PACER Surfing With SFL!

You guys ever PACER surf?

You know, go onto PACER and plug in some attorney's name or law firm or some defendant to see what they're up to here in the Southern District?

No, me neither.

But just for kicks I plugged in two of my favorite South Florida attorneys, Chris Carver and Hilarie Bass.

Chris is involved in a mess of a maritime case before Judge Moreno and the fastest Mag in the West, Judge Torres, In Re: MS "Madeleine" Schiffahrtsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG, Reederei Alnwick Harmstorf & Co. GmbH & Co. KG and Bangor Castle Shipping Company Limited.

It's pretty exciting stuff, with Fowler White, Shutts & Bowen, and a bunch of local maritime lawyer-types involved.

I would summarize the litigation, but the last few times I tried I fell asleep at the keyboard and had to be revived by a double-cafecito and repeat viewings of "10."

You guys are on your own on that one.

Hilarie has an interesting piece of litigation involving the owner of Mykonos Restaurant who is suing the Baltimore City Paper for defamation. My friend Miguel de la O's partner Joel Magolnick is representing the plaintiff.

Ok Joel, you're my friend too.

Reading the complaint and also the pending motion to dismiss for lack of venue that Hilarie filed, it seems that the paper allegedly got the owner of the restaurant confused with a Baltimore federal fugitive that also happens to have the same name as Joel's client. After getting a letter, the City Paper allegedly ran an apology and retraction:
On September 24, 2008, City Paper posted an online retraction, stating that it “regrets the confusion and apologizes to [Plaintiff] for any troubles they've had as a result of the stories.” (Compl., Exh. C.) On October 8, 2008, City Paper re-ran the August 27, 2008 article, prominently prefaced with a “Correction,” clarifying that there is no connection between Plaintiff and “Crazy John” Kafouros.
Joel's complaint, of course, lists a number of other problems and alleged errors with the story.

Plaintiff filed in state court, defendants removed, and they are moving to dismiss or transfer based on improper venue.

The interesting issue is whether online dissemination of a story can subject you to long-arm jurisdiction somewhere else where the article is read. Hilarie's analysis focuses on Young v. New Haven Advocate, 315 F. 3d 256 (4th Cir. 2002), where the court established an "effects" test to determine where the "primary effects of the defamatory statements" were felt.

It looks like GT associate D. Porpoise Evans wrote the brief and did a fine job.

Joel just got an enlargement from Judge Gold so his response brief has not yet been filed.

Meanwhile, all I can say is the plaintiff runs a great restaurant and I hope there is some in-kind edible payment involved for Joel's legal efforts.

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