Orthomom Lawsuit Update
Looks like Mayer Fertig of the Jewish Star scooped me on this story:
An attorney who specializes in fighting — and usually winning — blogger privacy cases has agreed to defend the local blogger known as Orthomom, who is fighting an attempt by District 15 Trustee Pamela Greenbaum to unmask her.Feel free to discuss.
Paul Alan Levy, an attorney with the Washington, DC-based group Public Citizen, and his colleagues, have represented several dozen anonymous defendants in cases involving blogs, websites and other online activities. None have ever been identified by a court order.
Greenbaum recently sued Google for Orthomom’s identity as part of a broader plan to sue over comments made by readers of the blog. The comments criticized Greenbaum for championing of the cause of public school parents in the Lawrence school district.
The next hearing in the case is set for April 5 in State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
Levy said he’d file a brief that makes the case to protect Orthomom’s anonymity. “You want Google to not give up these names too readily but you can’t expect them to litigate the cases,” he said. Blogs are a free service provided by Google.
“We don’t propose a standard where the anonymous parties always win,” Levy said. “But it’s up to judges to protect bloggers who are not doing anything wrong, and to see to it that those abusing anonymity are brought to justice.”
A certain amount of collegiality is generally expected between attorneys but, “I can’t say I’m getting any cooperation from opposing council” in this case, Levy said, referring to Greenbaum’s attorney, Adam Feder of North Woodmere. “It’s sad to say,” he continued.
A call to Feder’s Brooklyn office for comment was not returned.