mel at beckman.org
Wed Aug 17 01:24:43 UTC 2016
You're mistaken. This has nothing to do with being or not being an FCC-controlled medium. It has to do with published statements that may not be true -- which are classified as libel, not slander (slander is spoken, libel is written). If you post it in a mailing list, or on Facebook, it's legally considered published, as long as one other person not party to the matter can view it.
You're also mistaken about how the law works. The person making the assertion has the burden of proof. If you say someone is an extortionist, you'd better be able to prove it. All the plaintiff has to do is say "Your honor, I've been libeled, and here are my damages. Please make the defendant compensate me." You will be subpoenaed, and at court the judge will turn to you and say "Where is the proof of your claims?" If you can't deliver, the judgement will go against you.
The plaintiff doesn't have to prove a thing. In fact, his claim will automatically be accepted and processed by the legal system up until you appear in court. The cost for you before that point could be thousands of dollars. If you don't show up for court, you automatically lose.
On Aug 16, 2016, at 4:12 PM, Jonathan Hall <jhall at futuresouth.us<mailto:jhall at futuresouth.us>> wrote:
Excuse me for chiming in, here… But, if I’m not mistaken (don’t worry, I’m not) - this doesn’t count as ‘slander’ in any way, shape or form. This mail thread is not any kind of valid FCC controlled or public communications device, as the internet was actually excluded from the public communications device list under the Freedom of Speech Act in… Was it, 1996? Which means, ‘slander’ can’t be called in this case. You could argue that it can, but you’d lose in court in the long run.
If you’re aiming for the defamation card? That’s a very difficult one to prove. I’d counter the argument in a court room by asking the judge to prove the plaintiff is NOT an extortionist scum bag. It certainly works both ways. And either way, defamation requires some form of punitive damage be proven in order to actually win that case. Are you saying that the company he is referencing has some way to claim and directly correlate a loss of income or potential loss of income, either present and/or future, due to the comment made on a mail group? I’d love to see that quantification on paper...
None the less, regardless of what one accuses or says on the internet, the usage of the word ‘extortion’ is quite open for interpretation with regards to context, and making such a statement does not qualify for slander nor defamation. He could feel he’s being extorted, in which case exasperating his opinion publicly is no less legal than me telling you that I don’t really think you’re a good lawyer.
Good luck trying to play that card in a courtroom.
Short and simple: One could threaten to sue over it, and one could even try. Personally, I’d turn that court room in to a circus act if someone tried. I’d most likely get fined in contempt a few times, but at least even the judge will go home laughing. :)
On 16 Aug 2016, at 16:45, Anne Mitchell <amitchell at isipp.com<mailto:amitchell at isipp.com>> wrote:
to say "our accounting system does not track invoice details -- it only shows the total amount due so your numbers mean nothing to us."
All the while they relentlessly levied disconnect threats with short timelines such as: "if you don't pay us $128,000 by this Friday,
we will shut your operation down."
At one point their lawyers and accounting people had the nerve to say "our accounting system does not track invoice details
Are you talking with your SP's lawyers without your a legal team of
your own present and advising you?
I think one of the first things they should tell you is not to discuss
pending disputes in public. Time to get
a consultation with your own Lawyers to assist with billing dispute
Not to mention that accusing someone of a crime (extortion), in public (in this context I would argue that this is public, especially as the term 'community' was used in the allegation) is a pretty serious thing.
Anne P. Mitchell,
Attorney at Law
SuretyMail Email Reputation Certification and Inbox Delivery Assistance
Available for consultations by special arrangement.
Author: Section 6 of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (the Federal anti-spam law)
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Ret. Professor of Law, Lincoln Law School of San Jose
Ret. Chair, Asilomar Microcomputer Workshop
amitchell at isipp.com<mailto:amitchell at isipp.com> | @AnnePMitchell
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