This lawyer is pissed at LawyerRatingz.com (currently unavailable).
A proposed lawsuit by Thomas forwarded to the review site, which sports some 42,000 lawyer ratings, sought to shutter the entire site, or, at the very least, have his reviews removed.
The EFF, in a complaint filed in San Francisco federal court, said LawyerRatingz.com is protected by theCommunications Decency Act of 1996, which says “interactive computer services” cannot be “treated as the publisher or speaker of any information” provided by a third party.
“Mr. Thomas’s claims are meritless and run afoul of bedrock legal principles protecting website operators,” EFF senior staff attorney Matt Zimmerman said in a statement. “Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act categorically protects providers of ‘interactive computer services’ from suits such as this one seeking to make them responsible for the speech of their users. Without such protections, valuable sites like LawyerRatingz.com — or Facebook or Yelp or individual blogs that rely upon user comments — simply could not exist.”
Oh boy. What is going to happen when I can mine PACER for sophisticated data about how attorneys fare (are they winning motions, are they earning judgments, are cases going to a jury or settling, etc.).