In Michigan, an internet defamation lawsuit was filed by Cooley Law School against a number of John Doe defendants by Attorney Michael P. Coakley of the law firm Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone, PLC. This defamation lawsuit has garnered national attention as initial subpoenas issued by Michael Coakley on behalf of plaintiff Thomas M. Cooley Law School sought to identify the anonymous blogger who had posted a blog at thomas-cooley-law-school-scam.weebly.com. The subpoena issued to the web hosting provider Weebly.com was accidentally responded to by Weebly.com disclosing the account holder’s identity prior to the subpoena response due date and after the anonymous blogger had indicated through his lawyer that objections were being filed. Knowing that objections were being filed, the plaintiff’s attorney Michael Coakley of Miller Canfield filed an amended complaint using the alleged confidential information to name the John Doe defendant. Mr. Coakley received some unwanted press for questionable litigation tactics and potential violation of the Michigan Rules of Professional Responsibility and the Michigan Rules of Civil Procedure. Essentially, Mr. Coakley decided to avoid having to argue the merits of whether or not his subpoena should be quashed by simply outing the John Doe defendant before the court could weigh in on the matter.
It is unclear whether the defamation lawsuit has any merit or whether the suit is an example of a SLAPP lawsuit filed for the purpose of intimidating anonymous critical speech. One thing is for certain, Cooley Law School, the law firm of Miller Canfield and Attorney Michael Coakley has received their share of bad press concerning the lawsuit and tactics involved.
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Law school brings online libel case against anonymous bloggers - presumably alumni and former and current students – who allegedly posted defamatory comments on the blog titled “Thomas M. Cooley Law School Scam.”
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Thomas M. Cooley Law Schools brings a web defamation lawsuit against four anonymous bloggers for making false and defamatory statements concerning the school.
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Michigan law school brings internet defamation lawsuit against New York law firm and anonymous bloggers.