Internet Law Center Announces Victory against Serial Cyber Defamer;
Calls for Legislative Action
SANTA MONICA, CA–Nov. 15, 2011—The Internet Law Center, a law firm based in Santa Monica, California, announced today it had achieved a significant victory for its client Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc. (www.hopscotchadoptions.org) of High Point, North Carolina in a federal defamation action against Vanessa Kachadurian of Fresno, California, with an $85,000 settlement.
Hopscotch and its founder Robin Sizemore, filed suit against Kachadurian in federal court in Fresno in December 2009 in response to a vicious cyber-smear campaign that began in 2006. The plaintiffs were merely one of several adoption and educational institutions to be targeted for abuse by Kachadurian under multiple identities.
“It is a gutsy move for a small non-profit like Hopscotch to say ‘enough’ and take on someone like Kachadurian who can devastate a small business,” said Internet Law Center founder Bennet Kelley. This is especially true when, Kelley added, “cyber abuse often escalates online and leads to offline threats of violence in over one in four cases according to data compiled by WHO@ (www.haltabuse.org).”
“Small victories like these collectively send an important message that the internet is no longer the ‘Wild, Wild West’ and that you can and will be held accountable for your actions.”
Kelley noted, however, that “Kachadurian is part of a growing class of internet serial defamers who cause substantial economic and emotional harm to their victims and who have forced companies to spend millions on online reputation management to block and/or respond to such attacks.”
Kelley, who helped draft a primer on internet law for California policymakers, argued that lawmakers across the country should seriously assess whether their state’s defamation laws need to be updated to address these worst offenders.
Kelley added that, this may be a topic he explores in more depth in a future edition of Cyber Law and Business Report, a radio show he hosts that airs weekly on WebmasterRadio.fm.
About The Internet Law Center
The Internet Law Center (www.internetlawcenter.net) helps clients navigate and influence the evolving legal standards for the changing digital economy. The firm publishes the newsletter, Cyber Report, which won top prize at the Los Angeles Press Club’s 2011 Southern California Journalism Awards.
The firm was founded by Bennet Kelley, the former co-chair of the California Bar Cyberspace Committee, where he led the effort to publish Cyberspace Law and Policy: A Primer for State Policymakers.
Kelley is also Of Counsel to San Diego-based Hull McGuire PC (www.hullmcguire.com) and host of Cyber Law and Business Report which airs every Wednesday at 10AM Pacific/ 1PM Eastern on WebmasterRadio.fm. (www2.webmasterradio.fm/cyberlaw-and-business-report/).