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Nov. 15, 2016

MEDIA ADVISORY

Blogger Seeks to Intervene in Phony Lawsuit That Aims to Stifle Online Criticisms

WHAT: A Public Citizen attorney will urge a federal judge in Rhode Island to permit the owner of a blog to get involved in a case in which a company apparently is using a phony lawsuit to get the blogger’s criticisms of an industry removed from Google’s search results.

Paul Alan Levy, an attorney at Public Citizen, will represent Myvesta Foundation, which publishes a blog about the debt relief industry. He will argue that Myvesta should be allowed to become a party in Bradley Smith v. Deborah Garcia. In that case, the plaintiff, Bradley Smith, is supposedly suing the defendant, Deborah Garcia, over critical comments posted on articles on Myvesta’s “get out of debt guy” blog. But Smith has said that he did not file the lawsuit and that his signature on the papers was forged, while Garcia is believed to be a fictional defendant.

Rather, the facts indicate that a reputation management company called “Profile Defenders” may have generated this and other lawsuits designed to obtain court orders forcing criticisms of companies to be removed from websites. By intervening in this case, the blogger seeks both to have the case dismissed and to learn more about who filed it and similar lawsuits.

WHEN: 2 p.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 16

WHERE: United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, 1 Exchange Terrace, Providence, R.I.

WHO: Paul Alan Levy, attorney, Public Citizen

FOR MORE INFORMATION: See our case page.

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