Attorney Ordered to Identify Dead Client Who Taunted James W

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Re: Attorney Ordered to Identify Dead Client Who Taunted Jam

Postby admin » Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:59 am

Confirmed Horrible Person James Woods Continues Being Horrible In 'Winning' Awful Lawsuit To Unmask Deceased Online Critic
from the to-the-bowels-of-hell dept
by Mike Masnick
TechDirt
January 4, 2017

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So... Hollywood actor James Woods continues to make it clear that he's a complete and total asshole. As you may or may not recall, last year, Woods sued an anonymous Twitter user who went by the name Abe List, for mocking Woods on twitter. Specifically, List called Woods "clownboy" and later tweeted: "cocaine addict James Woods still sniffing and spouting." Woods sued Abe List claiming that the "cocaine addict" statement was defamatory, and (the important part) demanding the name and identity of Abe List. The fact that Woods, himself, has a long (long, long, long) history of spouting off similarly incendiary claims to people on Twitter apparently wasn't important. Here is an example of a Woods tweet that seems quite similar to the one he, himself, claimed was defamatory:

Stephen Garramone @stevmg - 11 Oct 2013
@RealJamesWoods Have never heard logical argument against Obama just slogans and labels from you, Jon Voight, Giuliani, all RW shit-heads

James Woods
@RealJamesWoods
@stevmg Well, put down your crack pipe, and retread my timelines. You'll find plenty there
4:11 PM - 11 Oct 2013


Ken "Popehat" White agreed to defend Abe List, along with lawyer Lisa Bloom. And while the judge initially (and, in our opinion, correctly) found Woods' lawsuit to be nothing more than a SLAPP suit, the judge eventually changed his mind. The case was moving along... and then something bizarre happened. Abe List (whoever that is) died (unexpectedly, apparently). Woods then took to Twitter to obnoxiously gloat about "winning" the case, leaving out the fact that the case was ending due to the death of the defendant. After people pointed out to Woods how ridiculous it was that he was gloating over a "victory" when someone had died, the ever classy Woods, gloated some more, first saying he hoped that List died "screaming my name. in agony" and then later saying: "Learn this. Libel me, I'll sue you. If you die, I'll follow you to the bowels of Hell. Get it?"

Donald G. Carder @theangrymick
@RealJamesWoods @LisaBloom He died, dude.

James Woods
@RealJamesWoods
@theangrymick @LisaBloom Hopefully screaming my name. In agony.
7:33 PM - 20 Oct 2016

Rustic Baller @ByYourLogic
@RealJamesWoods he's dead you fucking geriatric retard

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?
6:27 PM - 20 Oct 2016


Woods later deleted those tweets, but as I said at the time, the whole thing is sickening. Even if Abe List was trolling Woods, happily celebrating someone's death because they once made fun of you on Twitter seems to suggest you deserve to be made fun of on Twitter. Constantly.

To then add insult to death, Woods and his lawyers continued to push forward with the lawsuit, demanding to still uncover the name of Abe List. Woods' lawyers basically tried to argue that because they didn't know Abe List's identity, it was possible that Ken White was lying that List had died. They argued that they needed White to disclose Abe List's real name to prove that List was really dead:

Critically, although White claims that AL is deceased, he has refused to provide any evidence whatsoever substantiating this claim. Moreover, when Woods' counsel reasonably requested that White at least provide the identity of his now-purportedly-deceased client -- a fact which would be necessary in order to confirm AL is actually deceased -- White refused.


Emphasis in the original. And, of course White refused. The whole point of the lawsuit appeared to be to reveal Abe List's real identity, which he has every right to protect under the First Amendment. White was hired to protect that identity, so for Woods' lawyer to pretend that it's so horrific that White would refuse to reveal the name is ridiculous -- but apparently par for the course for Woods and his "to the bowels of hell" ethos. Even more ridiculous, Woods and his lawyers demanded White be sanctioned for refusing to give up the name.

White responded by highlighting how ridiculous all this is, and how it's pretty clear that Woods is just looking to harass and intimidate his critics. In his reply, White even included screenshots of the Tweets above, showing how Woods is gloating about all of this.

When defendant (Abe Doe)... died and his personal representative dismissed his appeal of this Court's denial of his anti-SLAPP motion, Plaintiff James Woods gloated and celebrated his death, expressing his hope that Mr. Doe died "screaming [Woods' name."

Now, Mr. Woods seeks to compel Mr. Doe's attorney, non-party Kenneth P. White ("Mr. White"), to disclose Mr. Doe's identity, and to sanction Mr. White almost $10,000 for asserting the attorney-client privilege in response to his questions.... Mr. Woods asserts that his purpose is legitimate and that he does not seek to harass or abuse Mr. Doe's survivors. 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. First, contrary to Mr. Woods' arguments, Mr. White expressly premised his refusals to answer questions on one ground -- the attorney-client privilege. That assertion was correct. Because the entire purpose of Mr. White's representation of Mr. Doe was to protect Mr. Doe's identity, and because Mr. White only learned Mr. Doe's identity through confidential communications, Mr. Woods cannot force Mr. White to disclose it.


Unfortunately (and... ridiculously), the court has now ruled that White needs to turn over List's real name (along with the details of where he died and the name of his heirs) within 10 days. The court rejected the request for sanctions against White, and also some other information that White insisted was also protected information (such as whether or not List had other Twitter accounts as well).

This is unfortunate, and a travesty. In response, White provided the following statement:

Sometimes in litigation the bad guys win. This was such a day. I remain very proud to have fought for Abe Doe, and proud to have opposed this vexatious case by James Woods, a petulant bully whose Twitter conduct shows he can dish it out but can’t take it. I’m pleased that the court rejected his demand to compel me to answer several other questions, and that it also rejected his frivolous demand for sanctions.


Woods' lawyer, Michael Weinsten, on the other hand, made the following absolutely ridiculous statement:

This is a significant step forward in our ability to recover the millions in damages caused by John Doe's cowardly Tweet. 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.


First of all, the idea that List's tweet caused "millions in damages" is so laughable as to make you wonder if Weinsten is also on drugs (note: that's a joke and rhetorical hyperbole...). First off, List's original tweet was a reply to someone else's tweet, meaning that only very, very, very few people saw it, because only those who followed both Abe and Woods would have seen it. Second, it would suggest that such a tweet actually hurt Woods' reputation. And I'd posit that it seems a hell of a lot more likely that Woods' own actions, such as gloating over List's death, did significantly more to harm his own reputation than any silly hyperbolic tweet from an anonymous Twitter user. Finally, List didn't "accuse" Woods of "heinous behavior." He did what people -- including Woods -- regularly do on Twitter, which is make fun of other people. To argue that Woods needs special protection from a Twitter troll makes you wonder what kind of special snowflake Woods thinks he is, that no one should ever be able to mock him on Twitter, while he is apparently free to mock anyone he likes.

And, of course, on Tuesday evening, Woods took to Twitter once again to gloat over the fact that he, that special snowflake whose itty bitty feelings were hurt by someone mocking him on Twitter, is able to stomp on the grave of a dead man. He tweeted a bunch of headlines, declaring "victory" despite the fact his victory spits on the First Amendment, and then made this idiotic analogy:

James Woods @RealJamesWoods
Attack the big rat with a jackhammer, and pick off all the little rats as they desert the sinking ship. #MoreToCome

john mccall @izesane
@RealJamesWoods @TheWrap I love the "Utterly destroy the first guy so there is no second guy" approach you took on this.
5:17 PM - 3 Jan 2017


Huh? I recognize that he's trying to argue that you go after "the big dog" so that others won't pester you, or whatever, but he literally went after a no name internet troll -- for doing nearly identical things to things that Woods himself had done. He also tries to defend the "damages" claim by saying that to be a "lead" in a film you have to be insured, and claims of being a drug addict can make you uninsurable. And, sure... but what fucking insurance company uses anonymous trolls tweeting obvious jokes on Twitter to determine if lead actors are drug addicts? The answer? NONE. Woods is full of shit (again: rhetorical hyperbole, James).

This case is an unfortunate travesty of justice. List was, undoubtedly, something of an internet troll himself, regularly pushing many people's buttons (in fact, when List died, White posted about how List regularly attacked White's political beliefs as well). But I don't care how annoyed a troll might make you feel, or how hurt your special feelings are, someone like Woods (who regularly mocks people he calls "snowflakes" online -- a term often used to mock those who can't take any criticism) shouldn't get to stomp all over the grave of someone just because they made him feel bad.
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Re: Attorney Ordered to Identify Dead Client Who Taunted Jam

Postby admin » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:06 am

James Woods Is Addicted To Being A Crybaby
by Joe Patrice
Above the Law
Jan 5, 2017

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Actor James Woods is famous for playing prickly, mean-spirited, cartoonish villains. Apparently he excels at these roles by living in the skin of a prickly, mean-spirited, cartoonish villain every day of his life.

This commitment to his craft is surely why he’s still suing a dead man for $10 million over allegedly libelous Tweeting. Still. Suing. A dead guy. Or at least everyone says this guy is dead — Woods isn’t conceding that yet — and obviously ne’er-do-wells fake their deaths all the time in Hollywood, so you can’t be too careful. That’s why Woods is using news of the Tweeter’s passing as an opening to unmask the guy’s identity to find out if he’s really gone, and the judge has ordered the defendant’s attorneys, Ken White (of Popehat fame) and Lisa Bloom, to identify their client.

As Voltaire put it, “I disapprove of what you say, so I will persecute you after your death for exercising your right to say it….” Or something like that.

For those who haven’t followed the twists and turns of the Woods libel litigation, an anonymous person on Twitter under the assumed name of “Abe List” called Woods a “cocaine addict” in response to some of the actor’s customarily repugnant Twitter fodder. In response, Woods sued the guy because he’s a crybaby.

In a filing opposing Woods’s request to unmask Abe List, White pointed to a Tweet Woods wrote proclaiming that he’d follow anyone he perceives as libeling him “to the bowels of Hell” — where Woods has lived — and explained:

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


Unfortunately, the judge disagreed.

Apparently trafficking in quasi-birtherism and Islamophobia is fair — as is taking the moral stance of quitting Twitter over the platform’s decision to suspend latter day fascists — but getting mocked for being the kind of dips**t that spews that stuff is an affront that demands justice! Millions of dollars of justice.

Of course Woods is absolutely correct that the death of the writer doesn’t extinguish a libel claim. For example, if anyone spread scurrilous rumors that someone else engaged in physical or sexual abuse, the damage would survive the death of the one who spread the lie. And if these false rumors of drug addiction were truly injurious, Woods has every right to go after them regardless of Abe List’s death. But let’s get real here: just because the law says you “can” do something doesn’t mean you “should,” and his strategy at this point, while legally available to him, runs counter to everything he claims to care about.

Woods supports, if we’re being charitable, a full-throated defense of free speech. The sort of free speech fundamentalism that would stand up to even private censorship (like Twitter account suspensions) of the most vile speech. Libel and slander are certainly actionable — free speech requires legal recourse to police injurious falsehoods — but a public figure famed for hurling insults on Twitter running and hiding behind high-priced lawyers once his “feel-feels” get hurt isn’t exactly conducive to free and open discourse. If anything, weaponizing borderline (at best) libel claims to squelch caustic criticism is a far more dangerous stepping stone to a “freedom for me and not for thee!” universe than any “political correctness” boogeyperson that someone like Woods might kvetch about. When Woods says he can pursue people to the “bowels of Hell,” he’s right. He has the resources to do it and exact a pound of flesh even if his claim fails. That’s a tremendously destructive power for someone hoping to defend a culture of free speech. Sometimes you’ve got to take your lumps for the greater cause when you’re a grown-up. Sticks and stones and all that rot.

And if we’re not being charitable, then maybe that’s exactly the sort of chilled speech environment that Woods wants to see. One where only his opinions matter and no one ever calls him out.

Because, come on…. The guy never meant the “cocaine addict” statement literally, right? It’s a well-worn hyperbolic quip like saying “you’re on crack” when someone says they enjoy sardines. Or, by way of a random example, like when JAMES WOODS HIMSELF wrote on Twitter: “Put down your crack pipe… I wouldn’t want you to spend your precious crack allowance being enlightened.” Or “Well, put down your crack pipe and reread my timelines.”

I guess the powder-crack cocaine disparity applies to online discourse too.

Look, there’s a lot of people out there decrying Woods’s antics as stomach-churning, but, at the risk of putting words in a dead man’s mouth, isn’t this Abe List’s ultimate revenge? With two words, he managed to set his target into a death spiral of reputational self-destruction, alienating everyone in decent society by doggedly pursuing $10 million from a dead guy for an insult that Woods hypocritically employed himself over and over again.

This is the apotheosis of Twitter.

And James Woods has played his role in this divine play to perfection.
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Re: Attorney Ordered to Identify Dead Client Who Taunted Jam

Postby admin » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:09 am

Why is Actor James Woods Ruthlessly Pursuing a Lawsuit Against a Dead Guy?
by Ryan Bort
Newsweek
1/4/17

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In a prolonged act of vengeance that would likely impress even Donald Trump, actor James Woods is pressing on with a lawsuit against a man who is now dead. The deceased was a Twitter user who had remained anonymous, but on Tuesday a judge ruled that the defendant's attorney must reveal the identity of his dead client.

It all started in July 2015, when the Twitter user replied to one of Woods's tweets about the media by tweeting: "cocaine addict James Woods still sniffing and spouting.” Woods then sued this "John Doe" for defamation, asking for $10 million in compensation for alleged injury to his status as that '80s character actor who was pretty good on The Simpsons that one time.

After Woods filed his suit, the anonymous defendant's attorney, Kenneth White, filed for an anti-SLAPP motion, which argued that "cocaine addict" was a "a constitutionally protected political insult" similar to the type Woods would routinely dispense through his politically charged Twitter account. In February, the motion was rejected, only fueling Woods's drive to ruin the life of "Abe List," the name on the account whose user called Woods a coke head.

The defendant appealed the judge's ruling, but the appeal was dropped after the defendant died. This tickled Woods. "The slime who libeled me just dropped his appeal contesting my victorious SLAPP motion," he tweeted. He wasn't deterred when he discovered the appeal was dropped because of the defendant's death. “Learn this," he said in a tweet that has since been deleted. "Libel me, I’ll sue you. If you die, I’ll follow you to the bowels of Hell. Get it?”

It is nearly a year later, and Woods can still be said to be in the bowels of hell fishing around for his $10 million. In November, White refused to disclose the real identity of his client, after which Woods filed a motion to force the issue, claiming that the defendant no longer had a right to privacy because he was dead. Despite a strong opposition statement in which White wrote that Woods wants to "publicly harass and vilify a dead man and his family" and that "the motion is meritless," the judge on Tuesday ordered him to reveal the identity 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," Woods's attorney told The Hollywood Reporter. "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's response?

"Sometimes in law the bad guys win."
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