Kimberlin v. National Bloggers Club

Topic(s): 
Internet Free Speech — Right To Speak Anonymously
Case Description: 

Brett Kimberlin, once best known as a federal prisoner who was put in solitary confinement to prevent him from telling reporters that, during his time as a drug dealer in Indiana, he sold drugs to Vice-Presidential candidate Dan Quayle, has filed suit in federal court in Maryland against a score of defendants for allegedly defaming him him in a variety of respects. One of the defendants is an anonymous blogger; Kimberlin moved for leave to obtain discovery identifying the blogger. Public Citizen filed a brief in opposition to that motion, arguing that the Maryland federal court should apply the same test for the identification of anonymous Internet speakers as Maryland courts, which follow the Dendrite test, and that Kimberlin has not met that test. In the end, the federal-law claims to which our anonymous client was joined were all dismissed on their face, and the judge declined to retain jurisdiction of the state-law claims.