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Who Is Frank Pasquale?

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  1. Dan– thanks for clearing that up. I noticed that as well in the court proceedings, and realized that it must be an enormous coincidence.

    This is only tangentially related, so I wonder if you (or anyone else) here can indulge me:

    Funny that this decision mentions Cahill (as many do.) I’m not a lawyer, so I was curious to learn whether facts after a decision can logically invalidate it. (Not to worry: Of course I recognize the value of Miranda, no matter what Miranda himself did after the trial.)

    What few realized about Cahill is that Doe was shortly thereafter unmasked. Doe’s lawyers had been extremely sloppy in their paperwork, and the IP address had been faxed to Cahill’s lawyers. The Cahills were able to determine that the IP address did belong to their real-life antagonists, the Schaeffers, and sued them directly.

    What didn’t meet the summary judgment standard for Justice Steele in the first trial now met that standard in the second trial. The trial went forward. The Schaeffer household determined amongst themselves that it was their stepdaughter who had made the offending posts, and she confessed in court proceedings — which is what the Cahills wanted all along. [This is related to my initiative of an informal collaboration with Dan last week about the privacy of IP addresses.]

    One of the reasons Justice Steele felt that the summary judgment wasn’t met was because the postings were made on an Internet blog, which he felt no reasonable person could take seriously(“by their very nature, they are not a source of facts or data upon which a reasonable person would rely.”) But the second trial judge didn’t apply this same summary judgment. Was this because Cahills’ attorney made a better filing? (it’s not available for me to read online.) Was it because the summary judgment standard had changed somehow? Was it because the second trial judge didn’t accept in the state supreme court’s logic? I don’t know– and, not being a student of the law, I wonder if there are sometimes lower court decisions which call into question the logic of the higher court ones.

  2. Richard Posner says:

    This post was very informative.