Download torrent. TorrentExpress helps you to find and download millions of active torrentsDownload torrent. TorrentExpress helps you to find and download millions of active torrents - (P2P) . What the Press says:
IT-Lex http://it-lex.org Technology law. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 17:57:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.6 All Good Things http://it-lex.org/good-things/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=good-things http://it-lex.org/good-things/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 13:48:32 +0000 http://it-lex.org/?p=7835 For the past two years, IT-Lex has been honored to adva […]

The post All Good Things appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
itlexnews

For the past two years, IT-Lex has been honored to advance the dialogue on all matters concerning technology law.  Since our upstart beginning as a simple blog that could easily be confused for a college student’s tumblr feed, IT-Lex has published well over 1,000 blog posts, hosted the Innovate Conference in October 2013, awarded thousands of dollars in scholarship money to law students, and, most recently, published the IT-Lex Journal.

Behind these successes, there have been sleepless nights, long weekends, and boundless effort from everyone involved in our not-for-profit endeavor.  As they say, “All good things must come to an end.”  After a great deal of thought and consideration, those of us at IT-Lex will be moving on to other endeavors.  IT-Lex will discontinue operations on July 1, 2014, but we will leave the articles on our site up as an archive for as long as possible.

It is our sincere hope that in some way, big or small, IT-Lex was able to help you, your practice, and the legal profession through entertaining educational materials, networking opportunities, or even simply giving you a good laugh in the middle of your workday through one of our more light-hearted posts.

On behalf of Lexington (our robot mascot), and all of us at IT-Lex, it has been a heck of a ride . . .  thank you for coming along with us.

EmailFacebookTwitterLinkedInRSS

The post All Good Things appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
http://it-lex.org/good-things/feed/ 1
Florida’s First Email Service Case – Strict Liability Service! http://it-lex.org/floridas-first-email-service-case-strict-liability-service/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=floridas-first-email-service-case-strict-liability-service http://it-lex.org/floridas-first-email-service-case-strict-liability-service/#comments Fri, 13 Jun 2014 21:24:27 +0000 http://it-lex.org/?p=7827 In Florida’s first appellate court case parsing t […]

The post Florida’s First Email Service Case – Strict Liability Service! appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
litigation500In Florida’s first appellate court case parsing the particulars of email service (now required in Florida state courts), earlier this week Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal issued its opinion in Matte v. Caplan, Case No. 4d13-903 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014). 

The case dealt with the trial court’s denial of a motion for 57.105 sanctions (kind of like Florida’s state-equivalent of Rule 11 sanctions, with a splash of Florida-quirkiness to it).

This sanctions motion was served via email, with the case caption in the subject line and (gasp!) a Word document attached containing the motion at issue.  Under Florida’s hyper-specific email service rules, the motion should have been a PDF (or Portable Document Format) file, as opposed to a Word document.  See Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516.  As the court noted,

Appellee argued that the motion for sanctions was not enforceable because appellant’s February 22nd e-mail did not comply with the requirements for service by e-mail in Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516. Specifically, the e-mail did not: (1) provide a PDF of the motion or a link to the motion on a website maintained by the clerk; (2) contain, in the subject line in all capital letters, the words “SERVICE OF COURT DOCUMENT,” followed by the case number; (3) contain, in the body of the e-mail, the case number, name of the initial party of each side, title of each document served with that e-mail, and the sender’s name and telephone number. Appellee argued these defects were fatal, because section 57.105 is strictly construed as in derogation of the common law. Appellant responded that only substantial compliance, rather than strict compliance, with Rule 2.516 was required. He argued that the strict interpretation of section 57.105 did not extend to Rule 2.516. At the hearing, appellee’s counsel testified that she had received the e-mail and read the attached Word document. Because the service had resulted in actual notice, appellant argued it was sufficient under the rule. The trial court restricted its consideration to this procedural issue and not the merits of the motion. It denied the motion, thus agreeing with appellee’s argument that the failure to strictly observe the service rules precluded consideration of the motion. This appeal ensued.

The Court discussed the email service rule in detail, noting that

The e-mail service requirements, which were implemented in 2012, use mandatory language stating that service “must” be made in the manner described. Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.516(b)(1)(E)(i)-(iv); In re Amendments to Fla. Rules of Jud. Admin. et al., 102 So. 3d 505, 515-17 (Fla. 2012). The rule requires that the e-mail subject line contain the words SERVICE OF COURT DOCUMENT, all in capitals and followed by the case number. This is important, because anyone with an e-mail account knows that users frequently receive many e-mails about many different topics. The capitalized notification advising that the e-mail relates to a court document is critical to assure that the recipient opens the e-mail and reviews the document promptly. Further, while it may seem insubstantial that a Word version of the motion was attached rather than the PDF, a Word version is modifiable whereas the PDF is not. Sending a PDF avoids controversy regarding the content of the document. The PDF version of a document is what is required to be filed with the court.

Finally, the Court affirmed the trial court’s decision and held that “that strict compliance with Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516 regarding e-mail service of pleadings is required before a court may assess attorney’s fees pursuant to section 57.105, Florida Statutes.”

Strict compliance with service is nothing new, or peculiar to email.  In Florida, strict compliance with the statutory provisions governing service of process is required in order to obtain jurisdiction over a party.  In fact, a process server’s failure to write the exact time of service on service of process (even if everything else was done correctly) renders service of process invalid.

The lesson learned from this case is a simple one.  Florida lawyers, follow the service rules!  If your assistant or paralegal handles service, make sure you train them well and supervise them to ensure proper service.

 

EmailFacebookTwitterLinkedInRSS

The post Florida’s First Email Service Case – Strict Liability Service! appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
http://it-lex.org/floridas-first-email-service-case-strict-liability-service/feed/ 0
House Passes USA Freedom Act, But Nobody’s Very Happy With It http://it-lex.org/house-passes-usa-freedom-act-nobodys-happy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=house-passes-usa-freedom-act-nobodys-happy http://it-lex.org/house-passes-usa-freedom-act-nobodys-happy/#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 13:00:26 +0000 http://it-lex.org/?p=7824 By IT-Lex Intern Amber Williams (LinkedIn) The House of […]

The post House Passes USA Freedom Act, But Nobody’s Very Happy With It appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
legislation500By IT-Lex Intern Amber Williams (LinkedIn)

The House of Representatives recently passed new legislation, the USA Freedom Act. The Act is coming to us just one year after Edward Snowden became the most well-known NSA whistleblower of our time by revealing snooping programs and just how much data the NSA collects. Civil rights groups originally supported the bill, but withdrew their support once the legislation was stripped of most of its power. Harley Geiger, an attorney for the Center for Democracy & Technology stated

“The ban on bulk collection was deliberately watered down to be ambiguous and exploitable.”

“We withdrew support for USA Freedom when the bill morphed into a codification of large-scale, untargeted collection of data about Americans with no connection to a crime or terrorism.”

On the other hand, the White House said this about the bill:

“The bill ensures out intelligence and law enforcement professionals have the authorities they need to protect the Nation, while further ensuring that individuals’ privacy is appropriately protected when these authorities are employed.”

The Act had no problem gaining approval from the House, with the bill passing 303 to 121. Under this newly passed legislation, the NSA will no longer collect and store all of the metadata from phone calls, instead, all of this information will remain within the telecomm industry. Now, if the NSA wants metadata, the USA Freedom Act requires “that the NSA get approval for a search from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court before demanding that the telecoms hand over metadata.” “Probable-cause” under the Fourth Amendment is not required to access the information.

Some members of Congress, such as Rep. Zoe Lofgren from CA, voted against the Act as they don’t think that it will stop bulk collection of information on innocent people.

The Washington Post published an article talking about the last minute changes to the act:

As usual, then, the devil is in the details. Vagueness is certainly a plus for the administration. Indeed, a cynical interpretation of all this suggests that those who crafted the new USA Freedom Act want to give the illusion of reform while preserving (even extending) the NSA’s current activities behind a fog of legalese.

Finally, Reuters offered some ideas as to how the Act could be rescued:

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s first task should be closing the loophole that was slipped into the USA Freedom Act’s bulk collection ban.

The Senate committee should then address the privacy of the communications themselves.

The committee should end these “back-door searches” by specifying that the government needs a warrant to search for Americans’ information. In addition, the Senate committee should prohibit warrantless collection if targeting an American is any part of the government’s purpose.

The same goal underlies all these changes: Surveillance laws must be used as Congress intended. A law allowing the government to obtain business records “relevant” to a terrorism investigation should not be used to collect every American’s telephone records. A law allowing the government to collect the communications of foreigners overseas should not be used to search for Americans’ calls and e-mails.

EmailFacebookTwitterLinkedInRSS

The post House Passes USA Freedom Act, But Nobody’s Very Happy With It appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
http://it-lex.org/house-passes-usa-freedom-act-nobodys-happy/feed/ 0
Lawyer Retaliates Against Client In Online Comments, Gets Publicly Reprimanded http://it-lex.org/lawyer-retaliates-client-online-comments-gets-publicly-reprimanded/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lawyer-retaliates-client-online-comments-gets-publicly-reprimanded http://it-lex.org/lawyer-retaliates-client-online-comments-gets-publicly-reprimanded/#comments Thu, 05 Jun 2014 13:00:17 +0000 http://it-lex.org/?p=7822 By IT-Lex Intern Amber Williams (LinkedIn) Last month, […]

The post Lawyer Retaliates Against Client In Online Comments, Gets Publicly Reprimanded appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
oddsends500By IT-Lex Intern Amber Williams (LinkedIn)

Last month, the Supreme Court of Georgia issued a formal complaint against a lawyer for retaliating against a client and breaking more than one of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct.

Margrett Skinner was retained by a client in 2009 as representation in an uncontested divorce proceeding, paying Skinner $900, including a $150 filing fee. Skinner was unresponsive to the client for six weeks, and when the client did get ahold of Skinner, the client was informed by Skinner that the paperwork had been lost and needed to be replaced. Skinner and the client eventually met again and began to draft the pleadings. “The initial drafts of the pleadings had multiple errors” but the final draft was finished by mid-November 2009.

By April 2010, the divorce was finalized, but there was a disagreement about the fees and expenses to be paid to Skinner.

Skinner asked the client for an additional $185 for certain travel expenses and the filing fee…Then, on May 18, the client informed Skinner that she had hired another lawyer to complete her divorce, and she asked Skinner to deliver her file to new counsel and to refund $750. Skinner replied that she would not release the file unless she were paid. Although Skinner eventually refunded $650 to the client, Skinner never delivered the file to new counsel, contending that it only contained her “work product.” The client’s new lawyer finished the divorce within three months of being hired.

Unsurprisingly, “the client posted negative reviews of Skinner” on three different consumer websites. Skinner saw these reviews and retaliated, posting “a response that contained personal and confidential information about her former client that Skinner had obtained in the course of her representation of the client.” The information posted included the client’s name, what county the divorce took place in, and the fact that the client had a new boyfriend.

A grievance was filed by the client against Skinner, and Skinner said that she would remove the comment in August of 2011. However, the post was not removed until February 2012.

The special master assigned to the case found that Skinner violated Rule 1.4 by not keeping her client reasonably informed between July and October of 2010 and Rule 1.6 when Skinner disclosed confidential client information in her response. The fact that Skinner had been an attorney since 1987 was an “aggravating circumstance.” But Skinner had no prior discipline and there was no “dishonest or selfish motive” for her conduct, two mitigating factors.

The Court agreed with the special master on the punishment

of a public reprimand, as well as the additional condition that Skinner be instructed to take advantage of the State Bar’s Law Practice Management services and recommendations with respect to internal office procedures, client files and case tracking procedures.

This formal complaint is a reminder that client confidentiality is key to following the rules regarding ethics for lawyers.

EmailFacebookTwitterLinkedInRSS

The post Lawyer Retaliates Against Client In Online Comments, Gets Publicly Reprimanded appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
http://it-lex.org/lawyer-retaliates-client-online-comments-gets-publicly-reprimanded/feed/ 0
Introducing Volume One Of The IT-Lex Journal http://it-lex.org/introducing-volume-one-lex-journal/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=introducing-volume-one-lex-journal http://it-lex.org/introducing-volume-one-lex-journal/#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 13:00:29 +0000 http://it-lex.org/?p=7818 We are pleased to announce the release of Volume One of […]

The post Introducing Volume One Of The IT-Lex Journal appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
itlexnews500We are pleased to announce the release of Volume One of the IT-Lex Journal, which comprises the winners of our inaugural writing contest for law students. You can read the Journal right now for free – all you have to do is register and sign in as a Friend of IT-Lex, also for free. 

The first-place winner of the contest was Anthony Mendenhall, a 2013 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law. Tony discussed his essay, entitled ‘Due Process in the Information Age: The Civil Discovery Crisis‘ with Judge Facciola, Judge Nolan and Ken Withers, in a memorable panel at last year’s Innovate Conference, and we asked him to talk about his chosen topic below. Remember, you can read this article, and the two other winners, on our Journal page. 

Tony Mendenhall: Prior to attending law school I worked for one of the big four accounting firms as an IT consultant.  My work experience naturally led me to taking an e-discovery class that was being offered for the first time by Prof. Paula Schaefer at the University of Tennessee. As part of the class we were required to do a research paper where we could select our own topic. At the same time, I was also taking a seminar from Prof. Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame entitled “Law, Science and Technology Seminar” where the entire grade was based on a paper and presentation on a topic of our choosing. Additionally, that semester my wife was pregnant with our second son and I was working as a graduate assistant at the University’s Office of Information Technology where, because of my prior work experience, they basically had me fill half the spot of a full time employee who had just left. Needless to say, I took the opportunity double up on topics so that even though I wrote two different papers with two different theses, the background material and many of the source materials were the same for both papers. Because I knew I was going to be spending so much time on the topic I was going to write on, I decided to pick a topic that I felt passionate about.

The whole civil discovery system has always seemed pretty messed up to me. I wanted to take a crack at digging into the problem. My background at that point had been in system development work, and I think one of my personal strengths is being able to design or take apart systems and configure them in a way that is most efficient. It’s what I used to do with IT systems as a consultant and in part what I do in my position at the law firm that I work for now.  One of my biggest peeves is the producer pays rule. As a system, it’s convenient for the bar and bench, but a horrible system from the client’s perspective. The incentives are all perverse. Anyone who hasn’t been inundated or initiated can quickly see that.

At its worst, a request for production is like having the court order you to hold still while a bully sucker punches you in the gut. Then you have to pay the bully for time spent punching you in the gut. Probably the most absurd thing about the producer pays rule is its sacrosanctity among the bar and bench. There is this assumption that the issue of who pays for the costs of discovery was carefully thought out when the Rules of Civil procedure were revamped in the early twentieth century. This simply isn’t true. At the time the question of who paid for discovery was inconsequential due to the small cost involved in producing discovery.

There also is this real fear that if we change to a default rule where the requesting party pays for the costs of discovery, we’ll be oppressing indigent parties everywhere and that we’ll see a massive wave of injustice. I just don’t buy that. You can create a system that better aligns the interests and costs of the parties while still protecting indigent parties. For example, I think if you reversed the default position of who pays for discovery, cost shifting decisions by the court become much easier. I could keep on going, but I think I’ve made my point.

The more and more I found out about the process of civil discovery, the more and more it felt like civil discovery violated the spirit of due process, specifically procedural due process. At a very basic level, it seems horribly unfair to have to pay the costs of packaging up material that the opposing party is going to be using against you. Especially when so much of the production results in so little value in helping to resolve the issues at hand.

There were all these reason I could think of how civil discovery is inefficient and has misaligned incentives. Coming up with examples was easy. Weaving them into a framework was the hard part. Especially because discovery issues hardly ever make it to appellate courts. There isn’t much to work with as far as theory goes. The sexy stuff is substantive due process. There isn’t as much on procedural due process. There is almost nothing theoretical on procedural due process as it relates to discovery.

It finally started coming together one day when I was perusing the Volokh Conspiracy. I happened across Andrew Blair-Stanek’s article Twombly Is the Logical Extension of the Mathews v. Eldridge Test to Discovery. Andrew Blair-Stanek’s framework finally provided a vehicle by which I could make a due process argument against the producer pays rule.

My paper for the “Law, Science and Technology” class with Prof. Reynolds ended up being very high level and theoretical while the paper for Prof. Schaefer’s class was much more practical. I got positive feedback from both professors and decided to merge both papers together as part of a directed study project that I could get a few credit hours for over the summer break. While I ultimately ended up going a different direction for the final directed study project, I had mostly completed the work to mash up the two papers before changing directions.

The paper that I ultimately ended up submitted to IT-Lex argues that the type of wasteful discovery prone to a producer pays system violates procedural due process. Applying the three part Mathews test to discovery reveals that the non-trivial interests of the producing party are often at considerable risk of an erroneous deprivation. The paper then goes on to show how recent advances in e-discovery case law effectively act as a safety valve to keep the Mathews factors balanced in favor of the status quo. I think that the Mathews framework is a great way to analyze discovery issues; however I doubt that it will ever get any traction in actual litigation. I think the last thing judges want to do is open the gates to a constitutional analysis for discovery disputes.

Fast forward a year later to my spring 3L year. I got a listserv spam about the IT-Lex writing contest, and remembered I had that mashed-up paper still sitting on my Google Drive. I thought, “what the heck, why not submit it. What do I have to lose?” I took the mashed-up version and submitted it.

With two toddlers, graduation, starting a new job in Nashville and studying for the bar I didn’t think much of the contest until a couple of months later when I was cleaning out my old university email account. The email sent to me by Adam and Samir was in my junk mail folder, which makes sense considering the email went something like, “Congratulations! You’re our grand prize winner!” Luckily, I got to it before the retention policy permanently deleted the email. One thing led to another and the next thing I know I’m presenting my paper at the IT-Lex Conference in Florida.

I hope that anyone who reads my paper comes away with two things. First, I hope that it gets them critically thinking about the producer pays system and opens them up to alternatives. Second, even though I don’t believe that we’ll ever see Mathews framework officially in an opinion, I hope that judges can keep the Mathews framework in their back pocket as another tool to analyze discovery disputes.

EmailFacebookTwitterLinkedInRSS

The post Introducing Volume One Of The IT-Lex Journal appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
http://it-lex.org/introducing-volume-one-lex-journal/feed/ 0
Hands Off, Courts: Privacy And Anonymous Speech http://it-lex.org/hands-courts-privacy-anonymous-speech/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=hands-courts-privacy-anonymous-speech http://it-lex.org/hands-courts-privacy-anonymous-speech/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 14:16:08 +0000 http://it-lex.org/?p=7816 By IT-Lex Intern Kristin Bergman (Twitter / LinkedIn) R […]

The post Hands Off, Courts: Privacy And Anonymous Speech appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
privacy500By IT-Lex Intern Kristin Bergman (Twitter / LinkedIn)

Rather than the traditional invocation of the First Amendment, the California Second District Court of Appeal recently protected anonymous speech using a state constitutional privacy rationale.

This case arose in amidst allegations by UMG Recordings of Escape Media Group’s copyright infringement via its music sharing site Grooveshark. Escape subpoenaed Digital Music News, which reported on the copyright infringement allegations in an article that received many reader comments. One of these anonymous commentators claimed to be an Escape employee explaining that the administration provided incentives for employees to upload popular copyrighted songs. Digital Music News argued that identifying information would not reasonably lead to the discovery of admissible evidence and is protected by the commentator’s right to privacy. The appellate court agreed.

Instead of addressing the First Amendment as the trial court did, the appellate court relied on the speaker’s right of privacy. After holding that the discovery of the commentator’s identity was not relevant to the state law copyright infringement case, the Court held that even if the evidence were admissible, the speaker’s “right to privacy under the California Constitution would outweigh Escape’s need for the information.” The Court found that the right to speak anonymously draws from freedom of speech in the First Amendment and the right of privacy in California’s Constitution Article I, Section 1. It noted the value of extending anonymous speech protections to online speech to foster open, robust debate. Overcoming this right of privacy requires a compelling interest, which Escape failed to prove here—indeed the speaker’s identity was in no way essential to the fair resolution of UMG’s copyright infringement suit. In concluding, the Court warned against getting too involved in public disputes on Internet forums, writing: “We will not lightly lend the subpoena power of the courts to prove, in essence, that Someone Is Wrong On The Internet.”

EmailFacebookTwitterLinkedInRSS

The post Hands Off, Courts: Privacy And Anonymous Speech appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
http://it-lex.org/hands-courts-privacy-anonymous-speech/feed/ 0
No Summary Judgment For Court Admin Who Stopped Assigning Cases To Attorney After Facebook Post http://it-lex.org/summary-judgment-court-admin-stopped-assigning-cases-attorney-facebook-post/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=summary-judgment-court-admin-stopped-assigning-cases-attorney-facebook-post http://it-lex.org/summary-judgment-court-admin-stopped-assigning-cases-attorney-facebook-post/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 19:00:44 +0000 http://it-lex.org/?p=7814 In Butler v. Edwards-Brown, the plaintiff is an attorne […]

The post No Summary Judgment For Court Admin Who Stopped Assigning Cases To Attorney After Facebook Post appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
first-amendment500In Butler v. Edwards-Brownthe plaintiff is an attorney in Michigan, who occasionally received assignments from the Washtenaw County Probate Court. Then this happened:

In April 2012, Plaintiff made a comment on Facebook about the performance of the Clerk’s Office at the Washtenaw Probate Court, specifically with regard to a case she was handling. Plaintiff “tagged” two people with whom she had a pre-existing, personal relationship, mistakenly identifying them as Clerk’s Office employees in her Facebook post, and identifying them by name. Plaintiff testified that she believes her Facebook profile is set to only be visible to “friends” as opposed to the general public. In a matter of days, Plaintiff received a letter from Defendant Edwards-Brown, the administrator of the Washtenaw Juvenile and Probate Courts.That letter stated that Plaintiff had been removed from the assignment list because of her comment on Facebook. 

(Internal citations omitted)

As the court notes, the “exact text of the Facebook post at the core of this lawsuit” is still not on the record, so we’re left to speculate about what Butler wrote. Whatever it was, it led to her removal from the assignment list, and she wasn’t too pleased. Her attempts to be reinstated were unsuccessful, though she was told she “could reapply for placement on the list in the future”. All this despite the following facts:

There is no written policy for removal from the list. It is within Defendant Edwards-Brown’s authority to remove people from the list. Neither Defendant actually saw the Facebook post in question. Instead, the post was brought to Defendant Edwards-Brown’s attention by one of the court employees who was tagged in the post, Katherine Streeter. Defendants took Ms. Streeter at her word regarding the content of the post.

Plaintiff was not subject to any formal disciplinary action under the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct.

(Internal citations omitted)

While the court disagrees with plaintiff’s contention that her removal from the assignment list constituted a violation of her due process, the court is more sympathetic to her First Amendment retaliation argument. It holds that plaintiff’s comment was that of private citizen, commenting on a matter of public concern, and as such, should be considered protected:

Plaintiff, however, was complaining about cases being handled poorly, and, suggested that things may be changing for the better. Defendants make much of the limited audience of the speech. While that does go to the context of the speech, it is not determinative. As noted above the Court must pay attention to the “focus of the speech; the point of the speech in question; to what purpose the employee spoke; the intent of the speech; or the communicative purpose of the speaker.” Here, the focus of the speech — the functioning of the clerks office — could easily have been the topic of an opinion piece in a local legal newspaper. Instead it was given a much shorter treatment and made available to only a handful of people. That does not change the fact that, in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, the focus of the speech was a form of governmental operations, and therefore touched on a matter of public concern.

Since plaintiff’s First Amendment rights are deemed to outweigh defendants’ interests in this case, defendants’ motion for summary judgment is denied with regards to the First Amendment retaliation claim. The facts that the Facebook post in question was quickly deleted; and that neither defendant actually saw it firsthand, suggest that defendants will struggle to defend their actions later down the line as well.

EmailFacebookTwitterLinkedInRSS

The post No Summary Judgment For Court Admin Who Stopped Assigning Cases To Attorney After Facebook Post appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
http://it-lex.org/summary-judgment-court-admin-stopped-assigning-cases-attorney-facebook-post/feed/ 0
Overbroad Discovery Requests: Another “Fishing Expedition” Cut Short http://it-lex.org/overbroad-discovery-requests-another-fishing-expedition-cut-short/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=overbroad-discovery-requests-another-fishing-expedition-cut-short http://it-lex.org/overbroad-discovery-requests-another-fishing-expedition-cut-short/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 14:13:38 +0000 http://it-lex.org/?p=7812 By IT-Lex Intern Kristin Bergman (Twitter / LinkedIn) W […]

The post Overbroad Discovery Requests: Another “Fishing Expedition” Cut Short appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
bestrest500

By IT-Lex Intern Kristin Bergman (Twitter / LinkedIn)

We write about eDiscovery a lot here at IT-Lex, and one recurring theme really seems to stand out—put the time and thought into your discovery requests. This time around, it’s important to remember to be sufficiently specific in your requests for production. In a recent short case, Elkharwily v. Mayo Holding Company, a federal court in Minnesota reminds us: “Even if a request for production seeks relevant information, however, it may nonetheless be denied if it is overbroad.” And that’s precisely what the court here decided to do.

In Josh Gilliland’s words, “Drafting discovery is an art.” In this case, a discovery request was made for “[a]ll email and text messages sent or received on Mayo email and text messaging accounts”—hardly the most artful language. The court found this language was overly broad, and denied the request in order to avoid a “fishing expedition” and as we’ve discussed before, courts don’t really like those. Where all documents relevant to the discovery request were already produced, the court found there was no remaining objection to the requests.

EmailFacebookTwitterLinkedInRSS

The post Overbroad Discovery Requests: Another “Fishing Expedition” Cut Short appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
http://it-lex.org/overbroad-discovery-requests-another-fishing-expedition-cut-short/feed/ 0
Facebook Comment Leads To $50 Fine, Bemusement, Rescission http://it-lex.org/facebook-comment-leads-50-fine-bemusement-rescission/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=facebook-comment-leads-50-fine-bemusement-rescission http://it-lex.org/facebook-comment-leads-50-fine-bemusement-rescission/#comments Fri, 30 May 2014 19:00:31 +0000 http://it-lex.org/?p=7809 People getting into trouble for stuff they’ve pos […]

The post Facebook Comment Leads To $50 Fine, Bemusement, Rescission appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
oddsends500People getting into trouble for stuff they’ve posted to their social media profiles is a favorite topic of ours here at IT-Lex, and here’s a particularly silly example of this. An Illinois woman named Christine Adamski recently found herself in hot water because of a comment made on Facebook. She didn’t say anything that could be perceived as a threat, nor was it anything defamatory. She wasn’t even leaving a bad restaurant review! From the Chicago Tribune:

The woman was issued a citation carrying a $50 fine May 20 after a forest preserve protection officer interpreted a comment on Facebook to mean the woman had been using a dog park without a permit.

Wait, what?

The comment in question was posted in response to concerns some dog owners had about kennel cough among some dogs at Whalon Lake Dog Park in Bolingbrook. The woman posted: “I was feeling bad that I haven’t bought a pass and been bringing Ginger there but I’m pretty glad I haven’t. So not going to worry about it until later. I hope all the doggies get better soon.”

An employee of the district saw the post, reported it to a supervisor, and soon Adamski received the citation, based on her supposed admission that she had “knowingly entered a dog park without a valid 2014 permit.” Adamski’s response: “That’s dead wrong… I haven’t gone there since 2013!”

The citation was soon rescinded, but the district had some explaining to do:

“We treat any information like that as a tip and that has to be verified before any action is taken on our part,” [Forest Preserve District Executive Director Marcy DeMauro] said adding, “We would go to the dog park to see if that individual is actually there and using the dog park without a permit.”

So all’s well that ends well in this story – one employee was a little too enthusiastic, and Adamski herself saw the funny side. But if nothing else, let this be another reminder to always think twice before posting anything online. You never know who’s watching.

EmailFacebookTwitterLinkedInRSS

The post Facebook Comment Leads To $50 Fine, Bemusement, Rescission appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
http://it-lex.org/facebook-comment-leads-50-fine-bemusement-rescission/feed/ 0
Operators Of Jerk.com Accused Of Deceiving Consumers By The FTC http://it-lex.org/operators-jerk-com-accused-deceiving-consumers-ftc/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=operators-jerk-com-accused-deceiving-consumers-ftc http://it-lex.org/operators-jerk-com-accused-deceiving-consumers-ftc/#comments Fri, 30 May 2014 13:00:47 +0000 http://it-lex.org/?p=7803 By IT-Lex Intern Amber Williams (LinkedIn) A recent pre […]

The post Operators Of Jerk.com Accused Of Deceiving Consumers By The FTC appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
litigation500By IT-Lex Intern Amber Williams (LinkedIn)

A recent press release from the FTC announced that the operators of Jerk.com had been charged with deceiving customers. Apparently, the defendants registered multiple websites with Facebook and allegedly used Facebook’s application programming interfaces to download the personal information and photos of more than 73 million people, including kids, for their Jerk.com profile database.

Jerk.com is a website that creates profiles of people, labeling the person a “Jerk” or “not a Jerk.”  Other individuals can search for people on the Jerk.com database and click a button designating the person as a jerk, or not, and the individual can also leave comments on profiles.  Some of the posts subject people to abusive and derisive comments:

“Omg I hate this kid he\’s such a loser”

and

“Nobody in their right mind would love you…not even your parents love [you].”

More likely than not, the profiles of individuals were created from misappropriated Facebook information, often including photos from Facebook that were designated as private, like baby bath pictures and photographs of women breastfeeding their children.

Jerk.com takes this allegedly deceptive practice to the next level. The FTC suggests that the site:

allegedly charged consumers $25 to email Jerk.com’s customer service department, and also falsely told consumers that if they paid $30 for a website subscription, they could access “premium features,” including the ability to dispute information posted on Jerk.com, and receive fast notifications and special updates.

The consumers often got nothing for what they paid, according to the FTC.

The FTC, in its complaint, charges the defendants with violating the FTC Act by misleading customers into thinking that other users had created the profiles when most of the information came straight from Facebook, and that by misleading consumers into paying $30 for a Jerk.com membership, that the consumers would be able to change the information on their profiles.  The FTC seeks “an order barring the defendants’ deceptive practices, prohibiting them from using the personal information they improperly obtained, and requiring them to delete the information.”

Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection stated:

In today’s interconnected world, people are especially concerned about their reputation online, and this deceptive scheme was a brazen attempt to exploit those concerns.

The Commission voted 4-0 to issue the administrative complaint, with the evidentiary hearing scheduled to begin on January 27, 2015 before an administrative law judge.

EmailFacebookTwitterLinkedInRSS

The post Operators Of Jerk.com Accused Of Deceiving Consumers By The FTC appeared first on IT-Lex.

]]>
http://it-lex.org/operators-jerk-com-accused-deceiving-consumers-ftc/feed/ 0