Putting Up The Popehat Signal In Texas For A Wrongfully Threatened Science Blogger


The Popehat Signal

Today I was resting my eyes on the couch when I got an email tip that someone was making frankly nutty legal threats against a science blogger. There's a blogger in trouble somewhere! I'm like the Wonder Pets, only with 1.375 times more sexual magnetism.

Time for the Popehat Signal.

I investigated, and found that the blogger had written a clear and really extraordinarily mild statement of opinion, and the subject of opinion had posted legal threats on the blog and sent profane, threatening, and frankly disturbing threats by email. The blogger's comment is indisputably protected by the First Amendment and the threat is freakishly frivolous.

I've agreed to help the blogger pro bono. The potential plaintiff has threatened a defamation suit in Texas. Given the communications, it's entirely possible that the threat represents bluster or delusion. But if they are malicious and unethical enough to pull the trigger, we'll need boots on the ground in the Great State of Texas. I'll still do most of the work. Maybe we can test the new Anti-SLAPP statute!

So. Can any Texas lawyers, or people who know Texas lawyers, help us out?

Update: Thanks to all of the lawyers who have responded in the comments or by email, and to those who have suggested leads. Texas attorney Gary Krupkin, an estimable and formidable defender of the First Amendment, has stepped in to act as Texas counsel. Please join me in thanking him: his willingness to help represents the best tradition of service to beleaguered clients and to the First Amendment, and shows how together we can help bloggers resist frivolous legal threats.

There will be an update with a description of the situation only if the best interests of the client warrant. Thanks for understanding.

Last 5 posts by Ken White



  1. KevinM  •  Jan 7, 2012 @6:54 pm

    You might drop a link to Beldar:

    He's been a blogger for a long time and seems to have some legal chops. His law office bio shows him with experience with defamation.

  2. Alan Kellogg  •  Jan 7, 2012 @7:05 pm

    And who is the mystery blogging you're helping? Some of us may want to blog on his behalf too.

  3. Ken  •  Jan 7, 2012 @7:14 pm

    Thanks, Kevin.

    Alan, I'm not revealing his identity right now. My focus is his best interests. When his best interests merit a Streisand Effect approach, I'll take it.

  4. Tab  •  Jan 7, 2012 @8:15 pm

    If you need some writing, researching, doc review, whatever etc help in Texas, I'll help. I'm licensed, but don't practice.

  5. Ken  •  Jan 7, 2012 @8:21 pm

    You rock, Tab! I may have some questions for you. Thanks.

  6. Scott Jacobs  •  Jan 7, 2012 @8:29 pm

    Liberty Chick suggests giving the Liberty Institute a ring and ask Kelly Shackelford. They were the folks who helped with the lawsuits that were endured by the folks trying to get word out on the voter fraud in Texas (King Street Patriots).

  7. Ken  •  Jan 7, 2012 @8:31 pm

    Thanks. I will bear that in mind.

  8. Ming the Merciless Siamese Cat  •  Jan 8, 2012 @12:07 am

    I'll need to know more details before signing on, but I have an office and a dozen very capable associates in Texas who'd welcome a break from the usual financial services litigation I have them doing now. Send me an e-mail and let's talk.

  9. Dan Weber  •  Jan 8, 2012 @7:46 am

    This is sewious! Let's save the bwogger!

    I can't help it, you've had that stuck in my head for a half hour now.

  10. Rliyen  •  Jan 8, 2012 @7:57 am

    Dan, I got the theme song stuck in my head.

    ….And when we work together, we got the right stuff!


  11. Ken  •  Jan 8, 2012 @12:14 pm

    Thanks, Ming. Sending you an email.

  12. Marc  •  Jan 9, 2012 @8:01 am

    I'm a solo and practice healthcare regulatory law in Texas. Count me in if it is what I think it is about.

  13. Kasey  •  Jan 9, 2012 @8:18 am

    Can you tell us what county it's in? I work for an attorney in Bell county, so if it's local, we might be able to help. I don't know if you heard, but Texas is a big place.

  14. Ken  •  Jan 9, 2012 @8:32 am

    Thanks to everyone who has responded; if I have not written you yet, I will. I've had emailed responses as well.

    Kasey, the answer to that question is kind of complicated. I will email you separately.

  15. Stephen  •  Jan 9, 2012 @8:39 am

    I'll buy the celery for everyone when this is all over.

  16. Ken  •  Jan 9, 2012 @9:00 am

    Kasey, to clarify: the most likely location of any Texas-based litigation is Dallas, though attorneys throughout Texas could be helpful.

  17. Chris  •  Jan 9, 2012 @12:01 pm

    I hate you. That damn song is going to be stuck in my head all day.

  18. Kasey  •  Jan 10, 2012 @8:44 am

    Yeah. Dallas is a bit out of the range of my small firm. Also, I asked my boss about it, and he didn't even know about the new anti-SLAPP law here in Texas, so it probably wouldn't have been a good fit anyway. Sorry Ken. Love the site. keep it up.

1 Trackback