Briefing Begins in Hassell v Bird (Yelp)

  Last June, the Court of Appeal upheld a trial court ruling requiring Yelp to remove defamatory reviews that defendant Ava Bird had been ordered to remove.  In September, the Supreme Court agreed to the hear case.  Yelp’s initial brief and the Hassell Law Group’s answer have been filed.  Yelp is expected to file a reply brief…

Backpage Closes Adult Ads After Senate Report, But Scores Win in Supreme Court

Senate Committee Releases Report Condemning Backpage Last week, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations held a hearing to discuss the findings of its report titled “Backpage.com’s Knowing Facilitation of Online Sex Trafficking.”  The report found that: Backpage knowingly covered up evidence of criminal activity by systematically editing its so-called adult ads. Backpage knows that it facilitates prostitution…

Harris’ Parting Shot: Expanded Complaint Against Backpages

On Tuesday, California Attorney General Kamala Harris will be sworn in as the state’s new U.S. Senator.   Before leaving, however, she continued her war against Backpages.com and its executives over the publication of prostitution ads. As outlined previously, Backpage has been under increased scrutiny from Congressional investigators and state attorney generals, leading to the…

Backpage Wins Partial Victory in Criminal Case

We have previously reported about Backpage  executives being arrested and charged on felony charges of pimping a minor, pimping, and conspiracy to commit pimping by California Attorney General (and Senator-elect) Kamala Harris and Backpage’s effort to get the claim dismissed under CDA Section 230. Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman issued a tentative ruling in…

Backpage Invokes CDA Immunity in Fight Over Cal Criminal Complaint

Lawyers for the Backpage executives charged with pimping a minor, pimping, and conspiracy to commit pimping demanded that charges be dismissed on the grounds that the prosecution violates the First Amendment and is preempted by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. First Amendment Davis Wright Tremaine’s letter to Attorney General Harris contended that: The State cannot…

Backpage Loses Battle with Senate Committee

The Subcommittee Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations began its bipartisan investigation of human trafficking on the Internet in April 2015. The Subcommittee explains that With estimated annual revenues of more than $150 million, Backpage is a market leader in commercial sex advertising and has been linked to hundreds of reported cases of sex trafficking, including the…