If You Are An Attorney With A Client, We Can Help….
Unless you deal with internet cases everyday, then bringing litigation against internet defamation can be a time consuming, and expensive learning curve. Frequently, we get hired by attorneys to do the following:
- Capture IP information prior to subpoena’s being issued;
- Triangulate and physically ID defendant before suit is filed;
- Assistance with technically complex subpoena generation and data review;
- Assistance with Cause of Actions or other documentation beyond technical scope of your firm;
- Crystallizing strategy to capture all needed evidence.
Building internet cases is what we do, all day, every day. If your firm is new to this arena, we can help you.
VISIT OUR LITIGATION SERVICES WEBSITE: CyberInvestigationServices.com
ReputationDefenseOnline’s Litigation Services provide attorneys with the ability to help their clients track down their antagonists, and prove who is behind the attacks through identification of Ip addresses, fingerprinting and enumeration methods. We utilize (proven) technical subpoenas, TRO’s and Cause Of Action strategies that help bridge the gap between 20th century legal strategies and 21st century technological tactics.
Because of the perishable nature of the evidence and the need for highly technical requests from the ISP’s traditional subpoena requests will not typically work. Today those requests must contain highly detailed technical requests, and an understanding of how the internet works, as well as being able to understand the comprehensive counter measures that the antagonists take. Our services will save you your client time, energy and money with a positive outcome with actionable results.
Below is some information that may be useful to you:
Are You Aware That….
At RDO, we have the utmost respect for legal professionals and work with them on a daily basis. What we have found previously is that when legal professionals attempt internet defamation lawsuits without a wealth of experience in the subject, then they may miss some important concepts. Here is a helpful guide to minimize some of the problems caused by the uniqueness of internet lawsuits.
1. It Takes More Than A Subpoena To ID The Perpetrator:
One of the common tactics used when it cannot be proved who is defaming the client online is to use what is referred to as a Jane (or John) Doe Lawsuit. What this means is that the lawsuit is filed and then the attorney tries to obtain a subpoena to identify the person(s) responsible by getting information from ISP’s, Google, Facebook, etc. Many of these cases have been presented to the court and then dismissed because the plaintiffs team cannot clearly tie the defamatory actions to the identity of “Jane Doe”, which would then be supported by the evidence presented by subpoena.. In this case, the court can dismiss simple based on insufficient evidence. This can be avoided by an experienced team that understands how to put the case together and triangulate the suspect(s) before going to court.
2. Digital Subpoenas Are Highly Technical And Require Specialized Knowledge
We find that most attorneys have experience writing subpoenas in the offline world but are facing unforeseen challenges when they attempt to subpoena a complex organization like Google. Needless to say, most ISP’s will comply with the LETTER OF THE LAW, and that is assuming you have filed the subpoena correctly in the right state. For that reason the subpoena’s must be written in a highly technical manner asking for information that typically only an IT Specialist would understand. In addition it is important to know how each piece of evidence is handled, its digital shelf life, and what exactly to ask for. As an example, we have developed a 7 page, very detailed subpoena for Google and every bit of it is required language. If that language is not included, you could literally create a problem for your case. In highly specialized cases where attackers are hiding behind IP anonymizers, that information may only have a 2 week shelf life. Most attorney subpoenas we see are as short as two pages. There is almost no chance of getting what is needed from that subpoena. In addition, Google and others require domestication of the subpoena and we have seen some attorneys be totally unaware of that requirement and not get a response.
3. What Happens When Your Subpoena Hits A Dead End?
The common thought process, and is accurate sometimes, is that as an attorney you will obtain an IP address and from there, by going to the proper internet provider, then you will have your person. However, it is frequently not that simple. For even modestly sophisticated attackers online, they use a multitude of techniques to hide their true identity. So, as an example, by using a PROXY, the person doing the defamation can completely hide their true identity. Worse, this proxy may route through overseas sources so it becomes very difficult for the plaintiff team to get the true identity. Thus for ending in a potential dead end for the case. In reality, what the team needed was a cyber investigative member that is experienced in tracking down attackers that are trying to hide their identity through various electronic evasion tactics.
4. Your Subpoena May Kill Your Chances To Catch The Person.
We have seen cases that completely fall apart for one simple reason: when the attorney subpoenaed for information, it put the assailant on alert and they effectively destroyed any path to future evidence. A useful path that can be undertaken in the fact finding phase is called Ex Parte Discovery. In this case, information can be gathered without putting the person on alert. However, on the internet, the burden of proof is usually quite steep for your legal team to get this granted by the courts. In short, some serious digital evidence is typically needed to assemble the case prior to the beginning of the lawsuit that shows if the suspect is notified prematurely it could be extremely damaging to the client. We find that most attorney’s simply do not have the technical resources to develop this kind of evidence.
5. Anti-Slapp Lawsuit.
This one is pretty well known but can still catch you off guard if unprepared. In short, your client can find themselves responsible for the legal fees of the defendant, and a quick dismissal of your case, if insufficient evidence is assembled at the start of the case.
6. Perishable Evidence.
Realize that digital information is very PERISHABLE (typically 2 weeks to 6 months). There is a short time window for you to act in most cases. If your team is dealing with unfamiliar ground on the internet, this can totally take what was a very solid case to one that cannot be pursued. In addition it is very important to understand what the statute of limitations are for defamation in the state where the lawsuit will take place.
There is a lot more that goes into internet defamation lawsuits but this at gives you an idea of some of the major issues that can arise that differ from most attorney’s normal practice.