Thiel’s legal attack
What Silicon Valley could do about Gawker/Thiel
Dave Winer ☮

Hogan v Gawker isn’t about Freedom of the Press

I find your position (and the position of many others in Silicon Valley) very interesting. Normally, individuals who feel their rights have been abridged by a corporation face an uphill battle in court. Plaintiffs who lack the financial resources and can’t find a lawyer to finance their case simply must accept there is no justice for them. In the Gawker v. Hogan case you’ve got a $250M corporation with a $20M legal war chest from a Russian Oligarch (worth $18B) on Gawker’s side and a $10M legal war chest from Thiel (worth $2.8B) on Hogan’s side. Why is this an issue?

The biggest problem with the court system is that the rich often have an advantage over the poor when it comes to litigation. In this case both sides have all the resources necessary to adequately represent their position and rights. The judge, lower court, jury, and appellate court all ruled in favor of Hogan. This wasn’t the case of justice denied — it was a case of two rich billionaires backstopping the rights of two millionaires.

This isn’t a first amendment case — it is a case of wealthy individuals seeking justice. The court is very interested in protecting Constitutional rights — given the fact that both sides were well represented it would be hard to argue that justice wasn’t served. If you’re worried about justice denied you might talk to the thousands of African Americans who are current incarcerated for inadequate representation before you weep for millionaires like Nick Denton and Hulk Hogan. Please…

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