Judge Quashed SLAPP Against Blogger
In an unusual SLAPP, Kathleen Seidel, a New Hampshire blogger on vaccine and neurological issues, was served a subpoena commanding her to appear for deposition and to comply with exceedingly broad document production in a personal injury lawsuit she had written about on her blog.
The subpoena contained no accusation that Seidel had defamed anyone or violated any other legal rights. Instead, she was being dragged in as a third-party witness in a suit in which she had no part or specialized knowledge.
In this case, the use of the court as a weapon was so egregious that the judge not only quashed the subpoena, but ordered the lawyer who issued it to attend courses on ethics and federal discovery rules.
See Sykes v. Bayer, E.D. Va. No. 3:07CV660 (2007).