Attorney Ordered to Identify Dead Client Who Taunted James W

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Attorney Ordered to Identify Dead Client Who Taunted James W

Postby admin » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:27 pm

Attorney Ordered to Identify Dead Client Who Taunted James Woods on Twitter. The actor moves forward in a lawsuit over a "cocaine addict" tweet.
by Eriq Gardner
January 3, 2017

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The actor moves forward in a lawsuit over a "cocaine addict" tweet.

James Woods is continuing to pursue a $10 million defamation lawsuit against an anonymous individual who tweeted Woods was a "cocaine addict." Not even the reported death of the defendant is stopping the actor. On Tuesday, over objections that Woods was looking to harass a dead man's family, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that the attorney for the defendant must identify his deceased client.

Woods brought the lawsuit in July 2015 against "John Doe," an individual tweeting as "Abe List." According to the complaint, Woods wanted to send a message to those using social media to "propagate lies and do harm."

In February 2016, Woods experienced a significant victory when a judge rejected an anti-SLAPP motion arguing that the "cocaine addict" tweet was "a constitutionally protected political insult," the type made routinely by Woods as "a well-known part of Twitter's culture of political hyperbole."

The anonymous defendant filed an appeal, but that was cut short thanks to the reported death of "Abe List," whose social media profile identified him falsely as a Harvard-educated partner at an Los Angeles-based private equity firm.

Woods cheered the development.

"The slime who libeled me just dropped his appeal contesting my victorious SLAPP motion," Woods tweeted.

Upon a reply noting that the guy had died, with other commentators expressing outrage, Woods responded, "Learn this. Libel me, I'll sue you. If you die, I'll follow you to the bowels of Hell. Get it?"

Woods later deleted this tweet, but he was serious in some respects.

The lawsuit proceeded with Woods' attorney Michael Weinsten questioning the defendant's attorney Kenneth White on Nov. 14. At a deposition, White refused to identify his client, so Woods brought a motion to compel this information. The actor argued that White's client no longer had privacy rights because of his death (which Woods hasn't conceded actually happened). It also was argued that information related to the identity of "Abe List" wasn't protected by attorney-client privilege and was "highly relevant and critical" to the prosecution of the defamation claim.

In opposition (read in full here), White pointed to a screenshot of Woods' "I'll follow you to the bowels of Hell" tweet.

"Mr. Woods asserts that his purpose is legitimate and that he does not seek to harass or abuse Mr. Doe's survivors," White wrote. "But Mr. Woods' own public statements give the lie to that assertion. Mr. Woods wants to do just what he said he wants to do: publicly harass and vilify a dead man and his family. The Motion is meritless, and is a transparent attempt to abuse the discovery process to exact twisted revenge by harassing Mr. Doe's family."

White added, "It is an unfortunate fact of modern life that online celebrities, including Mr. Woods, can and do wreak havoc on the lives of private individuals by inciting followers to attack them. See, e.g., Jenna Johnson, 'This is What Happens When Donald Trump Attacks a Private Citizen on Twitter,' Washington Post, December 8, 2016 ..."

Let any good he has ever done be wiped out. Let the name 'Charles Carreon' be synonymous with petulant, amoral censorious douchebaggery."
-- Kenneth Paul White, Popehat.com


On behalf of Woods, Weinsten wrote in a reply brief (read here), "if Woods responded to AL's harassment by using strong language, such conduct was purely defensive and justified by AL's defamation. Stated otherwise, Woods' tweets do not evidence any 'harassment' that would allow White to withhold AL's identity."

White also resisted identification on the stated grounds that the entire purpose of his representation was to shield his client's identity and that doing so would subject his client to civil liability. White argued he couldn't be forced to break privilege, whereas Weinstein retorted this wasn't about protecting confidential communications and that even if not, White had waived privilege by disclosing certain material facts at the deposition.

The judge now has ordered White to reveal the name of his client.

"This is a significant step forward in our ability to recover the millions in damages caused by John Doe's cowardly Tweet," says Weinsten of Lavely & Singer. "It also sends a message to others who believe they can hide behind the anonymity of online social media to falsely accuse public figures of heinous behavior without recourse to themselves.”

White provided his comment to the ruling.

"Sometimes in law the bad guys win," he said. "I remain proud to have represented Mr. Doe in the face of Mr. Woods’ frivolous and petulant case. I’m pleased that the court denied Mr. Woods’ demand to compel me to answer a number of other questions, and that the court denied the meritless demand for sanctions."
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Re: Attorney Ordered to Identify Dead Client Who Taunted Jam

Postby admin » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:28 pm

Actor James Woods Gloats Over Death Of Random Twitter Troll He Sued To Unmask [Updated]
from the stay-classy dept
See the update at the end...
by Mike Masnick
October 21, 2016

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Actor James Woods is an asshole. Let's just put that front and center. As you may recall, a little over a year ago, Woods sued a random Twitter user who went by the pseudonym "Abe List." "List" frequently mocked Woods, including calling him "clown-boy" and a "cocaine addict." Woods then sued for defamation, demanding $10 million, and tried to unmask List. This was ridiculous for any number of reasons, not the least of which is calling much more attention to what a thin-skinned jackass Woods is from anonymous Twitter users. But, more importantly, such hyperbolic statements in an internet forum are not defamation -- rhetorical hyperbole certainly doesn't meet the standard for defamation of a public figure. On top of that, trying to unmask an anonymous speaker is really, really sketchy, and there's a very high bar.

Oh, and did we mention that Woods himself has a long history of similar rhetorical hyperbole on Twitter, including making statements about others smoking crack?

Image
James Woods @RealJamesWoods
@stevmg Well, put down your crack pipe, and retread my timelines. You'll find plenty there.
11 Oct 2013


California, of course, has a strong anti-SLAPP law, and Abe List, with the help of lawyers Lisa Bloom and Ken "Popehat" White, sought to use it to get the case kicked out. While the judge initially agreed that Woods' lawsuit was a SLAPP suit, he eventually changed his mind, and said that Woods could find out who Abe List really is. List appealed to California's 2nd District Court of Appeal soon after that ruling earlier this year. Since then the case had moved forward with both sides filing opening briefs.

However, apparently "List" just died. There are no details, but List passed away -- and with it, the case is over. The court docket shows that on Thursday, his lawyers filed for the case to be dismissed based on List's death and the court quickly dismissed the case and closed it. No matter what you think of anything, this is not a great situation. Someone died.

And total asshole James Woods decided to not just gloat about it, but to rub everyone's face in it. First, he pretended that the dismissal was because he was going to win the case:


Image
James Woods @RealJamesWoods
The slime who libeled me just dropped his appeal contesting my victorious SLAPP motion. Perennial loser @LisaBloom isn't yapping so much now
20 Oct. 2016


That's so obnoxious that you might even overlook the fact that Woods here flat out admits he filed a SLAPP lawsuit.

Bloom, quite reasonably offended, pointed out that her pseudononymous client had died and it's pretty obnoxious to gloat over a default victory like that.

Image
Lisa Bloom @LisaBloom
Hi James. As you surely know, my client died. Have a nice day and stay classy!
20 Oct 2016


Just to put an exclamation point on what a total and complete jackass he is, Woods responded to others pointing out that the client died by gleefully celebrating his death and hoping it was "in agony."

Image
James Woods @RealJamesWoods
@theangrymick @LisaBloom Hopefully screaming my name. In agony.
20 Oct 2016


He doubled down on that with another person, talking about how he'll follow people "to the bowels of hell."

Image
James Woods @RealJamesWoods
@ByYourLogic Screaming my name, I hope. Learn this. Libel me, I'll sue you. If you die, I'll follow you to the bowels of Hell. Get it?
20 Oct. 2016


That's sickening. Like, literally. I feel ill. What kind of person would celebrate anyone's death? Even someone they dislike? I have no idea if James Woods is a "cocaine addict" but he sure is an extreme asshole.

Oh, and kinda creepy too.


Image
James Woods @RealJamesWoods
Dear @LisaLoeb. I mistakenly tweeted your name. If I could have the honor to take you to dinner and apologize in person, I would be honored.
James Woods @RealJamesWoods
@LisaLoeb So sorry, I had an auto spell snafu and your name was mistakenly in my tweet! I adore you and am so sorry for the mistake!
James Woods @RealJamesWoods
Not @LisaLoeb (typo) @LisaBloom! The perennially loser loudmouth diet guru masquerading as an attorney. She lost to my lawyers once again.


I asked Ken White if he had anything to say about this and he replied:

It was a privilege to represent Abe Doe. He was passionate about many issues and a fierce and incisive debater, not afraid to mix it up with his own attorney. He challenged me just as easily as he challenged others. I was proud to help him fight a contemptible censorious lawsuit, and am very sad about his passing.


Update: And, of course, James Woods has now deleted many of those tweets I have above, but added a new one, attacking the lawyer, Lisa Bloom, for mentioning Abe's death. You know, the one he was gloating over.

Image
James Woods @RealJamesWoods
@LisaBloom Having spent time listening to you, he's no doubt in a better place. Keep losing, dear
James Woods @RealJamesWoods
@LisaBloom And how classy of you, dear, to announce his death on @Twitter. Slinking into the spotlight at his family's expense? #Lovely


Another update: According to Eriq Gardner at THResq, despite Abe's death, Woods and his lawyers are going to continue the case to try to unmask who Abe really was.
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Re: Attorney Ordered to Identify Dead Client Who Taunted Jam

Postby admin » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:45 pm

James Woods vs. John Doe: Complaint for Defamation; Invasion of Privacy by False Light
by James Woods
July 29, 2015

MICHAEL E. WEINSTEN, ESQ (BAR NO. 155680)
EVAN N. SPIEGEL, ESQ. (BAR NO. 198071)
LINDSAY MOLNAR, ESQ (BAR NO. 272156)
LAVELY & SINGER
PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
2049 Century Park East, Suite 2400
Los Angeles, California 90067-2906
Telephone: (310) 556-3501
Facsimile: (310) 556-3615
Attorneys for Plaintiff James Woods

FILED
Superior Court of California
County of Los Angeles
Jul 29 2015

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

JAMES WOODS, an individual,
Plaintiff,
vs,
JOHN DOE a/k/a "Abe List" and DOES 2
through 10, inclusive,
Defendants.

Case No.: BC589746

COMPLAINT FOR:
(1) DEFAMATION
(2) INVASION OF PRIVACY BY FALSE LIGHT


JURY TRIAL DEMANDED

Plaintiff JAMES WOODS ("Woods" or "Plaintiff") alleges as follows:

NATURE OF THE CASE

1. This action arises from the publication of a malicious and fabricated statement by a cowardly individual who hides behind the Twitter name "Abe List" ("AL") to falsely accuse and humiliate others who dare to harbor opinions different from his own. On July 15, 2015, AL stepped over the line by falsely accusing actor James Woods of being a "cocaine addict" on the social media site Twitter, a message sent to thousands of AL's followers and hundreds of thousands of Mr. Woods' followers. In fact, Woods is not now, nor has he ever been, a cocaine addict, and AL had no reason to believe otherwise. Rather, AL's outrageous claim is the culmination of a malicious on-line campaign by AL to discredit and damage Woods' reputation, a campaign which began as early as December 2014. Although AL's rantings against Woods began with childish name calling, it has clearly escalated beyond the protections of free speech, and AL must now be held to account for the millions in damages he has caused.

2. By this lawsuit, Woods intends to unmask and reveal AL for the liar he is and to recover in excess of$10 million in damages caused by AL's outrageous conduct. For over forty-five years, Woods (68) has worked tirelessly to build a career and reputation as one of the most hard-working, prolific and' recognizable actors of our time. He has also devoted significant time and money to numerous philanthropic causes. AL's reckless and malicious behavior, through the worldwide reach of the internet, has now jeopardized Woods' good name and reputation on an international scale. AL, and anyone else using social media to propagate lies and do harm, should take note. They are not impervious to the law.

THE PARTIES

3. Plaintiff James Woods is a world-renowned, award-winning, actor that has appeared in over 130 films and television series including The Onion Field, Once Upon a Time in America, Salvador, Casino, Nixon, Hercules, Shark, and White House Down. He has twice been nominated for an Academy Award, has won three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Woods is involved with numerous philanthropic causes including, without limitation, the America Heart Association, the Los Angeles Shelter for LGBTQ Youth and the Rhode Island Foundation (where he set up a charitable fund in Honor of his late brother Michael J. Woods). In 1997, he was honored with the Silver Circle Award for his charity work with the Venice Family Clinic, a local organization dedicated to providing quality health care to people in need. He was also the recipient of an American Heart Association Award for its Stroke Awareness Campaign.

4. Woods is informed and believes, and based thereon alleges, that the anonymous, fictitiously named John Doe a/k/a "Abe List" defendant ("John Doe" or "AL") is an individual and resident of the County of Los Angeles, State of California. In the unlikely event that AL is not a resident of Los Angeles County, AL has advanced his intentionally tortious, harmful and fraudulent schemes in the County of Los Angeles, State of California, where he has engaged in conduct to harm a California citizen.

5. Woods is ignorant of the true names and capacities of Defendants sued herein as John Doe and Does 2 through 10, inclusive, and therefore sues said Defendants by such fictitious names. Woods will amend this Complaint to allege the true names and capacities of such fictitiously named Defendants when the same have been ascertained. Woods is informed and believes, and based thereon alleges, that each of the fictitiously named Defendants is responsible in some manner for the occurrences, acts and omissions alleged herein, and that Woods' damages have been, and will be, proximately caused by their conduct. Among other things, Does 2 through 10 may be held directly liable for the defamatory posting by AL by virtue of having knowingly assisted AL in the publication of the false and defamatory statement and/or having knowingly republished the false statement without having any reason to believe in its accuracy. For convenience, each allegation regarding AL shall apply to each of the Doe Defendants 2 through 10. AL and Doe Defendants 2 through 10 are sometimes hereinafter collectively referred to as "Defendants," as the context so indicates.

6. Woods is informed and believes, and based thereon alleges, that Defendants, and each of them, were the agents, employees, partners, joint venturers, co-conspirators, owners, principals, and/or employers of the remaining Defendants, and each of them, and are, and at all times herein mentioned were, acting within the course and scope of that agency, employment, partnership, conspiracy, ownership or joint venture. Woods is further informed and believes, and based thereon alleges, that the acts and conduct alleged herein were known to, authorized and/or ratified by the officers, directors, and managing agents of Defendants, and each of them.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
(Defamation Against All Defendants)


7. Woods repeats, re-alleges, adopts and incorporates each and every allegation contained in paragraphs 1 through 6, inclusive, as though fully set forth herein.

8. Woods' claims arise out of and are for damages with respect to a false and defamatory statement which was initially published on or about July 15, 2015 by an unidentified anonymous person who created and who operates a Twitter account under the name "Abe List" (the "AL Twitter Account"). The owner of the AL Twitter Account has thousands of followers and, since at least December 2014, has undertaken to engage his followers with a campaign of childish name-calling targeted against Woods. In the past, AL has referred to Woods with such derogatory terms as "prick," 'joke," "ridiculous," "scum" and "clown-boy."

9. On July 15, 2015, and for the sole and intentional purpose of harming Woods, AL concocted and posted on the AL Twitter Account the outrageous, baseless, false and defamatory statement "cocaine addict James Woods still sniffing and spouting" (hereinafter, the "False Statement"). In doing so, AL intended to, and did, convey to thousands of AL's followers and others with access to the internet the false claim that Woods is addicted to cocaine, a controlled substance.

10. Woods is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, an unidentified person operates and utilizes the AL Twitter Account which is displayed at or with the uniform resource locator ("URL") < https://mobile.twitter.com/abelisted?p=s>, and which is continually maintained and is included in and appears prominently in current Google.com and other search engine results. Indeed, a search on Google.com for "Abe List James Woods" yields the outrageous statements from the AL Twitter Account as the top two results, including one that calls Woods "a ridiculous scum clown-boy."

11. AL published, and/or caused to be published or authorized to be published, the False Statement on the AL Twitter Account and in current (as of the date of this Complaint) Google.com search engine results, causing the False Statement to be viewed thousands of times and possibly even hundreds of thousands of times. AL posted the False Statement in response to a Twitter post by Woods. Thus, the False Statement has been seen not only by Defendants' thousands of followers, but possibly by Woods' 238,512 followers on his Twitter account -- and even more since it is accessible to anyone that does a Google search. In short, the False Statement has been published for hundreds of thousands of people to see, which includes friends, family, potential employers, business associates, colleagues, and fans of Woods.

12. The above-pled misconduct by AL constitutes the tort of defamation.

13. Woods is informed and believes, and based thereon alleges, that Defendants intentionally portrayed Woods in the above manner knowing that the depiction was false, without any reasonable grounds for believing it to be true.

14. Persons who read the False Statement posted to the AL Twitter Account by Defendants and with use of Woods' name as part of the False Statement, reasonably understood the references to "@ReaIJamesWoods" and "James Woods" to be references to the actor James Woods herein.

15. The AL Twitter Account contains the False Statement of the Defendants and contains a fabricated, false, malicious and defamatory statement of fact of and concerning Woods as alleged hereinabove.

16. The AL Twitter Account, which is based on and comprised of the False Statement from Defendants, is libelous on its face and is defamation per se, because it claims that Woods has engaged in criminal conduct. As such, the False Statement clearly exposes Woods to hatred, contempt, ridicule and obloquy, and/or causes Woods to be shunned or avoided, and has a tendency to injure him in his personal life and occupation.

17. As a direct and proximate result of the aforementioned acts by Defendants, and each of them, Defendants have caused harm to Woods, which includes, but is not limited to general and special, damages in an amount not presently known but believed to be not less than Ten Million Dollars ($10,000,000), including damage to Woods' reputation and standing in the community as a result of Defendants' actions.

18. Woods is informed and believes and based thereon alleges that the aforementioned acts of Defendants were done intentionally or with a conscious disregard of Woods' rights, and with the intent to vex, injure or annoy Woods, such as to constitute oppression, fraud, or malice thus entitling Woods to exemplary and punitive damages in an amount appropriate to punish or set an example of Defendants, and each of them, and to deter such conduct in the future, which amount will be proved at trial.

SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
(Invasion of Privacy by False Light Against All Defendants)


19. Woods repeats, re-alleges, adopts and incorporates each and every allegation contained in paragraphs 1 through 18 inclusive, as though fully set forth herein.

20. The above-pled misconduct by Defendants, or any of them, constitutes the tort of invasion of privacy by false light, in that Defendants have placed Woods before the public in a false and outrageous light, which is highly offensive to Woods, and have thereby violated Woods' right of privacy.

21. As is alleged hereinabove, Defendants, and each of them, made and caused to be published the False Statement of and concerning Woods, and disseminated it to third parties around the world via the Internet. Defendants either knew that the False Statement was false, or published the False Statement with reckless disregard of the falsity of the False Statement and the false light that Woods would be placed as a result thereof. To the extent that the trier of fact finds that this False Statement is not defamatory, Woods is informed and believes and based thereon alleges that Defendants intended to depict Woods in a false, fictionalized and sensationalized light in order to benefit themselves through some cowardly form of revenge for having expressed his personal views and/or for the sole purpose of harming Woods.

22. The false light in which Defendants, and each of them, have placed Woods by virtue of the False Statement would be highly offensive to a reasonable person. By publishing and/or disseminating the False Statement on websites, including on the AL Twitter Account, and in internet search engine results published or displayed nationwide or worldwide, and by publishing the False Statement in the manner and context in which it has been published, Defendants have outrageously and without any basis whatsoever falsely represented and implied that Woods is, among other false things, a "cocaine addict."

23. Woods is embarrassed and distressed that family, friends, fans, potential employers, business associates and the general public, saw this False Statement in the manner and context in which the False Statement was published with the false representation and inference, which is alleged herein. In fact, Woods has over 238,512 people that follow his Twitter account, all of which had access to the False Statement.

24. As a direct and proximate result of said wrongful conduct by Defendants, and each of them, Woods suffered shame, mortification, hurt feelings, emotional distress, embarrassment, humiliation, and injury to his peace of mind (although not severe, disabling emotional distress), all to Woods' general damage in an amount not presently known but believed to be not less than Ten Million Dollars ($10,000,000), including damage to Woods' reputation and standing in the community as a result of Defendants' actions. When Woods ascertains the exact amount of said damages, he will seek leave of Court to amend this Complaint to set forth said amount.

25. As a further direct and proximate result of said wrongful conduct by Defendants, and each of them, Woods has suffered general and special damages including, but not limited to, damage to his business, profession, reputation, character and property, which will most likely result in loss of employment, loss or reduction in earnings and profits in an amount which has yet to be ascertained, and will result in Woods not been given certain jobs. When Woods ascertains the exact amount of said damages, he will seek leave of Court to amend this Complaint to set forth said amount.

26. Woods is informed and believes, and based thereon alleges, that the aforementioned acts of Defendants, and each of them, were done intentionally or with a conscious disregard of Wood's' rights, and with the intent to vex, injure or annoy Woods, such as to constitute oppression, fraud, or malice, and that they had knowledge of, or acted in reckless disregard of the rights of Woods, and the false light in which Woods would be placed, thus entitling Woods to exemplary and punitive damages in an amount appropriate to punish or set an example of Defendants, and each of them, and to deter such conduct in the future, which amount will be proved at trial.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff Woods respectfully requests the following relief:

AS TO THE FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION:

I. General and special damages against Defendants, and each of them, jointly and severally, in an amount not less than Ten Million Dollars ($10,000,000), or according to proof, together with interest thereon at the legal rate;

2. Exemplary and punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish and deter Defendants, the exact sum in an amount to be determined as appropriate to the Court;

AS TO THE SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION:

3. General arid special damages against Defendants, and each of them, jointly and severally, in an amount not less than Ten Million Dollars ($10,000,000), or according to proof, together with interest thereon at the legal rate;

4. Exemplary and punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish and deter Defendants, the exact sum in an amount to be determined as appropriate to the Court;

AS TO ALL CAUSES OF ACTION:

17. For costs of the suit incurred;

18. For attorneys' fees, if allowed by law;

19. For pre-judgment interest on all such damages at the legal rate; and

20. For such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

Dated: July 29, 2015

LAVELY & SINGER
PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
MICHAEL E. WEINSTEN
EVAN N. SPIEGEL
LINDSAY MOLNAR
By: MICHAEL E. WEINSTEN
Attorneys for Plaintiff James Woods

REQUEST FOR A JURY TRIAL

Plaintiff hereby requests a trial by jury in the above action.

Dated: July 29, 2015

LAVELY & SINGER
PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
MICHAEL E. WEINSTEN
EVAN N. SPIEGEL
LIND SA MOLNAR
By: MICHAEL E. WEINSTEN
Attorneys for Plaintiff James Woods
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Re: Attorney Ordered to Identify Dead Client Who Taunted Jam

Postby admin » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:25 am

James Woods vs. John Doe: Order
by Judge of the California Superior Court, County of Los Angeles
February 8, 2016

CALIFORNIA SUPERIOR COURT
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, CENTRAL DISTRICT
DEPARTMENT 45

JAMES WOODS VS. JOH DOE, ET AL
BC589746

CONFORMED Copy
ORIGINAL FILED
Superlor Court of California
County of Los Angeles
FEB - 8 2016
Sherri R. Carter, Executive Officer/Clerk
By Daniel Hare, Deputy

ORDER

The Court had issued a tentative order but after oral arguments, took the matter under submission.

After reconsidering the parties' pleadings and arguments, the Court now rules:

The Court affirms its ruling that defendant has met his burden in the 1st Prong. However, it reverses its Order as to the 2nd Prong. The Court finds that plaintiff has met his burden of showing a probability of prevailing.

As contended by plaintiff: Applying the totality of circumstances test, and examining the plain language of the Tweet, it is clear that any reader of the AL False Statement could and indeed must view it as a statement of fact. As described by Professor Finegan, AL's use of a prenomial characterization (i.e. "cocaine addict") followed by a proper noun (i.e., "James Woods") is a well-established linguistic structure widely used to characterize people with shorthand/actual information. Prof. Finegan's opinion that "many if not all readers of the 'cocaine addict' Tweet will understand and interpret Abe List to be making a factual claim about James Woods -- namely that he is a cocaine addict' is on an issue of fact. His opinion is sufficiently beyond common experience and assists the trier of fact.

Defendant's objections are overruled.

Therefore, defendant's Special Motion to Strike (CCP 425.15) is DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: Feb. 8, 2016
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Re: Attorney Ordered to Identify Dead Client Who Taunted Jam

Postby admin » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:53 am

Twitter Sends James Woods a Scathing Letter Over Attempt to Unmask Anonymous User
by Eriq Gardner
August 28, 2015

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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Twitter tells the politically-outspoken actor that calling him a "cocaine addict" appears to be hyperbole.

On Friday, an attorney for James Woods was in court in an attempt to push Twitter to produce records in connection with the anonymous user who suggested the actor was a "cocaine addict."

Woods is suing the individual tweeting as "Abe List" for $10 million. The defamation lawsuit aims to send the message to the defendant and "anyone else using social media to propagate lies."

After the lawsuit was filed late last month, Woods' attorneys followed up with a subpoena to Twitter in order to unmask "Abe List" as well as a second individual under the Twitter name "T.G. Emerson," who accused Woods of being a "notorious coke fiend and registered sex offender." What Woods might not have expected was the scorching response that would came back from the social media service, which has hired outside counsel to deal with this case.

In a letter dated August 21, Twitter's attorney Ryan Mrazik faulted Woods' lawyers Michael Weinsten and Evan Spiegel with not providing proper documentation, conducting unauthorized early discovery and making "vague, overbroad, and unduly burdensome" demands. The biggest objection, though, was reserved for a potential abuse upon the First Amendment.

"The speech at issue appears to be opinion and hyperbole rather than a statement of fact," wrote Mrazik. "Further, the target of the speech is a public figure who purposefully injects himself into public controversies, and there has been no showing of actual malice. Attempts to unmask anonymous online speakers in the absence of a prima facie defamation claim are improper and would chill the First Amendment rights of speakers who use Twitter's platform to express their thoughts and ideas instantly and publicly, without barriers."

Woods' lawyers believe they do have a prima facie case of defamation.

In a brief filed today they write: "The offensive Twitter postings were not in any way couched as opinion, joke or hyperbole. Nor were they qualified in any way whatsoever."

"Abe List" has hired his own attorney, Kenneth White at Brown White & Osborn, to defend the matter. The attorney is familiar to many as the caustic former federal prosecutor who tweets as "Popehat" and who blogged about the case after THR first reported it.

White was in LA Superior Court today as well and has filed his own opposition to early discovery in the case.

"Plaintiff James Woods is abusing the court system to lash out at a constitutionally protected political insult — the very sort of insult he routinely uses himself," opens the brief (read here. Twitter's letter attached as exhibit.)

With nods to Woods' own postings ("Put down your crack pipe," Woods once tweeted to a follower; "I wouldn't want you to spend your precious crack allowance being enlightened," the actor wrote to another), White calls out the plaintiff for "routinely" employing insults like "clown" and "scum."

"But Plaintiff apparently believes that while he can say that sort of thing to others, others cannot say it to him," White adds.

The brief goes on to argue that Twitter is a platform known for hyperbole, and that Woods himself is "a well-known part of Twitter's culture of political hyperbole." He cites a Daily Beast story that called him "Obama's biggest Twitter troll" and writes that "perhaps because he's so consistently combative, or perhaps because he's played the role of drug users in his movie career, 'James Woods is on cocaine' has become a Twitter in-joke or meme."

In Woods' own legal papers today (read here), references to other tweets are called a red herring.

"First, there is no reason any of Mr. Woods' followers, all of whom were exposed to the defamatory statements, would even bother to investigate the speakers and/or their Twitter sites to determine if they were reliable sources," writes Weinsten. "As to Mr. Woods, we are not aware of any false statements of fact made by Mr. Woods[,] and his sometimes sharp commentary on political matters is irrelevant to the allegations here."

The judge has yet to rule and instead has scheduled an Oct. 2 hearing to discuss the matter further.

In the meantime, White says he will be filing an anti-SLAPP motion. As such, the judge will first analyze whether the lawsuit targets free speech on a matter of public concern. If so, Woods would have to demonstrate a likelihood of prevailing in the lawsuit before the case moves any further. To do this, he'll have to rebut the argument that the tweets are non-actionable hyperbole and opinion as well as show there's reason to believe these tweets were published with actual malice (knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for the truth). If Woods can't do that, he could end up paying "Popehat" legal fees.
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Re: Attorney Ordered to Identify Dead Client Who Taunted Jam

Postby admin » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:56 am

James Woods Punches The Muppet
by Ken White
July 31, 2015

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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There was an episode of the 1990s sitcom Murphy Brown in which Murphy, played by Candace Bergen, appeared on kid's TV show to soften her image. The show features Muppets; it's a transparent stand-in for Sesame Street. Murphy, true to type, loses her temper and punches one of the Muppets, eventually ripping its head from its felt shoulders.

It's rarely productive to punch the Muppet.

Somebody should have reminded James Woods. He's just wound up and thrown a haymaker at a Muppet, suing some anonymous troll on Twitter for suggesting that he's a "cocaine addict." Woods filed a complaint in L.A. County Superior Court claiming $10 million in damages for defamation and false light invasion of privacy. He's represented by Lavely & Singer, as people like him tend to be in making errors of judgment like this.

Woods probably has plenty of money, and can afford to waste it on this sort of enterprise. That means that he won't be ruined if the semi-anonymous Twitter user hits him with an anti-SLAPP motion and wins attorney fees — which could easily be in the mid to high six figures.

Why do I think that Twitter troll "@abelisted" (now deleted) can win an anti-SLAPP motion in defense of this suit? Because he's a Twitter troll, and reasonable people would take his tweets as abuse, hyperbole, and satire, not as a statement of fact. Therefore they can't be defamatory.

Only provable statements of fact can be defamatory. Insults, abuse, hyperbole, overheated rhetoric, satire, irony, and the like cannot be. Whether a particular statement is one of fact or opinion is generally a legal question for the judge, not a question for the jury. Moreover, the judge must evaluate whether the statement is one of fact or opinion based on the context in which the statement was made. "The contextual analysis requires that courts examine the nature and full content of the particular communication, as well as the knowledge and understanding of the audience targeted by the publication." Bently Reserve L.P. v. Papaliolios, 218 Cal. App. 4th 418, 427 (2013). Increasingly, California courts have recognized that online rhetoric is more likely to be interpreted by its audience as cathartic trash-talk, not a factual assertion. This is especially true when it occurs someplace particularly known for overheated rhetoric, like a gripe forum. Furthermore, California courts have recognized that anonymity and semi-anonymity increase the audience perception that statements are rhetorical rather than factual.

Anyone familiar with Twitter knows it to be overrun with trolls, malcontents, comical and satirical characters, and deranged stone-throwers. Every indication is that "@abelisted" falls into this category. In fact, Woods' own complaint does an excellent job of setting up the argument that @abelisted is engaged in hyperbolic insult, not factual assertion:

The owner of the AL Twitter Account has thousands of followers and, since at least December 2014, has undertaken to engage his followers with a campaign of childish name-calling targeted against Woods. In the past, AL has referred to Woods with such derogatory terms as "prick," "joke," "ridiculous" "scum" and "clown-boy."


So, Woods concedes that exaggerated insults by a Twitter troll are the context for the troll eventually saying "cocaine addict James Woods still sniffing and spouting."

Woods compounds this impression by emphasizing and griping about non-factual statements clearly protected by the First Amendment:

Indeed, a search on Google.com for "Abe List James Woods" yields the outrageous statements from the AL Twitter Account as the top two results, including one that calls Woods "a ridiculous scum clown-boy."


Moreover, @abelisted's profile — now deleted, but available through Google cache — explicitly suggests that his tweets are not all to be taken seriously:

Image

Moreover, @abelisted's tweets show him to be a rather banal critic of conservative figures, quick to insult and criticize them. He probably targets James Woods because Woods is an outspoken conservative, something that tends to agitate narrow-minded folks who are used to entertainment figures being outspoken liberals.

In short: the context of @abelist's tweets, especially as emphasized by Woods himself, overwhelmingly suggest that any reasonable reader familiar with that context would take the "cocaine" tweet as part of a pattern of hyperbolic abuse by a trollish partisan, not as a factual assertion meant to be taken at face value. I won't say that Woods' complaint is frivolous or sanctionable, but @abelisted definitely has a very strong anti-SLAPP motion available to him, and Woods could easily wind up paying his attorney fees.

@abelist is a punk, but you get to be a punk in America without being held financially liable for it.

Either James Woods got shitty advice, or James Woods' attorneys failed to convince him to act sensibly. The Streisand Effect has already begun; four to five orders of magnitude more people will hear about @abelisted's stupid tweet than would have without this lawsuit. What's the point?

Don't punch the Muppet, James Woods.

Edited August 28 to add: "John Doe", who runs the @abelisted account, has retained me to represent him in Mr. Woods' suit. I will not be discussing the matter here during the litigation, at least until we have a ruling on an anti-SLAPP motion. As always, my law firm does not control, approve, or endorse anything I write on Popehat; it's a purely personal project.
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Re: Attorney Ordered to Identify Dead Client Who Taunted Jam

Postby admin » Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:11 am

James Woods vs. John Doe: Reply in Support of Motion for An Order Compelling Non-Party Kenneth P. White to Answer Deposition Questions and Produce Documents; and an Order for Sanctions Against Non-Party Kenneth P. White in the Amount of $9,040.55
by James Woods
December 21, 2016

MICHAEL E. WEINSTEN (BAR NO. 155680)
LINDSAY MOLNAR, ESQ (BAR NO. 272156)
LAVELY & SINGER
PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
2049 Century Park East, Suite 2400
Los Angeles, California 90067-2906
Telephone: (310) 556-3501
Facsimile: (310) 556-3615
Email: mweinsten@lavelysinger.com
lmolnar@lavelysinger.com

Attorneys for Plaintiff JAMES WOODS

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

JAMES WOODS, an individual,
Plaintiff,
vs.
JOHN DOE a/k/a "Abe List" and DOES 2
through 10, inclusive,
Defendants.

Case No.: BC 589746

[Hon. Mel Recana, Dept. 45]

REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR: (1) AN ORDER COMPELLING NON-PARTY KENNETH P. WHITE TO ANSWER DEPOSITION QUESTIONS AND PRODUCE DOCUMENTS; AND (2) AN ORDER FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST NON-PARTY KENNETH P. WHITE IN THE AMOUNT OF $9,040.55

Date: January 3, 2017
Time: 8:35 a.m.
Dept: 45

Reservation ID: 161109172908

Complaint Filed: July 29, 2015
Trial Date: None

I. INTRODUCTION

At the outset, White's [1] Opposition to Woods' Motion not only lacks merit under California law, but actually demonstrates precisely why White must be ordered to disclose the information at issue concerning the identity of his client, AL. Most significantly, White actually admits in his Opposition that the reason he seeks to protect AL's identity is because "[r]evealing his identity would subject [AL] to civil liability by revealing that he was the one who posted the tweet that [Woods] sued over." See Opposition at 8: 1 7-19. In other words, White is taking the position that AL should be allowed to remain anonymous in order to avoid liability for Woods' claims in this action - claims that this Court has already acknowledged (in denying AL's anti-SLAPP motion) have a likelihood of success. Obviously, a party to a lawsuit cannot remain anonymous simply to avoid liability in that lawsuit. [2] If such was the case, then potential defamers would be encouraged and granted free license to make malicious and defamatory statements under the guise of anonymity, knowing that litigation against them would be an illusory and ineffective exercise. By taking such an outrageous and absurd position in support of withholding AL's identity, White has demonstrated the true impropriety of his intent here -- an impropriety that taints the credibility of White's entire Opposition.

The impropriety of White's intent is further evidenced by his deceptive attempt to mischaracterize the record in this case -- including with respect to alleged "harassment" by Woods. For example, while White boldly accuses Woods' counsel of a purported intent to publicly release his deposition video (Opposition at 6:6-10), he provides no evidence to support this accusation. To the contrary, White's own cited deposition excerpts merely reflect that Woods' counsel was not prepared to agree at his deposition to a confidentiality stipulation, but was open to discussing the issue further, including through the entry of a protective order. See Depo at 45:1-46:3. Similarly, despite White's incendiary contention that Woods' "aim" is to harass AL's relatives (Opposition at 2:16-20), he provides no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Woods ever expressed any animus towards those relatives. Moreover, while White spends significant portions of his Opposition attempting to portray Woods as the aggressor in this case, the simple fact remains that White's own client, AL, was the party who initiated this dispute by posting a series of malicious tweets about Woods on Twitter -- referring to Woods on as a "joke," a "clown-boy," "ridiculous," and "scum" -- culminating in AL's false and defamatory statement that Woods was a "cocaine addict." [3] White's deceptive tactics should not be countenanced by the Court.

It further bears noting that, despite premising his entire Opposition on the notion that AL is deceased, White has still failed to set forth any admissible evidence actually supporting this "fact." Without such evidence, how is Woods (or the Court, for that matter) to even know that AL has not lied about his own death - especially given AL's documented propensity for lying? Indeed, White himself admits in his declaration that "most of the information" in AL's twitter profile was completely ''fictional.'' See White Declaration, Para 5. Moreover, White previously admitted in his deposition that he never even saw AL's alleged death certificate. See Depo at 16:13-15 ("I have not reviewed a death certificate of Abe List."). In light of such admissions by White, it is all the more critical that Woods obtain proof of AL's identity.

As set forth in detail below, White has effectively conceded in his Opposition (including through his own cited cases) that neither the attorney client privilege nor the right of privacy allows him to withhold the critically relevant identifying information about AL that Woods seeks. Indeed, even if the attorney-client privilege did apply, it would have been waived long ago by AL when he authorized White to disclose a significant part of his communications concerning his identity. Moreover, to the extent that White claims Woods intends to harass AL's relatives, White has failed to provide any evidence supporting this claim (and the evidence that he does provide actually cuts against any notion of harassment).

Accordingly, in the absence of any cognizable counter-arguments by White, there is no reason why the Court should not compel White to answer the deposition questions set forth in Woods' Separate Statement, as well as produce the documents responsive to Woods' Subpoena. Moreover, based on the untenable and outlandish positions taken by White in his Opposition (which plainly show that White did not act with "substantial justification" in refusing to answer the discovery at issue), there is no reason why the Court should not award monetary sanctions against White and in favor of Woods in the sum of $9,040.55.

II. WHITE HAS EFFECTIVELY ADMITTED THAT AL'S IDENTIFYING INFORMATION IS NOT PROTECTED BY THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE.

In his Motion, Woods clearly demonstrated that the facts concerning AL's identity (such as AL's name, age, and the identity of his personal representative) are not and cannot be attorney-client privileged. Indeed, not only are these facts, not communications, but there is nothing confidential about them (given that AL's identity is known by many people outside the scope of any attorney-client relationship).

In his Opposition, White effectively admits that AL's identifying information does not fall within the purview of the attorney-client privilege. Most notably, while White primarily cites to and discusses the Willis v. Superior Court case, that case actually held that the names of the attorney's clients at issue were discoverable because (as is the case here) such information was "directly relevant to the issues in dispute." 112 Cal.App.3d 277,294 (1980). The parties in that case (both attorneys) were each claiming that they had stolen one another's clients, and thus the court found that the identification of those clients was a necessary component of proving the claims. Here, similarly, AL' s identity is critical and relevant to Woods' ability to investigate and gather information to prosecute his claims against AL. Indeed, in light of the fact that White has refused to provide any evidence corroborating his claim that AL is deceased, the disclosure of AL's identity is necessary in order for Woods to confirm whether AL actually died. Thus, the Willis case -- White's primary authority in on the issue of attorney-client privilege -- actually supports Woods' position.

Moreover, to the extent that White attempts to avail himself of the extremely limited exceptions to the general rule that client identities are not privileged, his argument is, quite frankly, absurd. In particular, the thrust of White's argument on this point is that he should be allowed to withhold AL's identity simply because "revealing [AL's] identity would subject [AL] to civil liability by revealing that he was the one who posted the tweet that Mr. Woods sued over." See Opposition at 8:17-19. In other words, White is taking the outlandish position that he cannot reveal AL's name because the reveal would allow Woods to hold AL liable for the conduct alleged in Woods' complaint. Of course, if this was the law, then potential defamers would be encouraged and granted free license to make malicious and defamatory statements under the guise of anonymity, knowing that litigation against them would be an illusory exercise. Such a result would obviously run counter to both law and common sense. Indeed, it bears noting that none of White's cited authorities support his supposed position -- nor is Woods aware of even a single case where a court allowed an attorney of a party in litigation to withhold the identity of his client on privilege grounds. Rather, a client's identity may only be withheld in the limited circumstances where the disclosure would subject the client to harm separate and apart from any liability for the claims at issue in a pending lawsuit. See, e.g., Baird v. Koerner, 279 F.2d 623, 630 (1960) (disclosing the names of an attorney's clients -- who were not parties to the litigation -- would subject those clients to liability for unpaid taxes).

Notably, while White cites to the Mitchell v. Superior Court case in order to argue that the "facts" concerning AL's identity are in and of themselves privileged on account of being relayed to White during an attorney-client conversation, Mitchell does not stand for such a misguided proposition. Rather, Mitchell merely held that certain facts provided by an attorney to his client were considered privileged because they comprised the very legal advice that was provided by the attorney. See Mitchell, 37 Cal. 3d 591, 589-601 (1984). Here, in stark contrast, the identifying information at issue would have been provided by AL to White (not vice versa as was the case in Mitchell), and therefore could not constitute legal advice in and of itself. In other words, Mitchell is completely inapposite here.

In any event, even assuming that the facts concerning AL' s identifying information were initially privileged, that privilege was waived by AL when he authorized White to disclose "personal information about him" to Woods, including the material facts that: (1) "most of the information in the profile of his Twitter account [was] fictional," (2) he "was not married," (3) he "did not own a house in Los Angeles," (4) he "was not employed at the time the lawsuit was filed," (5) he "did not work in finance or math and was not a partner in private equity," and (6) he "did not have assets to satisfy Mr. Woods even if Mr. Woods won [this case]" See Opposition at 13:23-14:13; White Declaration, para. 5. AL's personal representative similarly waived the attorney-client privilege by authorizing White to disclose the material facts that: (1) "the estate would no longer defend the case," (2) "the estate lacked assets sufficient to satisfy any significant judgment," and (3) "that several of Mr. Woods' beliefs about [AL] (for instance, the belief he was married) were untrue and based on a fictional Twitter profile." White Declaration, para. 7. As a matter of law (and fairness), AL (and/or his personal representative) simply cannot turn the attorney-client privilege on and off to suit his particular needs. Rather, California law is clear that a party cannot disclose only those privileged facts beneficial to its case (in this instance, the facts that would support AL's purported inability to satisfy a judgment) and refuse to disclose, on the grounds of privilege, related facts detrimental to his position (in this instance, those facts that would allow Woods to obtain and collect a judgment against AL). See Merritt v. Superior Court, 9 Cal. App. 3d 721, 731 (1970) (when the privilege holder's "conduct touches a certain point of disclosure, fairness requires that his privilege shall cease whether he intended that result or not. He cannot be allowed, after disclosing as much as he pleases, to withhold the remainder.") (citing to Wigmore on Evidence, McNaughton Revision, Volume VIII, section 2327); Kerns Construction Co. v. Superior Court, 266 Cal. App. 2d 405,414 (1968) (same). Fundamental to this analysis is the notion that a party should not be able to simply pick and choose which privilege communications it will disclose and which it will not. "He may elect to withhold or to disclose, but after a certain point his election must remain final." Merritt, supra, 9 Cal.App.3d at 731; see also Handgards, Inc. v. Johnson & Johnson, 413 F. Supp. 926, 929 (N.D. Cal. 1976) ("An important consideration in assessing the issue of waiver is fairness. Thus, a party may not insist on the protection of the attorney-client privilege for damaging communications while disclosing other selected communications because they are self-serving. Voluntary disclosure of part of a privileged communication is a waiver as to the remainder of the privileged communication about the same subject."); Weil v. Investment Indicators, 647 F. 2d 18, 24 (9th Cir. 1981) ("[I]t has been widely held that voluntary disclosure of the content of a privileged attorney communication constitutes waiver of the privilege as to all other such communications on the same subject."). In this case, by voluntarily allowing White to disclose a "significant part" of the communications concerning his identity, AL waived the privilege with respect to those communications. Cal. Evid. Code § 912 (a).

Finally, to the extent that White attempts to fault Woods for purportedly failing to ""exhaust[] other methods of discovering [AL's] identity," this argument is self-defeating in light of White's own admission that he opposed Woods' attempt to subpoena Twitter. See Opposition at 3:13-15, 8:27-28. Indeed, one of the very reasons that Twitter has refused to comply with the Subpoena is because of White's objection thereto. [4] As a matter of fairness, White cannot on the one hand oppose Woods' attempt to discover AL' s identity from third parties, and then on the other hand fault Woods for failing to obtain such third party discovery.

In sum, because White has failed to set forth any law or facts indicating that AL' s identifying information is within the scope of the attorney-client privilege, and because that privilege would have been waived in any event by AL, White has conceded Woods' point that the attorney-client privilege does prevent disclosure of the fundamental facts concerning AL' s identification.

III. WHITE HAS FURTHER CONCEDED THAT AL'S IDENTIFYING INFORMATION IS NOT PRIVATE INFORMATION.

As set forth in Woods' Motion, because the right of privacy does not survive death, and because White contends that AL is deceased, then (by White's own admission) AL no longer has any right to privacy. See Lugosi v. Universal Pictures, 25 Ca1.3d 813, 820, 833 (1979); Hendrickson v. California Newspapers, Inc., 48 Cal.App.3d 59, 62 (1975); Flynn v. Higham, 149 Cal.App.3d 677 (1983). Moreover, because of the public interest in an open court system, including the public's right to know the identity of parties to a lawsuit, AL never even had the right to proceed anonymously in the first place. See Doe v. Kamehameha Schools etc., 596 F.3d 1036, 1042-43 (9th Cir. 2010); United States v. Doe, 655 F .2d 920, 922 (9th Cir. 1980). Thus, to the extent White objected to the disclosure of information concerning AL's identity on privacy grounds, such objections have no merit.

White does not effectively dispute this notion in his Opposition. To the contrary, he actually admits that the Court (in denying AL's anti-SLAPP motion) already "rejected" his privacy argument as it pertains to AL. Opposition at 11: 15-17.

Moreover, while White attempts to dispute that AL's right to privacy died with him, his only cited authorities are wholly inapposite and have no bearing whatsoever on the facts at bar. Opposition at 11-12. Indeed, White's reliance on McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm'n, 514 U.S. 334 (1995) is actually deceptive, as the use of the term "anonymous" in that case had nothing to do with the plaintiffs identity as a litigant. To the contrary, the plaintiffs name, Margaret McIntyre, was disclosed from the inception of the case, and there was no argument that she was entitled to keep her identity as a litigant private. The only issue was whether she had the right, in the context of purely political speech, to distribute unsigned (i. e. "anonymous") political leaflets at school district meetings.

White's other cited authorities are similarly unsupportive of his position. For example, the court in Powell v. U.S. Dep't of Justice, 584 F. Supp. 1508, 1528 (N.D. Cal. 1984) actually found that the names of the deceased individuals should be disclosed. And the cases of National Archives & Records Administration v. Favish, 541 U.S. 157, 171 (2004) and Catsouras v. Dep't of California Highway Patrol, 181 Cal. App. 4th 856, 870 (2010) dealt with the completely distinguishable issue of whether family members have the right to prevent the disclosure of graphic photographs of their relative's death. Nevertheless, the court in Catsouras acknowledged that the right to privacy dies with an individual (but made a special exception in the limited and fact specific context of death photographs). Of course, Woods is not seeking to publish photos of AL's dead body.

Simply stated, and as evidenced by White's own admission and cited authorities, White cannot in good faith claim that the identity of AL is protected by the right of privacy. Thus, White has conceded Woods' point on this issue.

IV. WHITE HAS FAILED TO SHOW ANY COGNIZABLE HARASSMENT BY WOODS THAT WOULD MERIT THE WITHOLDING OF AL'S CRITICAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION.

Regarding the issue of alleged harassment by Woods, White's entire argument effectively boils down to the misguided notion that simply because Woods rejected White's purported offer to "disclose AL' s identity in settlement discussions if Mr. Woods would agree to keep it confidential," and simply because Woods has made some strongly-worded tweets about AL, Woods must necessarily be seeking to harass AL and/or AL's relatives. See Opposition at 10:18-24. Like White's other arguments, this argument lacks merit and is actually nonsensical in the context of this case.

First and foremost, with respect to White's purported settlement offer, any offer to disclose AL's identity on a purely confidential basis and in exchange for a mutual release of claims (which is all that White offered to do) would be completely illusory in the context of this action. More specifically, the very reason that Woods needs AL's identifying information is so he can effectively prosecute his claims against AL. Thus, the mere receipt by Woods of AL's identifying information, without the ability to actually use that information to pursue this case, would be completely pointless. [5] As such, Woods cannot be faulted for declining to accept this offer, and his refusal is in no way indicative of an intent to harass.


Moreover, to the extent that White is pointing to certain of Woods' strongly-worded tweets as evidence of Woods' intent to harass, this argument actually cuts against White insofar as AL is the party whose vitriolic and harassing tweets gave rise to this action in the first place. As set forth in Woods' Complaint, AL previously engaged his thousands of Twitter followers with a campaign of harassing and angry tweets directed towards Woods, calling Woods such derogatory names as "prick," "joke," "ridiculous," "scum" and "clown-boy." See Complaint, para. 8. Indeed, evidence of AL' s malicious and harassing tweets was already placed before the Court in support of Woods' successful opposition to AL's anti-SLAPP motion. Accordingly, if Woods responded to AL's harassment by using strong language, such conduct was purely defensive and justified by AL' s defamation. Stated otherwise, Woods' tweets do not evidence any "harassment" that would allow White to withhold AL' s identity.

Finally, White has provided no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Woods intends to harass AL' s relatives, or that Woods intends to use the information at issue for any other purpose than to prosecute his claims in this lawsuit. Thus, his arguments in this respect are completely unsubstantiated.

V. CONCLUSION

For all the reasons set forth above and in Woods' Motion and Separate Statement, Woods respectfully requests that the Court issue an Order directing White to appear and answer the questions set forth in Woods' Separate Statement and to produce all documents specified in the Subpoena at 10:00 a.m. on January 5, 2017. Woods also respectfully requests that the Court award monetary sanctions against White and in favor of Woods in the sum of $9,040.55.

Dated: December 21, 2016

LAVELY & SINGER
PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
MICHAEL E. WEINSTEN
LINDSAY MOLNAR
By: MICHAEL E. WEINSTEN
Attorneys for Plaintiff JAMES WOODS

PROOF OF SERVICE

STATE OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

I am employed in the County of Los Angeles, State of California. I am over the age of 18 and not a party to the within action. My business address is 2049 Century Park East, Suite 2400, Los Angeles, California 90067-2906.

On the date indicated below, I served the foregoing document described as:

REPLY IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR: (1) AN ORDER COMPELLING NONPARTY KENNETH P. WHITE TO ANSWER DEPOSITION QUESTIONS AND PRODUCE DOCUMENTS; AND (2) AN ORDER FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST NONPARTY KENNETH P. WHITE IN THE AMOUNT OF $9,040.55

on the interested parties in this action by placing [ ] the original document OR [X] a true and correct copy thereof enclosed in sealed envelopes addressed as follows:

Kenneth P. White, Esq.
Brown White & Osborn LLP
11 333 S. Hope Street, 40th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071-1406
12 Email: kwhite@brownwhitelaw.com
Tel: (213) 613-9446
Attorneys for John Doe (@abelisted)

[X] BY MAIL: I am "readily familiar" with the firm's practice of collection and processing correspondence for mailing. Under that practice it would be deposited with U.S. postal service on that same day with postage thereon fully prepaid at Los Angeles, California in the ordinary course of business. I am aware that on motion of the party served, service is presumed invalid if postal cancellation date or postage meter date is more than one day after date of deposit for mailing in affidavit.

[] BY PERSONAL SERVICE:

[] I caused such envelope to be delivered by a messenger employed by Express Network.

[ ] I delivered said envelope(s) to the offices of the addressee(s), via hand delivery.

[ ] BY ELECTRONIC SERVICE: I transmitted the foregoing document by electronic mail to the email addresses) stated on the service list per agreement in accordance with Code of Civil Procedures section 1010.6.

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the above is true and correct.

Executed December 21, 2016, at Los Angeles, California.

N. Echesabal

_______________

Notes:

1 Unless otherwise indicated, capitalized terms used herein have the same definitions as in Woods Motion.

2 Indeed, Woods is not aware of a single case where a court has allowed an attorney of a party to a lawsuit to withhold the identity of his client on privilege grounds, nor has White cited any such case in his Opposition.

3 White's tactic from the inception of this case has been to make false personal attacks against Woods which have nothing to do with the issues at hand, but which are obviously calculated to draw the Court's ire. By way of example, White previously made the false claim that his client's defamatory tweet was in response to a "homophobic" tweet by Woods, when in fact there was nothing at all in Woods' tweet that was disparaging to the GLBTQ community.

4 Based on White's own admission that "most of the information" in AL's twitter profile was completely "fictional," it is not even clear whether Twitter would have AL's actual identifying information. See White Declaration, para. 5.

5 For example, even assuming arguendo that Woods accepted White's offer, and White then disclosed AL's name, how would Woods know that White was telling the truth? Because Woods would have had to release his claims, he would be prevented from taking any discovery to verify whether White's information was in fact accurate. Such an outcome would be completely backwards and absurd.
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Re: Attorney Ordered to Identify Dead Client Who Taunted Jam

Postby admin » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:03 am

Letter From Ryan T. Mrazik (Twitter Counsel) to Michael E. Weinsten (James Woods Counsel)
by Ryan T. Mrazik
August 21, 2015

PERKINSCOIE
1201 Third Avenue
Suite 4900
Seattle, WA 98101-3099
1.206.359.8000
1.206.359.9000
perkinscoie.com

Ryan T. Mrazik
RMrazik@perkinscoie.com
D. (206) 359-8098
F. (206) 359-9098

August 21, 2015

VIA EMAIL AND OVERNIGHT MAIL

Michael E. Weinsten
Evan N. Spiegel
Lavely & Singer, P.C.
2049 Century Park East, Suite 2400
Los Angeles, California 90067-2906
Email: mweinsten@lavelysinger.com; espiegel@lavelysinger.com

Re: Subpoena to Nonparty Twitter, Inc., James Woods v. John Doe a/k/a "Abe List", et al., Case #BC589746 (Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles)

Dear Messrs. Weinsten and Spiegel:

We represent nonparty Twitter, Inc. ("Twitter") and write in response to your subpoena of August 4, 2015, seeking user identifying information and records, including the IP address, for a Twitter user account. For the reasons stated below, Twitter objects to your request. Please contact me directly to meet and confer if you disagree with any of our objections.

First, Twitter objects because you have provided no documentation showing that the Court considered and imposed the First Amendment safeguards required before a litigant may be permitted to unmask the identity of an anonymous speaker. As courts have recognized, a trial court must strike a balance "between the well-established First Amendment right to speak anonymously, and the right of the plaintiff to protects its proprietary interests and reputation through the assertion of recognizable claims based on the actionable conduct of the anonymous, fictitiously-named defendants." Dendrite Int'l, Inc. v. Doe No. 3,775 A.2d 756, 760 (N.J. Super. A.D. 2001). Accordingly, before a service provider such as Twitter may be compelled to unmask an anonymous speaker, (1) a reasonable attempt to notify the user of the request and the lawsuit must be made, and (2) the plaintiff must make a prima facie showing of the elements of defamation. See Krinsky v. Doe, 72 Cal. Rptr. 3d 231, 239, 244-46 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008). Moreover, under California law, the party seeking discovery must demonstrate "a compelling need for discovery" that "outweigh[s] the privacy right when these two competing interests are carefully balanced." Digital Music News LLC v. Superior court of Los Angeles, 226 Cal. App. 4th 216, 229 (2014) (citing Lantz v. Superior court, 28 Cal. App. 4th 1839, 1853-54 (1994).

It does not appear that you will be able to meet these standards. The speech at issue appears to be opinion and hyperbole rather than a statement of fact. Further, the target of the speech is a public figure who purposefully injects himself into public controversies, and there has been no showing of actual malice. Attempts to unmask anonymous online speakers in the absence of a prima facie defamation claim are improper and would chill the First Amendment rights of speakers who use Twitter's platform to express their thoughts and ideas instantly and publicly, without barriers.

Twitter next objects because the subpoena appears to constitute unauthorized early discovery under California law. CAL. CODE CIV. P. Section 2025.210(b). A defendant has not been served or appeared and it does not appear from the docket that the Court otherwise authorized early discovery. Please provide us with the rule or order that authorized issuance of the subpoena.

Further, all discovery requests must be calculated to lead to discovery of relevant and admissible evidence. CAL CODE CIV. P. Section 2017.010. Twitter therefore objects, for example, to your request for "[a]ny user records" and "all handle ... and associated user names ... used or otherwise associated at any time with the AbeListed Twitter Acct and/or its user(s)" as overly broad because it is unlimited in scope, and/or not related to an alleged injury or claim for recovery. See, e.g., Tompkins v. Detroit Metro. Airport, 278 F.R.D. 387, 388-89 (E.D. Mich. 2012) (denying request for content of online account and emphasizing that a litigant "does not have a generalized right to rummage at will through information that [another party] has limited from public view").

Twitter also objects to the subpoena because it is vague, overbroad, and unduly burdensome. For example, Twitter objects to the subpoena's requests for "[a]ny user records" or records "associated" with an account from "any time prior to the date of this request."

Finally, Twitter objects because your subpoena demands deposition testimony more than 75 miles from San Francisco or beyond the jurisdiction of the issuing court. See CAL CODE CIV. P. Section 2025.250(c)("[T]he deposition of [a non-party] shall be taken within 75 miles of the organization's principal executive or business office in California."); see also id. Section 2029.400 (Foreign subpoenas under the Interstate and International Depositions and Discovery Act must be personally served under the rules governing service of subpoenas in California actions.).

Twitter has provided notice to the email address associated with the Twitter account identified in your subpoena. Twitter understand that the user intends to challenge the subpoena and that Mr. Kenneth White of Brown, White & Osborn, LLP, will be contacting you soon. Twitter will take no further action until the user's objections are resolved by the Court. Even then, however, Twitter's objections would need to be addressed before Twitter produces any responsive records.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to further discuss these objections. Twitter otherwise preserves and does not waive any other available objections or rights.

Very truly yours,

Ryan T. Mrazik
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Re: Attorney Ordered to Identify Dead Client Who Taunted Jam

Postby admin » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:26 am

Deposition Subpoena for Production of Business Records (To Twitter)
by James Woods
November 9, 2016

DEPOSITION SUBPOENA FOR PRODUCTION OF BUSINESS RECORDS

To: Custodian of Records for Twitter, Inc.
1355 Market Street, Suite 900, San Francisco, CA 94103

JAMES WOODS v. JOHN DOE a/k/a "Abe List", et al.
Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BC589746

ATTACHMENT 3

DEPOSITION SUBPOENA FOR PRODUCTION OF BUSINESS RECORDS on Custodian of Records for TWITTER, INC.

I. Relevant Background and Reason for Information Request From Twitter:

On July 29, 2015, Plaintiff James Woods ("Woods") filed the above-entitled lawsuit which arose from the publication of a malicious and fabricated statement by an individual who hides behind the Twitter name "Abe List" and handle/user "@abelisted" ("AbeListed"). On July 15, 2015, AbeListed falsely accused actor James Woods of being a "cocaine addict" on the social media site Twitter, a message sent to thousands of AbeListed's followers and hundreds of thousands of Mr. Woods' followers. Woods is not now, nor has he ever been, a cocaine addict, and AbeListed had no reason to believe otherwise. AbeListed's reckless and malicious behavior, through the worldwide reach of the Internet, has now jeapardized Woods' good name and reputation on an international scale. The documents sought pursuant to this Subpoena are relevant and material to the trial of this case because Woods needs the documents in order to identify and prosecute his defamation and invasion of privacy claims against AbeListed.

II. The records to be produced pursuant to the Subpoena and this Attachment 3 are with reference to the following Twitter account and user profile ID:

1. twitter.com/abelisted
2. @abelisted
3. mobile.twitter.com/abelisted

Collectively referred to herein as the "AbeListed Twitter Acct."

III. The records to be produced pursuant to Subpoena and this Attachment "3" are as follows:

1. Account user information for the AbeListed Twitter Acct, including any documents or writings (the term "writings" in this request, and each subsequent request using the term, means as defined by California Evidence Code Section 250) evidencing the name, address, telephone number, e-mail address(es), IP address(es) and/or any other available contact and/or identifying information for the holder(s) of the AbeListed Twitter Acct, and/or associated with the AbeListed Twitter Acct, both concurrently and at any time prior to the date of this request.

2. Any user records, data and writings (or a copy of the information contained therein) which evidence and identify each IP address (including date and time of use of said IP address) associated with and/or used at any time by any person in relation to creating or modifying or posting to the AbeListed Twitter Acct.

3. Any user records, data and writings (or a copy of the information contained therein) which evidence and identify the IP address (including date and time of use of said IP address) used by the user who posted the Tweet/Comment "@RealJamesWoods @banshapiro cocaine addict James Woods still sniffing and spouting," dated July 15, 2015 7:40 AM, at URL http://twitter.com/abelisted/status/621328418861248512

4. A list of all handle (i.e., @names) and associated user names, in addition to the AbeListed handle, used or otherwise associated at any time with the AbeListed Twitter Acct and/or its user(s).
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Re: Attorney Ordered to Identify Dead Client Who Taunted Jam

Postby admin » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:47 am

How James Woods Became Obama’s Biggest Twitter Troll. Actor James Woods has had a long career in Hollywood. But now he’s becoming almost as well known as the president’s biggest heckler on Twitter—and conservatives love him for it.
by Asawin Suebsaeng
December 31, 2014

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“I don’t expect to work [in Hollywood] again.”


That was James Woods in 2013. The 67-year-old actor had worked in Hollywood for decades, starring in such acclaimed films as Once Upon a Time in America and Oliver Stone’s Salvador, playing Rudy Giuliani, voicing a shady government agent in the Grand Theft Auto video game series, and even guest-starring on The Simpsons as a Kwik-E-Mart proprietor. But now his politics were offending the progressive sensibilities of the American film industry.

“Scratch a liberal, find a fascist every time,” Woods tweeted in April. These days the Oscar-nominated actor uses his Twitter account to broadcast his right-wing views to his 190,000 followers—and he’s arguably become President Obama’s biggest, most famous troll on Twitter.

“He’s the nicest guy you’ll ever meet, but his politics are, apparently, batshit crazy,” says Ben Dreyfuss, engagement editor at Mother Jones whose family—including movie star Richard—is friends with Woods.

The actor does have a tendency to latch on to popular conservative memes and conspiracy theories, among them the IRS, Benghazi, and Obamacare. And at least for the time being, he’s sticking to social media as his platform for bashing liberals.

“He is not doing any interviews on this subject,” Woods’s publicist told The Daily Beast. “He prefers to express himself through Twitter and leave it at that.”

Woods’s comments can sometimes be inflammatory. He used the slur “towel-heads” after the 9/11 attacks. He has said he believes Al Sharpton is a “race pimp” and a pig. He has called Obama a “true abomination.” And that was well before this Christmas, when he appeared to joke about Obama being a Muslim.

Woods’s diehard conservatism has led some to draw parallels between his Twitter persona and his character in the 2013 movie White House Down, an extremist hawk who spends most of his time on screen hating on a liberal black president.

Woods is significantly more aggressive and prolific in his ranting than Hollywood conservatives like Jerry Bruckheimer, Bruce Willis (who isn’t much of a Republican team player, anyway), and Sylvester Stallone (who also happens to be the most anti-gun celebrity in Hollywood). Woods’s tweets alone have made him a darling in certain conservative media circles.

“James Woods has a reputation in the business of not mincing words,” Breitbart posted in September 2013. “Woods has been a prolific, highly articulate, and politically incorrect conservative voice,” The Daily Caller raved the next month. A “fierce fighter for the truth regarding the tragedy in Benghazi,” proclaimed Twitchy, the Twitter curation site founded by Michelle Malkin that regularly highlights Woods’s tweets, in May.

“James Woods refuses to toe the Hollyweird line,” Twitchy managing editor Lori Ziganto told The Daily Beast in an email. “Woods uses Twitter to speak actual truth to power; conservatives rightly can’t get enough of this rare Hollywood bravery. Woods understands the power of Twitter.”

As for those who find his views extreme, they might very well read one of his quotes from a 2003 interview with Salon and imagine the actor commenting on his future self:

“I’ve never talked to an extreme liberal or conservative who could be disabused of his or her notions about their positions,” he said. “They are intractable in their thinking, they are unreasoning and unreasonable, and it’s just a waste of breath to talk to them.”

Ten years later, Woods would tweet: “I vowed if I were ever on Twitter, I would NEVER talk politics. That worked out pretty good…”

It’s probably too late to turn back now.
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