After several anonymous Internet bloggers who used to attend Cooley Law School complained online that Cooley misled and mistreated students, Cooley sued the bloggers for defamation. Because Cooley didn’t know the identity of the bloggers, it tried to use the court’s subpoena power to force the web company that hosted the blogs to reveal the bloggers’ identities.
The ACLU of Michigan filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Court of Appeals supporting the bloggers’ right to remain anonymous unless and until Cooley could prove that their speech was not protected.
In April 2013 the Court of Appeals issued a decision agreeing with the ACLU that bloggers have a First Amendment interest in anonymity and reversing the trial court’s denial of the bloggers’ motion for a protective order against the public disclosure of their identities.
(Thomas Cooley Law School v. Doe; ACLU Attorney Dan Korobkin; Cooperating Attorney Bill Burdett.)
To view the full 2013-2014 Legal Docket, click here.