The New York Law Journal asked firm partner Tim Bukher to discuss the merits of a recent motion by Highland Capital Management to force online publication Dealbreaker.com to release the details of an anonymous user. Highland Capital Management alleged that the user posted defamatory comments about the wealth management company in response to one of Dealbreaker’s recent articles.
Claiming it has been defamed by the poster’s Nov. 2 comments on the financial news site, Highland Capital is seeking an order from Manhattan Supreme Court compelling the site operator, Breaking Media Inc., to hand over the poster’s IP address, user profile information, and information on that user’s frequency of visits to and comments on the site.
According to Tim Bukher, a specialist in internet and digital media law at Manhattan’s Thompson Bukher, Engoron will consider the strength of Highland Capital’s defamation claim and whether the investment firm suffered irreparable harm because of the poster’s statement.
“These requests are routinely granted in cases where it is clear to the judge that there is likelihood of success” in the underlying claim, Bukher said. “It seems to me the statement [by “Low”land Realist on Dealbreaker.com] would likely be defamation. A defendant may argue it’s an opinion but a statement that someone is involved in criminal activity is, on its face, defamation per se.”
The full article is available at the New York Law Journal (subscription based).
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