After losing a $13.78 jury verdict in April, 2012 the defendants persuaded the judge that the plaintiffs failed to prove that the defendants actually posted the anonymous libel. The plaintiffs, Mark and Rhonda Lesher, did get IP (Internet Protocol) addresses for the anonymous posters, but failed to convince District Judge Dana Womack (in Fort Worth, Texas) that there was sufficient evidence to prove the defendants posted the statements.
After a jury verdict, a Judge always has the right to overturn a verdict if the Judge concludes there was insufficient efficient evidence to support that verdict. In this case the defendants Shannon and Gerald Coyel, and Charlie Doescher, apparently convinced the Judge, so Judge Womack set-aside the $13.78 million verdict without explanation.
Notwithstanding this change of events in this libel case, it seems to me that we will see more cybersmear cases for anonymous postings and this is just the beginning of a wave of change to impact individuals who are maligned by anonymous posters.
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