Patterico's Pontifications


Techdirt on My Legal Victory Against Convicted Bomber Brett Kimberlin

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:52 pm

At TechDirt, Tim Cushing has this report regarding my recent court victory against convicted bomber and perjurer Brett Kimberlin:

This should have been a simple anti-SLAPP case. Should have. Wasn’t. (Part of it is Maryland’s weak take on anti-SLAPP.) It took four years to resolve and tons of pro bono hours. Kimberlin claimed he had been defamed by Frey’s post, which was based on four news sources and covered his conviction for bombing and his rise to dubious fame as Dan Quayle’s pot dealer (back when Quayle was still VP/relevant).

Kimberlin has a long history of abusive, vexatious lawsuits — all of them filed with the intent of shutting down criticism. His defamation claim was just the tip of iceberg. In his legal threat (all the way back in 2010), Kimberlin claimed a variety of injuries from Frey’s post, accusing him of cyberstalking, cyberbullying, and “interference with business.”

He also said this:

I have filed over a hundred lawsuits and another one will be no sweat for me. On the other hand, it will cost you a lot of time and money and for what.

So… basically announcing up front he sued people to harass them into silence. There’s a long write-up from a couple of years back at The Daily Beast that delves into Kimberlin’s litigious (and criminal) history — one that includes filing a RICO suit against political commentators and his alleged involvement in the SWATting of defendant Patrick Frey.

It’s all over now but the appeals process. Free speech was ably defended by two great lawyers working for free. (You’ll probably recognize Ron Coleman as the counsel in the recent Supreme Court Tam decision, which declared the trademark’s board refusal to recognize “disparaging” marks was a violation of the First Amendment.)

More at the link, including links to other posts.

In the original version of the piece, Cushing had a lazy but all-too-common “both sides are at fault!” paragraph, but has since issued a clarification of sorts after being contacted by Aaron Walker. The clarification pretty much negates all of the criticism included in the original paragraph. Indeed, I have never publicly accused Brett Kimberlin of complicity in my SWATting. I set forth the facts regarding his years-long harassment of me and allowed people to draw their own conclusions.

I wonder if it has occurred to Kimberlin that the handful of posts I wrote about him in 2010 would have quickly become ancient and forgotten history had he not launched into a campaign of harassment against me and other critics of his. The “punch back twice as hard” style of combat is praised by many hard partisans, but it’s actually a foolish maneuver. Sure, Kimberlin has caused many people to take down their criticism of him. But, as Cushing notes, not all of the criticism of Brett Kimberlin has been scrubbed from the Internet, notwithstanding his best efforts to make that happen. My criticism remains. And many of the articles written by other bloggers that were pulled down as a concession to Kimberlin in a settlement agreement never would have been written to begin with, had he simply left me alone.

I doubt he has learned anything from this process.

In any event, I grew bored with Kimberlin years ago, but retain the right to say truthful things about him. I wouldn’t be writing about him today if he hadn’t sued me and lost.

Kimberlin’s first email to me said (among other things):

Let me assure you that you are not the first blog that has posted lies about me, yet each of them has removed the offending posts once I alerted them to the facts about Socrates and his spreading of lies.

I told the truth. Brett Kimberlin was convicted of setting off several bombs, one of which blew off a Vietnam veteran’s leg, contributing to the man’s suicide. His conviction has never been reversed and stands today. He was held liable for the man’s death in civil court — and has, as far as I know, not paid a penny of the over million-dollar judgment against him. Based on his record of violence and what is publicly known about him, I consider him to be evil.

I still retain the right to say all those things, which are true. I will not surrender that right, even if others have.

Thanks to Techdirt and Cushing for publicizing this result, when so many others have let it pass without mention.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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