Emotional Distress Claim Doesn’t Support Fishing Expedition for Social Media Evidence

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani] Giacchetto v. Patchogue-Medford Union Free School Dist., 2013 U.S. Dist LEXIS 83341 CV 11-6323 (ADS)(AKT) (E.D.N.Y. May 6, 2013) This is another discovery dispute over social media content. Plaintiff was a long-time elementary school teacher and…

JDate Member Agreement Upheld–Zaltz v. JDate (Forbes Cross-Post)

By Eric Goldman Lisa Zaltz v. JDate, 2013 WL 3369073 (E.D.N.Y. July 8, 2013). Lisa Zaltz is a former member of JDate (a property of Spark Networks).  She is unhappy with JDate for a laundry list of reasons (I had a…

Tenth Circuit Kills the Initial Interest Confusion Doctrine–1-800 Contacts v. Lens.com

By Eric Goldman 1-800 Contacts, Inc. v. Lens.com, Inc., 2013 WL 3665627 (10th Cir. July 16, 2013) Here are some things I hate: * duplicitous litigants, such as plaintiffs who buy competitive keyword advertising yet sue competitors for doing the…

Employee Can’t Be Fired When His Login Credentials Are Used on Shared Computer to Access Porn — DOH v. Litten

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani] West Virginia Department of Transportation v. Litten, 2013 WL 2662712 (W. Va. Ct. App. June 5, 2013) [pdf] Litten worked as a mechanic for the West Virginia Dept of Highway. He was fired for accessing porn…

After “Bellwether Trial,” Court Says Malibu Media Isn’t Copyright Troll – Malibu Media v. Does

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani] Malibu Media v. Does, 12-2078 (E.D. Pa. June 18, 2013) [pdf] In a somewhat bizarre ruling, a district judge in Pennsylvania held, following a “bellwether trial” that Malibu Media was not a “copyright toll.” In a…

No New Trials When Jurors Haven’t Adequately Disclosed Facebook Friendships

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani] Three recent cases all raise the same issue: does an undisclosed Facebook relationship between a juror and someone involved in the case warrant a new trial. In several recent cases, the answer was: no. McGaha v….

Facebook Posting of Criminal Trial’s Witness List Isn’t a “True Threat”–US v. Amaya

By Eric Goldman U.S. v. Amaya, 2013 WL 2548393 (N.D. Iowa, June 11, 2013) This is a quite lengthy sentencing opinion following Amaya’s meth conviction, a not uncommon circumstance given the disproportionately high meth sentences produced by the sentencing guidelines….

Crazy SOPA-Like Attempt to Hold International Banks Liable for Pharmacy Spam Fails on Jurisdiction Grounds–Unspam v. Chernuk

[By Venkat Balasubramani with comments from Eric Goldman] Unspam Technologies, Inc. v. Chernuk, 2013 WL 1849080 (4th Cir. May 4, 2013) We’ve mentioned “Project Honeypot,” the efforts of a company (founded by Matthew Prince) to track down and prosecute spammers….

Facebook Password Exchange Between Parties to Litigation Results in Spoliation Debacle – Gatto v. United Airlines

[By Venkat Balasubramani with comments from Eric] Gatto v. United Air Lines, 10-cv-1090-ES-SCM (D.N.J. Mar. 25, 2013) Background: Gatto brought a personal injury action against United and Allied arising out of an accident at the airport. Defendants sought a range…

Family Law Judge Discounts Tweets That Threatened Children and Discussed Alcohol Use – R.M. v. D.Z.

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani] R.M. v. D.Z., 2013 IL App (3d) 120846-U (Mar. 4, 2013) [pdf] We’ve seen countless examples of litigants zinged by their social media posts. A family law judge recently took a different approach, giving minimal weight…