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Hall v. LipstickAlley.com

Topic(s): Internet Free Speech - Right To Speak Anonymously

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Description:

Jermaine Hall, the editor of Vibe magazine, and his wife sought discovery from a New York court to identify a poster on Lipstick Alley, a message board aimed at African-American women, that complained about his allegedly arranging for his wife to get writing opportunities which in the writer’s view should have gone to African-American professionals. Representing Lipstick Alley, which is based in Michigan, Public Citizen argued that the subpoena had been sought in the wrong court, and that, in any event, no discovery should be allowed until the Halls followed the Dendrite procedure by notifying the anonymous critic of their effort to obtain her identity and producing evidence that the criticisms were false and caused them damage. At oral argument, the trial judge expressed skepticism about whether she had jurisdiction to order Lipstick Alley to comply with the subpoena, but four years later the court has never issued a written ruling on the motion.