Blogger resisting Anton Piller Search

October 31, 2009

(This provides the context for On Blogs and Searching for Evidence).

Introduction

I’m a blogger living in a country in Asia where the law is largely Common Law based (British legacy).  I had setup a blog on blogger.com for a community of parents (of which I am one) interested in a certain educational outfit here. (Please bear with me for the time being, for not revealing specific details beyond  “an Asian country” and “a certain educational outfit”. I assure you that this is all real!).

Armed with the blog, the blogging parents went about discussing many matters of interest to them, much of it about this specific education provider (“school”). Over several months, close to a hundred articles were posted on the blog, some of them very critical of the school’s handling of certain matters. For instance, when the school management tried to suppress one exam result which was unfavorable (and were heard beating a drum on other results which were better), the blog spoke out. Again, when it was found that the school management was not being truthful to parents about a loss of affiliation, and when they were justifying an increase in tuition and transport fees citing partial and incorrect information (misinformation?), the blog became a center of discussion on these matters.

The blog was open to comments and quite a lively discussion ensued on many topics. The house rules set it up as a community-moderated blog:  anybody could post comments, contest already expressed opinions,  object to comments stating grounds, etc. The school management was informed of the blog and was requested to join in the discussion; but they responded with a mass email to all parents asking them not to visit the blog as it was not their “official communication channel”. However, the management did track the blog closely and may even have posted a few comments on it (my guess — from the look of certain comments). To their credit they also did make some significant changes for the better, like appointing a new bus transport service provider, as the comments clearly documented how terrible the service was.

However, the real hard and persistent issues remained unresolved in the school. Gradually the interest in the blog waned as the problems remained, parents who had higher expectations found other schools, and I guess the remaining ones came to view it as a battle that cannot be won. The blogging exercise was almost written off as fruitless. Months went by without any articles being added. Only the “readers comments” remained alive and offered parents an avenue to speak out, now and then.

Several months passed by without event. I suspect that the management wanted to close off the blog for once and all. All on a sudden, this blogger was surprised by a legal attack by the owners of the school. The Statement of Claim filed in Court, cites a bunch of comments posted by readers, which they allege are defamatory.  Part of their claim was also that I had (or “may have had”) posted these readers comments myself !  The legal attack began with a Court order (a so-called Anton Piller order) to search my hard disk.  I am still objecting strenuously to these tactics, now with the help of a lawyer (and earlier representing myself in person).

(I know some of you may find it all surreal and really hard to believe, especially if you live in the US. However, this is real. The only reason I am not giving out further details is the legal situation).

As I mentioned, the blog in question is a community-moderated blog, in which readers’ comments do not go through any approval process.

One of the key points in my submissions to the Court, as regards the validity of the Anton Piller search, is that comments posted by readers (third parties) do not go through my computers (as comments do not need anybody’s approval), and will not leave any evidence in my hard disks.  I sought to write this up more clearly so that a Judge who may not have the technical background can understand the issue and appreciate why my hard disk should be the last place to look.  You can read that article at: On Blogs and Searching for Evidence“.

However, the plaintiffs’ are asking the Court to strike out my affidavit. Their reasons ? They say that my article (On Blogs and Searching for Evidence—  it is submitted as part of my affidavit) contains “various comments of a general and unsubstantiated nature relating to blogs, web links and the like”.  From there, they go on to say that the “whole of the Defendant’s affidavit should be struck off” … “as it contains nothing but opinion and conjecture”.  They also do not relish my being an “expert”. (See image).
What the plaintiffs say

The article that I wrote, which according to the Plaintiffs is “nothing but opinion and conjecture”, is at  On Blogs and Searching for Evidence.  It was written for a non-technical audience, no doubt; but “conjecture” ?

Please read and share your views there: On Blogs and Searching for Evidence

(C) 2009 All Rights Reserved.

12 Responses to “Blogger resisting Anton Piller Search”

  1. query Says:

    hello there

    so any relation to this reported story of IIPM

  2. fumigent Says:

    Good guess, but it isn’t IIPM. I might reveal more in the months to come!


  3. I believe that is one of the so much vital information for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But should observation on some common things, The
    web site style is ideal, the articles is in point of
    fact great : D. Good task, cheers


  4. It’s very simple to find out any matter on web as compared to books, as I found this paragraph at this web site.

  5. cardio Says:

    Hello very cool web site!! Man .. Excellent ..

    Superb .. I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds also?
    I’m happy to find numerous helpful info right here in the
    post, we need develop more techniques on this regard,
    thanks for sharing. . . . . .


  6. Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it
    was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say,
    I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to
    the whole thing. Do you have any recommendations for
    novice blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.


  7. Wow, amazing weblog format! How long hav you been running a blog for?
    you make blogting glance easy. The full look of your web
    site is great, let alone tthe content material!

  8. driller Says:

    Excellent beat ! I wish to apprerntice while you akend your web site, hoow
    can i subscribe for a blog website? The accout helped me
    a acceptable deal. I had been tinyy bit
    acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

  9. Goldie Says:

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and
    challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday. It’s always exciting to read through content from
    other authors and use something from other sites.


  10. This website was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something which helped me.

    Thank you!


  11. Of course the selection of the gowns need to be properly chosen so that the effect
    to the body will be nice. But the fat females at times get the
    confusion in deciding on to the wedding dress.

  12. Lester Says:

    It’s great to see all this useful information on dog training.
    I have a concern though. How do you train a younger dog?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: