Best Defense A Good Offense?
Or is it the best offense is a good defense? I always get confused over this. But in any event, the Electronic Frontier Foundation recently went on the offensive to defend a Web site’s right to run critical reviews of lawyers. The sight, LawyerRatingz.com, allowed clients to rate their experiences with their lawyers. The Florida law firm of Adrian Phillip Thomas apparently didn’t fare too well and was a little thin skinned. Apparently the firm threatened LawyerRatingz with a legal action if it did not remove all reviews concerning the firm. Rather than wait for that shoe to drop, the EFF, on behalf of the Web site, filed a declaratory judgment action asking the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to declare that LawyerRatingz is immune under the federal Communications Decency Act for third party postings. Apparently, more and more professionals are threatening review based Web sites with legal action in an effort to stop former clients from expressing their opinion. Event though the CDA is clear – a Web site is not deemed the publisher of third party content – some smaller Web sites might be bullied into complying with the demands just to avoid the hassle. The EFF hopes this action is the equivalent of punching the bully in the mouth:
Hope it works. Like it did for Ralphie.