Showing posts with label anonymous speech. Show all posts
Showing posts with label anonymous speech. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Follow-up: Fisher v. Doe

In December I wrote that Tom Haren and I had filed an amicus brief in the Ohio Supreme Court on behalf of our client Alexandria Goddard. We asked the Court, in Fisher v. Doe, to adopt the Dendrite International standard for cases in which a subpoena seeks to unmask anonymous internet speech.

Today the Court declined to accept the case by a 4-2 margin. Justices French and O'Neill dissented. Justice Fischer, who was on the First District panel that decided the case in October, did not participate.

We are disappointed, obviously. The First Amendment's protection extends as equally to anonymous and pseudonymous speech as it does to speech from identified sources, and this is no less true for online speech than it is for speech in newspapers, pamphlets, or any other media. We will continue to keep our eyes open for candidates to place the Dendrite issue before the Ohio Supreme Court and courts of appeals. If you are aware of any, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Does Dendrite International apply in Ohio?

What standard must a court apply when a plaintiff seeks to use the subpoena power of the court to identify an anonymous speaker on the internet? There is not yet a consensus to this important question in Ohio, but earlier this week the First District--my home district, filled with good judges with whom I very rarely disagree--bucked the national trend by declining to apply the standard from Dendrite International v. Doe. In my opinion this case was wrongly decided, and does not adequately protect the constitutional right to anonymous speech. This is a subject in which I'm very interested; see here for video of my participation in a panel last week at the Ohio State Bar Association's Law and Media Conference.

Update: we have filed an amicus brief in support of Doe's jurisdictional appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.