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Friday, May 05, 2006

Update on blogger lawsuit

Hot off the MBA presses:


Moments ago, lawyers for the advertising agency suing MBA Member Lance
Dutson filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal in U.S. District Court in

The notice reads simply:

"Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1), Plaintiff Warren
Kremer Paino Advertising, L.L.C. hereby dismisses the above-captioned action
without prejudice."

The decision to withdraw the lawsuit comes on the heels of a withering media
campaign orchestrated by the Media Bloggers Association on behalf of MBA
Member Lance Dutson. Hundreds of bloggers responded to the MBA's call to
arms and were joined by media outlets around the world in highlighting the
heavy-handed tactics of the state contractor.

"As it should be, the story of 'Warren Kremer Paino and the Maine Blogger'
is now a cautionary tale", said MBA President Robert Cox, "future potential
plaintiffs would do well to consider WKP's experience in attempting to
silence a blog critic through the Federal courts. Our message is simple:
'Don't Mess with the Bloggers'"

A big round of thanks is in order for the lawyers who volunteered their time
on Lance's behalf including MBA General Counsel, Ronald Coleman of the
Coleman Law Firm, Greg Herbert of Greenberg Traurig and private attorney Jon

"This demonstrates precisely what we have said all along," said Coleman,
"Suits like this are premised solely on the anticipation that there will be
no push back from the little guy. Here, there was."

"The plaintiff failed to understand it's a new world", said Stanley, "This
is a text book case of how blogs work. This result could not have come about
without the blogosphere. Lance's defense team was put together through the
blogs and pressure was brought to bear on WKP through the blogs."

"This is a great victory for the First Amendment and bloggers' rights, and
Exhibit A in a future case study of 'How Not to Handle an Internet
Critic''", said Herbert. "We are extremely gratified that Mr. Dutson will no
longer have the threat of litigation having over his head and censoring his

"This will make the Cinco de Mayo celebration tonight that much sweeter (and
may even mean it starts earlier) for the Dutson clan", noted Dutson on his
blog, "Maybe there's something more profound I should be saying at this
moment, but frankly, I'm going to go pick my wife up from work now, throw
her in the car, and buy her a very large cocktail."

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