The seventh motion in the Joseph Rakofsky defamation case against 81 defendants is now being served. (Background on the case here).
The motion seeks two types of relief:
- Dismissal based on a lack of long-arm jurisdiction;
- Sanctions. The sanctions motion is based on Rakofsky sending an email shortly after suit was started, where he tries to quickly settle the case for $5,000, an amount that would no doubt be below defense costs.
And so we now have multiple defendants weighing in on the case, and in doing show the diverse ways that attorneys elect to defend:
Our group of 35 defendants (repesenting 16 authors) started out of the gate with procedural issues dealing with a pro hac vice admission for Marc Randazza and trying to get a unified date for all defendants to answer or move.
Defendants Seddiq, Koehler and Kennerly elected to make a straight up motion to dismiss on the merits, despite the fact that all are outside New York and therefore not subject to our courts’ jurisdiction. They left the jurisdictional issue aside.
By contrast, Defendant Doudna today does the opposite, focuising only on the jurisdictional question, and not the merits (or lack thereof).
Defendant Yampolsky elected to put in an answer, perhaps allowing other defendants to do the heavy lifting and then come in at the end with a simple (and cost-effective) “me too” motion.
Defendant Reuters moved on the merits.
Different lawyers, different strategies. The practice of law is often an art, not simply a matter of dredging up case law.
Moving to the substance of the Doudna papers, I saw an interesting sidenote: The Doudna blog was created and maintained by a marketing company, not the lawyer. The details are described in the Doudna and Kenney Affidavits, Kenney being the marketer. While it won’t be relevant to this particular case, the concept of outsourcing your marketing has a huge risk to it as attorney ethics are part of marketing. When you outsource your marketing, you outsource your ethics. It may not amount to a hill of beans in this particular case, but trouble clearly lurks when a lawyer asks a non-lawyer to be his agent and publish under his name
The marketing company relationship is summarized this way in the Memo of Law:
The marketing service that maintained the Doundna blog located the ABA Journal article concerning Rakofsky, drafted a synopsis, and placed it on the Doudna blog, along with a hyperlink to the ABA website where the original source article could be viewed.
The following are the documents being filed: