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Defamation Proceedings

Threats of Defamation Proceedings

May 23, 2009

When I wrote the postscript about the Community Trade Mark Filing Service, I assumed that would be the end of it. Obviously I had not understood Mr Evans. Having now received a solicitors’ letter in which they have even attempted to frighten me by making accusations of breaching Law Society Codes of Conduct for publishing his threat letter on this blog, I now realise Mr Evan is capable of anything to achieve his ends.

So, I am writing this in full expectation that anything could happen, including full scale legal proceedings for refusing to take down the blog posts about his CTMFS invoices. The case against me is extremely weak which is why I will not cave in to his threats. His style is to issue threats to silence anyone who dares to utter criticism against him.

Generally his threat approach has tended to work with blog owners, and small businesses. They lack the time and resources to look into whether they would be able to fend off defamation proceedings. And although I too have better things to do with my time than get embroiled in defamation proceedings, I don’t see that I have any other choice but to stand up to him.  At least one side benefit I will gain from taking him on, and standing up for my principles is that I can relearn defamation law.

I used to be a defamation and media lawyer many years ago when I worked at Reuters as an in house lawyer. In those days, the legal department ran a rota system for advising on libel matters. If editorial needed to discuss with legal (whether during the day or in the middle of the night), a defamation issue they could ring whichever lawyer happened to be at the top of the list that week. I had sufficient expertise to perform such a role. However, now I have let that knowledge slip, focusing on IP and internet law instead. But technological developments and the nature of the issues that arise on the web make it imperative for all IP and internet lawyers to also cover media and defamation law. This is becoming widely recognised. So, given the need to come up to speed again on the subject, I can justify engaging in legal proceedings with Mr Evans as an educational opportunity.