I’ll leave it to others to analyze the legal grounds for the TRO obtained by Sarah Palin and her publisher against the execrable people at Gawker.
These are, after all, the same people who went after Meg Whitman’s kids and bragged about it, who ran the “one-night stand” hit piece on Christine O’Donnell and bragged about it, and who created and spread the rumor of your supposed boob-job and bragged about it.
And they bragged when they stole a partial copy of your book, and they dared you and taunted you to do something about it, and you did.
But please don’t stop there. Your TRO is the equivalent of a routine metal detector screening. You found the box-cutter, and confiscated it. Good so far, but not enough.
You need to have your lawyers give the people at Gawker a full nude-body scan and junk fondling.
Uncover the networks, Sarah. For all of our benefit and amusement.
It’s called discovery. In a litigation your lawyers are entitled to e-mails, and all Gawker’s internal documents regarding not only this theft, but you. Because you will want to prove that their intent was to harm you and damage you, so everything they ever have written off-the-record, everyone with whom they ever have communicated about you, every strategy they have employed to take you down, now is fair game.
And your lawyers also get to take depositions under oath of the people at Gawker, and to subpoena for testimony others who may have relevant evidence as to the issue in the case. The Palingate people would be a good start.
Gawker has given you an opening large enough to drive a truck through. Please go there, if not for yourself, then for all the conservative women who have been targeted by Gawker and the other Gawkers out there.
And money will not be an issue. If your publisher will not foot the bill (do they want your next book, or not?), you could raise millions overnight for the legal fees.
There is a reason they don’t have lawyers act as TSA screeners. TSA screeners have consciences, lawyers do not.[*]
Oh, one last request. Please have your lawyers take pictures.
[* see my comment below]
Update 11-22-2010 – I didn’t have a copy of the Complaint at the time of this post, but it now is available. The Complaint is brought in the name only of the publisher HarperCollins, and as I suspected, puts intent in issue by claiming willful violation of the copyright laws and seeks punitive damages.
While the current plaintiff only is HarperCollins, I would think Palin would have some input if not control over the terms of the lawsuit and could insist on HarperCollins taking a hard line; additionally, Palin may have her own claims, which she could pursue, such as unauthorized use of her name for commercial purposes without permission. This situation clearly is distinguishable from post-publication commentary on a book.
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