EVW Successfully Defends Against Defamation Lawsuits Over Anonymous Blogs

Partners Martin Garbus, Joseph Johnson and Edward Floyd successfully defended Jon Carnes against defamation lawsuits brought against him by Chinese reverse merger companies about whom he blogged pseudonymously. The New York State Trial Court issued favorable decisions (i) permitting him to defend the suit pseudonymously, given the substantial threats to his physical safety in China (Deer Consumer Prods. v. Little, 35 Misc.3d 374 [2012]; NYSCEF Doc. No. 49); (ii) rejecting the argument that the filing of an amended complaint changed the time frame for jurisdictional discovery (Deer Consumer Prods. v. Little, 36 Misc.3d 1221(A) [2012]), and (iii) dismissing the defamation and other claims as nonactionable. Deer Consumer Prods. v. Little, 37 Misc.3d 1224(A) (2012); Silvercorp Metals Inc. v. Anthion Management, 36 Misc.3d 1231(A) (2012). The dismissals were highly significant for internet defamation claims, because the Court agreed that the statements posted on a website were all adequately supported by underlying sources made accessible by hyperlinks and the tone and immediate social context of the postings signal the reasonable reader that the statements were opinion.