19 May 2008

Whose Afraid Of A Big Bad Blogger?

The response of attorney Clifford J. Shoemaker, to an Order to Show Cause why he should be sanctioned for misconduct in connection with his issuance of an abusive subpeona to an autism blogger Kathleen Seidel continues. He continues to discredit himself in the process.

Particularly notable are his claim that "her husband, has apparently seized control of a web encyclopedia" (i.e. Wikipedia); that she is "a person utilizing investigative ability well in excess of that available to the mother and housewife she claims to be"; and that it is proper to subpeona someone simply because "Ms. Seidel’s “beliefs” parallel the defensive positions of drug manufacturers."

The allegations that Siedel is defamed or committed constitutional torts against Mr. Shoemaker, if they exist, likewise, seems a basis for a separate collateral suit and not for a subpeona in a then pending (now dismissed) lawsuit.

The driving force behind his actions (and he is somewhat digging his own grave here by opening himself up to claims of vexatiousness that would otherwise be impossible to prove) is as follows:

The declarations filed herewith establish that at about the same time that this case was filed in a United States District Court, Ms. Seidel launched her campaign against the plaintiffs and the expert witnesses. She has defamed litigants and witnesses, destroyed business relationships and attempted to destroy their professional reputations and livelihoods. She has succeeded in causing them to spend time and money defending themselves against false accusations filed with state licensing boards, professional organizations and with Reverend Sykes’s bishop.

The trouble is, that Shoemaker doesn't understand the difference between a genuine conspiracy, and the reality, which is that the general public has grown far more assertive in taking action against people who abuse the litigation process, without the coordination that is the hallmark of conspiracy, than he understands.

Outraged people, told the facts (and the notion that there is defamation her is doubtful given Siedel's scrupulous attention to the sourcing of her posts) in the age of the Internet where information is easily processed and transmitted, often get personal about bringing liars and litigation abuse to light.

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