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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Courts - "Michigan Appeals Court to Consider Anonymity for Blogger Who Criticized Cooley Law School"

Interesting ABA Journal post on a Michigan case, which is somewhat reminiscent of the Miller v. Junior Achievement case (recent ILB post here), with its trial court order compelling the Indianapolis Star to identify an anonymous online commenter.

A quote from the ABA Journal post:

Lawyers representing the blogger asked the appeals court in a brief (PDF) to adopt a “developing consensus” standard when courts consider requests to unmask anonymous speakers. The standard requires the court to:

• Provide notice to the anonymous speaker and an opportunity to defend secrecy.

• Require the plaintiff to identify the statements alleged to have violated his rights.

• Review the complaint to ensure it states a cause of action.

• Require evidence supporting the claims.

• Weigh the potential harm to the plaintiff from being unable to proceed with the harm to the defendant from losing anonymity.

“The court can thus ensure that a plaintiff does not obtain an important form of relief—identifying its anonymous critics—and that the defendant is not denied important First Amendment rights unless the plaintiff has a realistic chance of success on the merits,” according to the brief.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 12, 2012 12:28 PM
Posted to Courts in general