Lesher v. Doe defamation lawsuit

Lesher v. Doe defamation lawsuit

Posted in the McKinney Forum

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William Pieratt Demond

Grand Prairie, TX

#1 Feb 4, 2009
To Whom it May Concern,

My name is William Pieratt Demond, I am an attorney with the law firm of Connor & Demond, PLLC in Austin, Texas, and I represent Mark and Rhonda Lesher.

Please be advised that a lawsuit has been filed in the 348th District Court in Tarrant County Texas, in cause number 348235791-09 styled Mark and Rhonda Lesher v. John and Jane Does 1-178. In this lawsuit, the Leshers are seeking (among other things) compensatory and punitive damages for defamation, defamation per se, and libel per se arising out of certain postings that have appeared on the Topix.com website. A copy of the petition is available online at www.connordemond.com/lesher-v-doe-petition.ht... .

We are in the process of identifying the persons who have made these postings. In particular, we are serving a subpoena on Topix.com seeking certain documents, electronically stored information, and associated metadata.

On February 4, 2009, the Tarrant County District Court issued an order to obtain this subpoena from Topix.com . Under the Court’s order, we are required to advise you that any objections as to the form of the letter rogatory, the scope of the subpoena, or any other objections be served on Connor & Demond, PLLC, 701 Brazos, Suite 500, Austin, Texas, 78701 and filed with the Court by 5:00pm CST, February 18, 2009. If objections are filed, a hearing will be set. The Court also stated that if no timely objections are made by that time, any errors will be waived.

To those persons who have made these libelous postings, I strongly encourage you to cease and desist your activities at once. Please also be advised that the Leshers intend to pursue the individuals who made these postings to the fullest extent of the law. If you would like to discuss a settlement of this matter, I invite you to contact me 1) in writing and 2) through your attorney. Any settlement negotiations that are not completed by 5:00pm CST on March 6, 2009 will be terminated.

Finally, please be advised that my clients have authorized me to offer conditional immunity to the FIRST Defendant who can provide the name, address, and telephone number of the person(s) using the pseudonym “lou” in the relevant Topix.com communities. This offer does NOT extend to 1) the person(s) using the pseudonym “lou”, 2) the person(s) using the pseudonyms of “ilbedipt”,“awareness”,“see it all”, or any other pseudonyms that person may be using, or 3) anyone in the Coyel family. This offer will expire upon my receipt of this information from any source (be it independent investigation, discovery, witnesses, Defendants, or otherwise). Furthermore, this offer is only available to parties that contact me 1) in writing and 2) through your attorney.

Thank you for your attention.

Best regards,
William Pieratt Demond
Connor & Demond, PLLC
701 Brazos Street
Suite 500
Austin, Texas 78701

www.connordemond.com
Allen

San Antonio, TX

#2 Feb 4, 2009
Good for you. Now its time for lawyers to follow suit on behalf of McKinney Police, the victim of relentless malicious verbal attacks designed to destroy public trust and disseminate fear. For too long Topix.com (knowingly or not) has condoned abuse of the first amendment. Even worse is the appearance that Topix.com continues to allow a moderator of these very threads the right to manipulate McKinney Topix. Even more outrageous is Topix.com allowing the moderator of at least one of the McKinney Topix to exploit the privacy of posters by tracking IP addresses for the purpose of retaliation. Good for you. Its time someone stood up to Topix.com and the abusers they condone. Its time someone starts the ball rolling.
BS Called

UK

#3 Feb 5, 2009
Personally I have absolutely nothing to do with nor have I written about these poor people. However, upon reading post number two, the following comes to mind.

Topix should pursue the libelous statements made against them in post #2, such as

"Even more outrageous is Topix.com allowing the moderator of at least one of the McKinney Topix to exploit the privacy of posters by tracking IP addresses for the purpose of retaliation".

For something to be either libel or slander it must first be provably untrue, such as the statement made above. By definition, something true can not be either slander or libel.

The statements apparently made against these poor people were apparently proved untrue and malicious and they were attacked with untruths specifically by name in writing. Seems the same has just been done against Topix which is a legal "person" with the same legal rights.

Aren't the Lesher's simply private citizens as opposed to public servants? The latter who are open to criticism by the public and also largely immune from prosecution for crimes they commit.

Who is this moderator and what proof do you have for these libelous statements against Topix, such as "tracking IP addresses for the purpose of retaliation". No company would do that.

I call B.S. Are you sure you have not made libelous statements as well as slanderous ones? At the very least you should be banned from the site.

As for the Leshers, good to see you are protecting your good names, and I hope you win.
Marjorie K Rawlings

Secaucus, NJ

#4 Feb 5, 2009
Allen wrote:


Even more outrageous is Topix.com allowing the moderator of at least one of the McKinney Topix to exploit the privacy of posters by tracking IP addresses for the purpose of retaliation.

Its time someone stood up to Topix.com and the abusers they condone. Its time someone starts the ball rolling.
Since "Roboblogger" is the automated moderator and editor of this city's site - not a person - your statements against Topix.com are simply not true.

Since you have falsely accused Topix.com in writing of unethical business practices "for the purpose of retaliation" you, yourself appear guilty of libel.

You have been reported for making false libelous statements against the company be careful of that ball rolling over you whomever you are.
For Marjorie K Rawlings

San Antonio, TX

#5 Feb 8, 2009
John, why do you write under women's names and why do you call men and women honey and why do you suppose anyone would think you're a Topix moderator and isn't it funny that you were the only one to protest? Just wondering. http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/d...
For Marjorie K Rawlings

San Antonio, TX

#6 Feb 8, 2009
John, why do you take on women's personas? And why do you suppose anyone would think you're a Topix moderator and isn't it odd that you were the only one to protest? http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/d ...
For Marjorie K Rawlings

San Antonio, TX

#7 Feb 8, 2009
lol don't make me ask again John, just answer the questions.
BuzzardsRoosting

Asheville, NC

#8 Feb 9, 2009
William Pieratt Demond wrote:
To Whom it May Concern,
My name is William Pieratt Demond, I am an attorney with the law firm of Connor & Demond, PLLC in Austin, Texas, and I represent Mark and Rhonda Lesher.
Please be advised that a lawsuit has been filed in the 348th District Court in Tarrant County Texas, in cause number 348235791-09 styled Mark and Rhonda Lesher v. John and Jane Does 1-178.
Having read much of the scurrility posted I am so glad to see buzzards coming home to roost on the shoulders of the cowardly anonymous posters who thought they were safe to commit malicious libel behind their screen names. I do hope that arrest and bail are available to the plaintiffs as they would be in my state and are asserted against the slanderers with the full force of the law.
__________

Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine,'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.
William Shakespeare,_Othello,_ Act 3 scene 3

Hates sexual predators

Tacoma, WA

#9 Feb 11, 2009
This revolting sexually deviant couple should be stoned in public. What a disgusting and shameless group of miscreants. So due to your own actions others mock and judge you on the internet?

Boohoo you are lucky to not be rotting in prison. You people disgust me. You have shamed your entire city with your vomit inducing behavior.
2 Hates sexual predators

San Antonio, TX

#10 Feb 11, 2009
Are you manipulating IP addresses in the hope of framing innocent people into a lawsuit? If so you've just committed a felony. If not,
zeb

Tahlequah, OK

#11 Feb 12, 2009
In my opinion the judge in this case is a pea-brained gooberhead.
Ashley

AOL

#12 Feb 13, 2009
I have had 3 people who post on topix try and locate me through my AOL server, but was not sucessful. I had to ask AOL to get that information. I do not consider this to be topix fault in any way whatsoever! People should beware that when you choose to post on message boards like this, you don't know who you are posting to and you should be careful about what you post. Behave yourselves!!!
I do not believe that remaining anonymous is somehow bad, I think its smart! I don't want anyone knowing my true identity when I post here. Who knows who else might try and track me down? That's just scary to me.
I know nothing about this particular case, but the fact that this couple would get a Lawyer and sue the individuals that post here, shows how determined they are and it certainly brought up a good point when highlighting message boards like this one that talk about other people's cases, the outcome should be interesting.
d day

Germany

#13 Feb 14, 2009
William Pieratt Demond wrote:
To Whom it May Concern,
My name is William Pieratt Demond, I am an attorney with the law firm of Connor & Demond, PLLC in Austin, Texas, and I represent Mark and Rhonda Lesher.
Please be advised that a lawsuit has been filed in the 348th District Court in Tarrant County Texas, in cause number 348235791-09 styled Mark and Rhonda Lesher v. John and Jane Does 1-178. In this lawsuit, the Leshers are seeking (among other things) compensatory and punitive damages for defamation, defamation per se, and libel per se arising out of certain postings that have appeared on the Topix.com website. A copy of the petition is available online at www.connordemond.com/lesher-v-doe-petition.ht... .
We are in the process of identifying the persons who have made these postings. In particular, we are serving a subpoena on Topix.com seeking certain documents, electronically stored information, and associated metadata.
On February 4, 2009, the Tarrant County District Court issued an order to obtain this subpoena from Topix.com . Under the Court’s order, we are required to advise you that any objections as to the form of the letter rogatory, the scope of the subpoena, or any other objections be served on Connor & Demond, PLLC, 701 Brazos, Suite 500, Austin, Texas, 78701 and filed with the Court by 5:00pm CST, February 18, 2009. If objections are filed, a hearing will be set. The Court also stated that if no timely objections are made by that time, any errors will be waived.
To those persons who have made these libelous postings, I strongly encourage you to cease and desist your activities at once. Please also be advised that the Leshers intend to pursue the individuals who made these postings to the fullest extent of the law. If you would like to discuss a settlement of this matter, I invite you to contact me 1) in writing and 2) through your attorney. Any settlement negotiations that are not completed by 5:00pm CST on March 6, 2009 will be terminated.
Finally, please be advised that my clients have authorized me to offer conditional immunity to the FIRST Defendant who can provide the name, address, and telephone number of the person(s) using the pseudonym “lou” in the relevant Topix.com communities. This offer does NOT extend to 1) the person(s) using the pseudonym “lou”, 2) the person(s) using the pseudonyms of “ilbedipt”,“awareness”,“see it all”, or any other pseudonyms that person may be using, or 3) anyone in the Coyel family. This offer will expire upon my receipt of this information from any source (be it independent investigation, discovery, witnesses, Defendants, or otherwise). Furthermore, this offer is only available to parties that contact me 1) in writing and 2) through your attorney.
Thank you for your attention.
Best regards,
William Pieratt Demond
Connor & Demond, PLLC
701 Brazos Street
Suite 500
Austin, Texas 78701
www.connordemond.com
Brilliant the trolls need stopped.
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/...
Mensa

San Antonio, TX

#14 Feb 14, 2009
d day: Except for the errors in logic and grammar, you're right. The sentence should have read: "Brilliant,(notice comma after Brilliant) the trolls (need to be) stopped. Also grammatically correct, but awkward, you could have said “Brilliant, the trolls needed stopping.” Next lesson: oxymoron. Get it?
Words Can Really Hurt Me

AOL

#15 Feb 17, 2009
What is really sad about this case, in my opinion is this: When news about this law suite broke, it developed 14 comments in 13 days on a local level. Not much of an interest. However, it developed 2037 comments in 4 days on a national level. It seems that the reputation of the Leshers was hurt much worse now than before, when nobody paid any attention. I think for the most part, when it was contained in the McKinney forum, the slander came from only 2-3 sources. Most of us saw it for the vile crap it was, then ignored it. Now it is really "out there" with a viewing audience of thousands.
Nathan Cox lincoln Ky

Jackson, KY

#16 Feb 18, 2009
For you to be fighting against the first admendmant and to be fighting against the laws in place to protect the identity of lawful Americans I declare you unAmerican dou che. I hope you make it as big as george bush when it comes to ripping freedom away from Americans, good day dou che.
OHagan 200

Houston, TX

#17 Feb 18, 2009
Someone wrote some ugly things about me on the wall of a rest area bathroom in Oklahoma.

Can I sue them?
Stuart

Dallas, TX

#18 Feb 18, 2009
Yes, you can sue me....uh, I mean them.
Linwood Smith

Denver, NC

#19 Feb 19, 2009
Words Can Really Hurt Me wrote:
What is really sad about this case, in my opinion is this: When news about this law suite broke, it developed 14 comments in 13 days on a local level. Not much of an interest. However, it developed 2037 comments in 4 days on a national level. It seems that the reputation of the Leshers was hurt much worse now than before, when nobody paid any attention. I think for the most part, when it was contained in the McKinney forum, the slander came from only 2-3 sources. Most of us saw it for the vile crap it was, then ignored it. Now it is really "out there" with a viewing audience of thousands.
The question is what damage was done to Lesher's law practice and to Lesher himself, and what damage was done to Rhonda Lesher's beauty salon and to Rhonda Lesher? When you unfairly call someone a criminal, and especially a violent felon who commits gang rape, and that person is innocent, you have committed libel per se. The law of libel per se presumes substantial damages and sends a message to the jury to render a ringing verdict, without even putting on evidence of loss of reputation in the community. Loss of reputation is presumed.

The piling on was shocking to me to see as many Topix posters in the local forums in and around Caldwell, Texas hurled mud at these two people. And when you sling enough mud, some of it will stick. Repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it. I don't know when I have seen such vicious abuse of two human beings.

The law with its imperfections permits a prosecuting witness to tell lies to a grand jury, and the public prosecutor is even invested with the discretion whether to punish those lies with an indictment for perjury. The witness later admitted to many of her lies, which she told under oath to the grand jury. The law does not permit, however, others in the surrounding communities to adopt those lies and enhance them with accusations of other sexual perversions, spreading herpes, and endless scurrility. This was a public assassination in a public forum.
Corner Lakewood

San Antonio, TX

#20 Feb 19, 2009
Are you that Linwood Smith? Also teaches (or did) bible study?

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