Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"Bloggers Gain First Amendment Rights" - To Bad it's that Sleazy Blogger Crystal Cox though who refused to SETTLE and fought for this Precedent for US ALL.

"When I started this blog almost three years ago, I wondered what would happen if someone decided to sue me for what I wrote. I’m careful to give sources and not get too radical in my words, but the right wing’s goal is to close down any dissention—and some of the them are millionaires and billionaires. A recent decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals helped set some of my concerns to rest.

Yesterday, the federal appeals court ruled in Obsidian Finance Group v. Cox that bloggers and the public have the same First Amendment protections as journalists when sued for defamation. Plaintiffs have to prove negligence to win damages if the issue is of public concern.

The lawsuit began when an Oregon bankruptcy trustee got riled when a Montana blogger wrote that the court-appointed trustee criminally mishandled a bankruptcy case. The appeals court ruled that the trustee was not a public figure because they are compensated by assets of the Chapter 11 estate they administer and not the government. Cases invoke a higher standard for public officials, requiring proof that the writer acted with malice. Because of the public concern decision, the negligence standard applied.

Gregg Leslie of the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press said the ruling affirms what many have long argued: Standards set by a 1974 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Gertz v. Robert Welch Inc., apply to everyone, not just journalists.

Bend attorney Kevin Padrick and his company, Obsidian Finance Group LLC, had sued blogger Crystal L. Cox, now living in Port Townsend (WA), after she accused them of fraud, corruption, money-laundering, and other illegal activities. In 2010 she wrote about one of the firm’s principals who was appointed as a bankruptcy trustee to a company that misappropriated client funds. She accused him of impropriety in advising the bankrupt firm."

"Cox originally acted as her own attorney, but UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh offered to represent her in an appeal after he learned of her case. Volokh said such cases usually end up settled without trial, and it was rare for one to reach the federal appeals court level. He said:

“It makes clear that bloggers have the same First Amendment rights as professional journalists. There had been similar precedents before concerning advocacy groups, other writers and book authors. This follows a fairly well established chain of precedents. I believe it is the first federal appeals court level ruling that applies to bloggers.”

Steven M. Wilker, lawyer for Padrick and Obsidian wrote, “We are evaluating our options with respect to the court’s decision.”

Unfortunately, there is a dark side to the story. Cox’s interest in the bankruptcy of Summit Accommodators, an intermediary company that holds cash to complete property exchanges, came from the daughter of one of the four senior executives charged with defraud clients of millions. Padrick went after the woman’s father, and Cox blamed the trustee of using inside information and illegal measures to get rich while he was trying to restore his clients’ investments. According to Padrick, Cox ruined him."


Oh and Crystal Cox is SLEAZY because the Philly Law Blog ( sleazy, unethical lawyers) and a New York Times Reporter says SO. WOW. Dig Deep folks, the TRUTH is there for those who can read.