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 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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Re: Attorney Ordered to Identify Dead Client Who Taunted Jam

Postby admin » Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:03 pm

James Woods Drops Lawsuit Over "Cocaine Addict" Tweet After Getting Trophy Letter: The actor filed a $10 million libel action two years ago. Then, the anonymous defendant died.
by Eriq Gardner
Hollywood Reporter
July 19, 2017

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The actor filed a $10 million libel action two years ago. Then, the anonymous defendant died.

James Woods has received a letter that he can now frame and put on his mantel shelf alongside his Emmy and Golden Globe awards.

From attorney Kenneth White, the letter states, "On behalf of my client — the defendant referred to as 'Abe List' in the lawsuit filed by James Woods — and my client's surviving family, I acknowledge that they are not aware of any facts to suggest that Mr. Woods has ever been a cocaine addict or used any other drugs."

To earn this, Woods filed a $10 million libel action in July 2015. The target in the lawsuit was an anonymous Twitter user who responded to Woods' conservative politics by suggesting the actor was a "cocaine addict." In filing the lawsuit, Woods wanted to send a message. "AL, and anyone else using social media to propagate lies and do harm, should take note," stated the complaint handled by Michael Weinsten at Lavely & Singer. "They are not impervious to the law."

Woods then beat back an anti-SLAPP motion that attempted to make the argument 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."

An appeal abruptly was cut short when the defendant died. That wouldn't stop Woods. The actor wrote that he hoped the defendant died "screaming my name," adding, "Learn this. Libel me, I'll sue you. If you die, I'll follow you to the bowels of Hell. Get it?"

Woods did make some efforts to pursue the defendant's estate, but that's all over now thanks to a settlement. Full terms hasn't been disclosed, but it does include White's letter.

"To be clear, my client did not intend for his July 15, 2015 tweet about Mr. Woods to be understood as a statement of fact," the letter continues. "He regretted having made the tweet, and further regrets any harm caused to Mr. Woods' reputation by the tweet. His family was not aware of the tweet until after the fact and regrets if any harm came from the tweet being taken literally."


Woods is done with this Twitter defamation case, but the tables have turned because he's a defendant in another.

Portia Boulger, an Ohio woman, is suing him for $3 million. She claims he misidentified her as a Nazi on Twitter. Specifically, the Chicago Tribune posted a photograph of a woman at a Donald Trump rally who might have been making a Nazi salute. Other Twitter users asserted it was Boulger, which led Woods to tweet the photograph along with a question: "So-called #Trump 'Nazi' is a #BernieSanders agitator/operative?"

This got retweeted by Donald Trump, Jr.

Still in court over the matter, Woods filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings last month. He argued the case was an attempt to quell his free speech rights.

"First, Plaintiff's claim for defamation fails as a matter of law because Mr. Woods' allegedly defamatory question is not a statement of fact," writes Woods' attorney. "Nor would a reasonable reader interpret Mr. Woods' question — seeking clarification — as inferring any factual content."

Later in the Woods' brief, it's argues that the word "Nazi" is "inherently imprecise and subject to myriad subjective interpretations" and that "several courts have consistently held that use of the term 'Nazi' is rhetorical hyperbole.
"
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