Bogus lawsuit dismissed; loser vows appeal

by Joe Zekas on 11/15/06

A federal judge in Chicago dismissed what I’ve previously characterized as a frivolous, publicity-seeking lawsuit against Craigslist.

The suit, brought by the Chicago-based Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, contended that Craigslist should be held liable for allegedly discriminatory ads posted on the site.

U.S. District Judge Amy St Eve ruled on Tuesday, to no one’s surprise, and in accord with every court that’s considered the issue, that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act means what Congress clearly said: a Web site can’t be held liable as a publisher for postings by advertisers.

Laurie Wardell, a spokesman for the Lawyers Committee, said an appeal is likely. Indeed.

Here’s an appeal to the responsible members, if there be any, on the Lawyers Committee: stop using the law as a tool for extorting settlements and publicity-seeking. Volunteer to be sanctioned under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for filing a merit-less lawsuit. Recognize that you’ve clearly overstepped acceptable limits in this case. Consider, for a change, advancing the cause of civil rights. Consider filing a malpractice suit against the buffoon who wasted your resources and dissipated your credibility by bringing this case.

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