I have previously written about Crystal Cox, a
self-styled investigative blogger, who found herself on the receiving end of a
judgment for $2.5 million after she posted caustic comments about a bankruptcy
trustee. You can find the prior post here.
One aspect of the District Court's opinion which raised my eyebrows was the
court's stingy application of the media privilege. Under the
District Court's view, most bloggers would not be entitled to some of the
protections available to the professional media.
Apparently I was not the only one who thought this to be
a strange result. UCLA Professor Eugene Volokh, who blogs at the Volokh Conspiracy is representing Ms. Cox on
a pro bono basis in her appeal to the Ninth Circuit. Scotusblog.com, the leading Supreme Court
blog, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press have weighed in with
In an unusual twist, the Plaintiff sought to have the
Sheriff levy upon and sell the Defendant's right to appeal. By
auctioning off the right to appeal, the Plaintiff could effectively insulate
its judgment from judicial review. Prof. Volokh successfully
obtained an order from the District Court blocking this relief. You
can read about it in his own words here.
I am pleased that the Plaintiff's nefarious tactic was
rebuffed and that there are some serious amici weighing in. This case raises important issues about the First Amendment protections
applicable to the citizen media.
more at A Texas Bankruptcy Lawyer's Blog
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