Week's Recap:Back in June, attorneys for defendant Dana Eiser filed an amended counterclaim against Righthaven with a laundry list of complaints, including defamation. This past week, Righthaven denied that statements made by Steve Gibson defamed the defendant and filed papers to dismiss the case.
Righthaven Denies Defaming Copyright Defendant
"The Gibson statement does not identify Eiser as someone 'caught violating the law' so that the statement fails to satisfy the element of defamation that it is 'about the plaintiff,'" Righthaven’s filing said.In a separate case, Righthaven attorney Shawn Mangano argued that the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is jeopardizing its due process rights and also disputed arguments by Citizens Against Litigation Abuse (CALA) that its litigation campaign involves the unauthorized practice of law.
"Righthaven contends that when considering the statement in the context in which Eiser asserts it should be understood, it could not reasonably be interpreted as stating false statements with a defamatory meaning of and concerning Eiser," Righthaven’s filing said.
Righthaven Says Foe is Jeopardizing its Due Process Rights
“In a stroke of legal irony, an organization that claims to protect free expression seeks to unquestionably deny Righthaven the fundamental right of procedural due process by asking the court to enter summary judgment when this ground for relief was not requested in defendant’s motion,” Mangano’s brief said. “EFF disregards the fundamental right of procedural due process because it seeks to advance its organizational goal of obtaining a decision from this court that can qualify as an adjudication on the merits so that it can attempt to bar future Righthaven actions.”Lastly, in a July 14 hearing, U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt stated that the "arrangement between Righthaven and Stephens Media is nothing more, nor less, than a law firm -- which incidentally I don’t think is licensed to practice law in this state." On Wednesday, Hunt suggested this theme again:
Judge Again Suggests Righthaven is Practicing Law Without a License
"The court is dubious as to whether Righthaven can essentially create standing in the middle of a case so as to either prosecute the case independently or intervene. Further, the court questions whether Righthaven can even have a legitimate interest under any agreement (no matter the rights purportedly transferred) because Stephens Media and Righthaven’s arrangement seems very much like a contingency fee arrangement with an entity unauthorized to practice law," Hunt wrote in his order Wednesday.