destroy the good name and reputation of Wolk by inciting a feeding frenzy of internet defamation for the sole purpose of destroying Wolk's reputation and advancing the political and social agendas of Reason," i.e., "tort reform legislation and antiplaintiff, anti-trial lawyers agendas." To back up that conspiracy theory, the complaint cited hyperlinks between websites as evidence of a "co-partnering relationship"—a method that may ultimately implicate the entire World Wide Web in this plot. Although the conspiracy is imaginary, Wolk's outrage at it resulted in a year of costly legal maneuvering, during which we were repeatedly pressured to settle the case by agreeing to censor ourselves. The pressure came not just from Wolk but from a legal system that focuses more on making cases go away than on addressing their merits. Ultimately, Wolk backed down, which is a vindication of sorts for the defiant strategy recommended (and practiced) by Masnick. But while he was never actually sued, we weren't so lucky.

Last month Paul Alan Levy, who was sued (briefly) by Wolk but admirably resisted his "campaign of intimidation against anybody and everybody who reported in unfavorable terms about his litigation," asked, "Has Arthur Alan Wolk Finally Learned That He Cannot Sue Every Critic?" Unfortunately, this is the sort of question you have to ask if you are trying to assess the odds that you will be sued for saying things that reflect negatively on thin-skinned rich people, even when they are not defamatory. The answer has nothing to do with the truth of what you say or the likelihood that the person you offend can actually win his case if and when its merits are finally addressed. In short, credibility does not enter into it.

Again, we are glad this litigation is over and would like to get on with our other work, so we ask readers to exercise self-restraint in their comments so as to forestall any more claims that we are inciting others to libel.  

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Imagine the ensuing hilarity if 'Not Arthur Wolk' counter sued.

    Also, I'm pretty sure that Herc is a 'nut ball' to be feared.

  • Patrick||

    We might get a chance to see that in the follow-up suit Wolk will no doubt file against Sullum and Reason for this post.

    Hope you have insurance!

  • ||

    Hope you have insurance!

    Nope, but I'm poor so I'm nothing more than a bloodless turnip to the lawsuit industrial complex.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Allowing comments?

    Also, the Hustler piece wasn't a cartoon, it was a fake Campari ad.

  • ||

    Yeah, I thought comments would be disallowed as "he who is not to be mentioned for annoyance of lawsuit" would obviously be drawn here like a fly to shit.

    Reason is illogical sometimes. I dig it though.

  • Suki||

    Are there any pictures of gun-toting nutcase Wolk? Normal people with guns need to be able to spot him early.

  • SIV||

    The planes were innocent too.

  • GSL||

    Wow. After reading that conspiracy theory about destroying the institutions of American government, I . . . won't get anyone in trouble.

  • ||

    That complaint reads like an especially paranoid underzog post.

  • ||

    He's actually a vastly better writer than underschmuck. And an even huger asshole.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Did HERC just get un-commented?

  • ||

    First!

  • ||

    Huh? Was there a HERC post?

  • Old Man With Candy||

    Yeah. Looks like my post disappeared as well. Collateral damage. I still say that getting a frivolous suit filed against you by a rich-fuck shyster is a gravy train ride in first class- a countersuit is a bitch.

  • BakedPenguin||

    um... no. No, I must be imagining things.

  • ||

    "TrippingPenguin"

  • BakedPenguin||

    Peyote and ether are a bad combination.

  • sevo||

    "Peyote and ether are a bad combination."
    I'll keep that in mind.

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    Ever shoot a machine gun on peyote... its bad ass man.

  • ||

    And we've come full circle back to Herc's posts.

  • ChicagoSucks||

    Peyote and ether are a bad combination.

    So are coke and mushrooms.

  • Herc||

  • ||

    OH SHIT!!

    Here we go again.

  • Joe M||

    Don't worry, commenting on the post was taken care of elsewhere.

  • prolefeed||

    So, since the complaint lists one "protefeed" (with a "t" instead of an "l") as one of the defendants, does that mean that I'm not on the hook for legal defense fees?

    What a fuckhead.

  • Joe M||

    Prote, you must've missed the day when you were renamed.

  • protefeed||

    Done. I have a slightly different new handle from now on, in commemoration of this lunatic lawsuit.

  • prolefeed||

    It is believed and therefore averred that employees or agents of Reason.com are the anonymous bloggers.

    Last I checked, Reason has yet to pay me anything for posting shit here. =P

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Yeah, but you're clearly an Agent of Reason. Clearly, man.

  • hmm ||

    I'll forgo a paycheck if my agent of Reason.com number can be 007.

    ...and I get theme music when I post.

  • db||

    No Reason agent really wants his nunber to start with "Double-O" does he?

  • ||

    I'm rather disappointed that I wasn't named in the suit, but if I recall they had already started deleting ***cough*** Warty's ***cough*** posts from commenters by the time I got there.

  • Warty||

    This is certainly the most bizarre chain of consequences that I've ever caused. Holy fuck, what a weird story.

  • ||

    Well, most bizarre other than that time that your date stood you up, and you decided you were going to babysit Brad and Sara Anderson, and their annoying sex fiend neighbor Darryl. But then your friend Brenda was trapped in a bus station, and you had to travel out of the suburbs to the big city. Then, while there and with a flat tire, you, Brad, Sara, and Darryl got caught in the middle of a mafia deal lead by Dan Lynch because of a Playboy magazine. But you still made it home!

    Remember that?

  • Warty||

    Was that the time I woke up in Vegas missing a tooth?

  • ||

    No. It was the time your mother left for a two-month summer vacation in Australia, putting you and your four siblings in the care of that strict tyrannical elderly babysitter. But then the babysitter suddenly died in her sleep, and you assumed the role of "head of the household" to keep the freedom of having no parents around. Remember how you faked a resume to get a job in the fashion industry, but then proved you were capable and lucky enough to succeed?

    It was that time.

  • ||

    "The dishes are done!"

  • ||

    It's "Dishes are done, dude", dude.

  • Warty||

    And then I had to get my tits removed. That part sucked, though.

  • Koan||

    Total thread jack, but of interest here at H&R . . . go to Google. Just look at the pic they chose for Gary Johnson. Do it.

  • protefeed||

    Ummm, the various pics look normal enough to me. Link to whatever the hell you're talking about?

  • pmains||

    The Reason Foundation, a euphemism for the policies and goals of the Libertarian Party, a right wing fringe element that espouses what amounts to an abandomnent of the institutions of our Republic and its substitution with a Govermnent by putative journalists, self appointed intellectuals and right wing pundits but whose real goal is to work with Overlawyered.com and Olson, Frank, Manhattan, Cato and Enterprise, and their respective trustees to assassinate the character of individuals chosen for that purpose because they are a threat to the America without laws Reason Foundation wants.

    Señor Wolk needs to start breaking his stream of consciousness rants into sentences. This wouldn't have been acceptable had it come from a Grade 7 student.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    This wouldn't have been acceptable had it come from a Grade 7 student.

    This is so excellent.

  • rsi||

    Yes. People never agree with one another. There's obviously a conspiracy.

    But am self appointed intellectual.

  • Koan||

    I just had a big derp retard moment . . .
    it's Drudge Report. Not Google. Drudge Report.

  • nicole||

    I did too, I went to Google and started looking...and looking...and finally read two comments down.

    Anyway it's sort of bad. But they're all bad. But Johnson is probably worst.

  • ||

    Please do not drag Drudge into the vast right wing establishment that has not exited since 1966....

    ...oh wait.

    Hello Mrs Clinton, welcome to reason Hit & Run.

  • ||

    he looks like Howard Stern right after he knocked over the records in Private Parts..

  • Atanarjuat||

    I went there (actually to google, then back here, then to Drudge Report), expecting to be pissed at their establishment-protecting mockery of one of the more sensible candidates, but...dang, that's a pretty funny picture.

  • ||

    God, this Wolk fella is a huge fucking dick (not "has", "is"). He's welcome to sue me for all I have - which comes to approx. negative $11,000.00. A number is still growing (or shrinking) in as much as I am terminally unemployed.

  • Paultard||

    President Ron Paul will have your deadbeat, lazy ass in debtor's prison...where it belongs!

  • ||

    Take a wrong turn at the Dumbfuckistani border?

  • ||

    Hey, thing is, I'm not getting any of the unemployment insurance money that I paid taxes for for many, many years. I am tapping into my 401K which I contributed to for 25 years and getting nothing from anyone. This, of course, after skimming of Uncle Sam's cut.

  • confused||

    So, you put this to bed with a settlement, only to... dredge it back up?

    To get sued again?

    What am I missing?

  • ||

    What am I missing?

    On some things Reason has been know to flounder.

    Most of the time we give them a pass....you know, "Journalists".

  • Sudden||

    There are worse things to put into bed... that's all I have to say about that.

  • ||

    I would consider this bear baiting. This is not to insinuate in any way that Mr. Wolk is in any way ursine in nature.

  • Jerry Falwell's goat||

    He convinced me that there's no need for tort reform - especially not loser pays or any extremist thing like that.

  • Uri Geller||

    Me too!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "anti-Semitic, anarchistic views"

    I always knew Jacob Sullum was an anti-Semite.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I was wondering where he was seeing the Anti-Semitism. Some commenter pointed out that he must've concluded that Underzog really had a point.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Are such lawsuits usually peppered with the word "heinous"? You filthy animals.

  • ||

    I wish that the comments of that day were cached somewhere. There was some awesome satire on that page that day.

  • Warty||

    much like the Nazi's of the early 1930s

    Much like the Nazi's of the early 1930s what? Their dog?

  • ||

    Jacob, first, I do apologize to reason and to Messrs. Gillepsie and Welsh for pushing the envelope the other day. I was a tad bit intemperate in my criticism.

    Upon reflection, I have to admit that I was not very understanding of the entirety of reason's position. It is admirable that reason defended the posters in addition to itself.

    The first post of mine on the topic was Tuesday night and that was disabled. It was in response to a post by Pro Lib. IMO, the post was mischievous but it underscored the merits of the matter, or glaring lack thereof.

    Upon disovering that the post had been disabled, I overreacted.

    I do not want to see reason suffer on account of my needling of one who has demonstrated a willingness to see reason suffer.

  • sevo||

    Lm,
    No snark; that's manning up. Nice job.

  • Greer||

    a right wing fringe element ...

    I smell a counter-suit.

    Reason Foundation raises funds for their anti-consumer, anti-Government, anti-court, anti-judge and often anti-Semitic, anarchistic views ...

    I didn't know that consumers, governments, courts and judges were semitic.

  • ||

    That's what they get for speaking a phonetic language. Fuckers.

  • Warty||

    If there's one thing we hate, it's abjads.

  • ||

    What kind of unsophisticated troglodyte not have a word like 'colonel' in their language.

    Goddamn barbarians.

  • KL||

    fonetik fukkers.

  • Warty||

    Completely off-topic: Best ad ever.

  • ||

    Roflmao. You win 10 Internets.

  • ||

    That's retarded. In the good way.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    I suspect I was quietly smug about my self-restraint at the time, but now I'm feeling left out.

    <montypython sketch="masons">
    Please, can I be sued!
    </montypython>

  • sevo||

    NOT a happy result.

  • ||

    we ask readers to exercise self-restraint in their comments


    New here?

  • ||

    I'm totally unfamiliar with all of this. Who is this moron? Why'd he go and sue in the first place?

  • sevo||

    See here for a sanitized explanation:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Alan_Wolk
    I'm pretty sure he isn't an ambulance chaser.
    And pretty sure he would never file law suits against whose claiming he might be.

  • Warty||

    Hey, look, he tweets.

  • ||

    Is it usual to have a twitter thingy without comments?

  • ||

    Not addressing the merits or demerits of the claim in question, probably the most broken procedural aspect of our legal system is the part that allows people to harass others without merit. Litigation is tremendously expensive, and there should be a much better mechanism for protecting defendants from frivolous and/or facially invalid claims.

  • sevo||

    "The answer has nothing to do with the truth of what you say or the likelihood that the person you offend can actually win his case if and when its merits are finally addressed. In short, credibility does not enter into it."

    OK, folks, what can possibly be done to correct this 'government failure'?

  • ||

    Some law called something like the American Judicial Improvement Commission and Revitalization Act, or AJICRA. It involves creating 100 new governmental bureaus and employing 100,000 more people just for the fuck of it, while not actually doing anything to fix anything.

    That's what Obama would do, anyway.

  • sevo||

    Naah.
    The acronym isn't appealing enough. Let's call it WINNING.
    I have no idea what the letters might indicate, but it will certainly required a new cabinet position and at least 100,000 employees.

  • ||

    Yeah, but my acronym, AJICRA, sounds Asian or African. Some tribal shit, or something. And that's great for jokes that go with Obama's middle name, and his origins. All those conspiracy theories still make awesome irritants to the left, and it's fun shit to provoke them.

  • ||

    And what the hell, man? Unless you want to see starving grannies in the gutters, it has to be 200,000 employees, not 100,000. Where's your heart, dude?

  • Paul Krugman||

    NEEDZ MOAR ZEROES!!!!11!1!11!1!!!!

  • sevo||

    Hey, it's not easy starving granny anymore. That damn Alpo is CHEAP!
    But the sin-tax on booze means I gotta put up with her being SOBER!
    Terrible!

  • Gojira||

    Witty Internet Nerds Needing Italian Naked Girls.

    Has jack-all to do with court reform, but I likes the sound of it.

  • Sudden||

    Whatever Is Needed to Negate Insanely Non-productive Government?

    A plausible name for court reform, but still woefully inadequate.

  • Gojira||

    Lawsuits are broken...MARKET FAILURE!!!

    I don't know what can be done to fix things, but what I do know, is that this is somehow the fault of unregulated capitalism.

  • ||

    Ayn Rand and Ron Paul did it!

  • sevo||

    That's the reason I mentioned it was a 'government failure'.

  • Gojira||

    It was /sarcasm ; )

  • sevo||

    I know.
    So was my comment, aimed at those who throw around 'market failure' as if they had a clue.

  • ||

    "While Masnick's resistance to bullying is commendable, our experience with Wolk vividly shows that credibility, in the sense of a plausible legal theory backed up by evidence, is not necessary to drag someone into expensive, time-consuming litigation."

    Exactly. Just because Reason has a right to bang their head against the wall and give themselves a headache--that's no reason to do so.

    "These outlandish accusations are a more florid version of the theory set forth in Wolk's October 22 complaint (PDF), which avers that we "joined a conspiracy to destroy the good name and reputation of Wolk by inciting a feeding frenzy of internet defamation for the sole purpose of destroying Wolk's reputation and advancing the political and social agendas of Reason,"..."

    Doesn't he have to prove malice to win a libel suit? I think that's the logic behind all that weird verbiage...

    My understanding is that in the UK--you don't have to prove malicious intent to win a libel suit.

    ...and maybe that's yet another good reason why I'm glad our forefathers, in their infinite wisdom, decided that they didn't want to be part of England anymore.

  • sevo||

    "My understanding is that in the UK--you don't have to prove malicious intent to win a libel suit."

    As I understand it, the rules in the UK 'proving' libel are even more flexible; the Brits (along with most of the our 'betters' on the east side of the pond) have yet to master the concept of "free speech".
    David Irving brought his libel suit for being identified as a holocaust denier in England, hoping that was enough to assure the truth would be ignored.

  • Bradley||

    I highly recommend reading that PDF. It is a work of beauty.

  • Greer||

    I sort of felt bad for him. He's an old man who saw something on the internet he didn't like and instead of leaving it alone, went nuclear. I would never have heard of this guy if he would have just left it alone.

    his crime is caring what others say about him.

  • sevo||

    "I sort of felt bad for him..."

    I don't.
    I feel bad for the pain and costs that @#$#Q caused others.
    He deserves condemnation not sympathy.

  • Joey Bag of Donuts||

    He's in Philly? I know a guy who knows a guy....

    A-O,O-A.

  • Jerry||

    If Turkey attacks Israel, the US as NATO partner has to support Turkey.

  • Jerry||

    Oops. Wrong thread.

  • cynical||

    So, I take it that despite being a CA company, the anti-SLAAP protections there were not especially useful?

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I just want you to know that the handle "Latter Day Taint" still causes me fits of giggling whenever it crosses my field of vision.

  • pancakes||

    why does waffles get all the love?

  • Grumman Panther||

    Aaaaaaurthur, whyyyy did you krash me? I am suing you for gross incompetence.

  • hmm ||

    DO NOT RELEASE THE DOGS QUADRUPEDAL RUMINANT MAMMALS RESEMBLING FLUFFY WHITE CLOUDS

  • hmm ||

    Does this officially make me a "nut ball?" If so I may frame this.

  • hmm ||

    Credit where credit is due, the man did manage a Godwin troll in a legal suit. That, unintentional and hilarious as it may be, is pure genius.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I agree. It has the perfect balance of the clumsy and the astounding.

  • hmm ||

    There should be t-shirts for those that were sued. However deliver may pose a problem given the nature of the event.

  • ||

    Arthur Alan Wolk is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known inmylife.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    That's exactly what I said!

  • Amakudari||

    Cool, the first lawsuit that's named me.

    I'm going to sue for defamation since he named me as a resident of Pennsylvania. That is a heinous accusation and he knows it.

    I'm honestly a little impressed that he (or some poor assistant) wrote up a 100-page lawsuit -- even though most of it's copypasta -- trying to suppress a stream of sarcastic comments.

    That article, entitled "A Note to Our Commentators", instead of admonishing them for being the filthy animals who violated the criminal savings provisions of the Communications Decency Act and numerous State Criminal Codes, re-incited a riot. ...

    The innuendo of that article was that the selling out of Wolk's client that was previously written about was warranted and the charge that he bullied an aviation site into settling and apologizing to him was also true two charges that are and were entirely false.

    Worse the entire purpose of that article which was neither necessary nor accurate was to incite their bloggers further, an invitation to take off and kill Wolk, this time either verbally or actually. And kill Wolk they did by repeating on another blog on another article on Reason.com about the First Amendment where they pilloried Wolk just as they knew the article would do with a repeat, but even more vile accusations of heinous crimes, which of course made it to Google's first page. This publication occurred so it would appear on Google over a weekend when Reason's counsel was unavailable for Wolk to reach and indeed it wasn't until the following Tuesday that the sites were cleared and Google cached but by that time the charges of a crime more horrible than any was viewed by tens of millions.

    THE DRAMA.

  • Amakudari||

    Plaintiff wrote a book entitled "Recollections of My Puppy", a book for adults and children, all of the proceeds from which go to animal rescue. The false charges by defendants have utterly killed that book. ... As a sole result of this trauma deliberately delivered, plaintiff has daily unremitting pain and disability related to the stress of having to deal with defendants wicked, malicious, vile and false accusations twisted in mUltiple forms by multiple associates and affiliates all with the connivance, encouragement, request and concerted action one with another and unchecked by the Trustees who continue to suck the blood of the American people by writing off their contributions to destroy the nations institutions while they enjoy a free ride on the backs of the less fortunate.

    My God, what have we done?

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I think that last part qualifies as a run-on sentence. But if it were a little more erudite, it could pass as Pynchon.

  • hmm ||

    We killed a fictional puppy. The horror!!!

  • MJ||

    "For instance, he "does not sleep," he "does not show his face at Bar functions,..."

    I would have thought those would be the results of dishonoring the legal system his profession is based on by putting his inability to take criticism above it by filing absurd lawsuits.

  • PR||

    who are the lawyers whipping Righthaven's ass? they could probably dismantle this guy.

  • GaryM||

    I would never dream of calling Wolk an idiot or a a nut. That would be defamatory to idiots and nuts.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I suggest, instead of placing the burden on Reason, that each of those named in the suite file seperate SLAPP suits. A solid 20 to 30 short yet complete suits to deal with for 1 attorney is a lot. One could get a taste of one's own medicin. The power of the Tubes isnt anonymity it's numbers.

  • ||

    In a functional legal system, with judges who are not ball-less and spineless, Mr. Wolk's attorneys would have been tagged with filing a frivolous lawsuit and required to pay the legal fees of the defendants.

    The rule allowing this is right on the books. Sadly, it is never used.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Exactly, R.C. Isn't he the definition of "vexatious litigant?" I already know that his state Bar won't give a shit about his behavior, given that he's probably paid his bar dues, and he hasn't commingle client funds, but just what does it take to get a judge to issue Rule 11 sanctions against a litigant or their counsel anymore?

  • Fire Tiger||

    Who wants to buy, "I Commented On Reason And All I Got Was A Silly Lawsuit." shirts?

  • flye||

    I do, I do!

    Although it would be better if it had the comment on it that got me included in the lawsuit -- I have no idea what I wrote, although I'm sure it was a crude and hamfisted attempt at humor.

  • ||

    A note to techdirt - they simply do NOT have the same level of commenters that reason does.

    I will refrain from describing that level in any way, but it's definitely not the same.

  • CertKiller ||

    Nice post

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  • markeric||

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