prior restraint

I've gotten ahold of the Wikileaks order. (Via EFF) It is better than I could have imagined. Judge White begins by stating the importance of the First Amendment issues in play: The First Amendment encompasses the “right to receive information and ideas.” Kleindienst v. Mandel, 408 U.S. 753, 762 (19720 (citation...

I previously reported on the First American eAppraiseIT v. Crowley defamation case. (complaint here) It appears that the plaintiff has dropped the suit. Florida Today reports: In a court filing dated Feb. 6, eAppraiseIT said it was dismissing its suit against Crowley because it was “well satisfied” with her acknowledgment...

Family law scares me. Too much hate and negativity for my sensitive soul. However, it seems that if you turn over enough stones in any area of law, you'll find an interesting First Amendment and/or intellectual property issue. In Garrido v. Krasnansky, the husband, William Krasnansky let...

Virginia is not my least favorite state. It doesn't even make the top five. Imagine that, home of Liberty University, Jerry Falwell, and Regent University and it...

Just when you thought that Kansas was the nuttiest fruitcake in the Union, along comes Ohio with its new sex offender registration law. Now, a conviction for pandering obscenity is considered to be a "Tier 1" offense requiring that an adult remain on the registered sex offender rolls for...

We (okay, I) usually think of the uneducated red states as the anti-freedom bloc. But, the Blue states are doing their part to make sure that Dixie and Utah aren't the only places where personal liberty is no longer a right. Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick is working on...

It doesn't get much better than this (If you like Free Speech) File this under "when will they learn?" Philip J. Smith keeps a blog http://www.jackwhispers.blogspot.com upon which he comments on tech issues (and occasionally sports). One of his articles discussed an Ebay auction listing company, BidZirk (with which I guess he had a bad experience). Smith discussed Bidzirk, his interactions with its president, Daniel Schmidt, and his negative opinions regarding all bid listing companies. BidZirk decided to counter the negative publicity with that favorite tool of all petty little crybabies - the defamation suit. For good measure, BidZirk and Schmidt threw in a count for invasion of privacy - based upon the fact that Smith linked to an external website with a picture of Schmidt (and his fiancee Jill Patterson). BidZirk also sued for trademark infringement because Smith used the BidZirk name in his blog entry (yes, discussing BidZirk).

Oct. 12, 2007 · An Orlando television station cannot be restricted from airing a broadcast discussing documents belonging to a political consultant, a Florida appeals court ruled Oct. 4 Previously plagued by an election-law scandal, Orlando-based political consultant Douglas Guetzloe got a Florida court to bar Orlando TV...

First American eAppraiseIT v.Crowley is the latest assault on free speech in Florida. The defendant in that case publishes a website called Mortgage Fraud Watch List. From the Defendant's website:
MFWL is a database of addresses, submitted by real estate professionals from all 50 states, where a sale or refinance transaction has suspicious activity. Mortgage transactions involving these addresses should be scrutinized to insure the accuracy and honesty of all data submitted as part of the loan process. MFWL will direct all potential fraud reports from our members and non members to proper authorities for investigation.
The Plaintiff doesn't like what the Plaintiff allegedly said about him on that site, so he sued for defamation. It seems on its face that the suit is unsupportable, but I'll need to review the pleadings to definitively say so. I will publish an update after I get them in hand (and eat humble pie if my instincts are wrong). (The full transcript of the hearing is here, but I excerpt it below). Whatever the merits of the case in chief, the Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction was completely unsupportable. The Plaintiff asked the judge for an injunction prohibiting the Defendant from making any statements about the Plaintiff until discovery was completed. In other words, before a single statement was determined to be legally defamatory (whether it is or not) the Plaintiff wanted the Defendant's First Amendment rights suppressed until he could complete all of his discovery - which could take months. In dismissing the request, the judge held: