Subpoenas to bloggers

Walter Olson rounds up blogosphere reaction to the now-famous “Seidel subpoena,” which kind of underwhelmed me but evidently has everyone else up in arms.

New Hampshire blogger Kathleen Seidel, whose weblog Neurodiversity presents a fearless, systematically researched, and frequently brilliant ongoing critique of autism vaccine litigation. A prominent plaintiff’s lawyer in that litigation, Clifford Shoemaker of Vienna, Virginia, has just hit Seidel with an astoundingly broad and sweeping subpoena (PDF) demanding a wide range of documents and records relating to her publication of the blog. Seidel has been sharply critical of Shoemaker’s litigation, and indeed the subpoena arrived only hours after she posted a new Mar. 24 entry, “The Commerce in Causation“, critical of his legal efforts.

I just thought, well, it’s just a subpoena. Walter says that reminds him of “gun-enthusiast friends who say things like, ‘it’s only a semi-automatic.'” I laughed when he said that.

I don’t think we’re laughing at the same joke, though!

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Ron Coleman

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2 thoughts on “Subpoenas to bloggers

  1. So, if I don’t really like what you say about a legal case I’m in, you won’t mind me sending you a supoena that will cost yuo great amounts of time and (most likely) money, right? Even though you’re in no way related to the lawsuit, you just commented on it…

    This is, quite simply, legal extortion. “You quite talking about what you want to talk about, or I’ll cause you large amounts of financial damage.”

    Yeah, that’s “just a supoena”.

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