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Thread: ISP libel suit

  1. #1
    Seasoned Pro strangeirish's Avatar
    Aug 2004
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    ISP libel suit

    Interesting story from the Indo today. Apologies in advance for posting the whole article, but it's an important suit and may have serious consequences for ISP's and the fact that you have to register to read it.

    Libel action may shut 'rate your solicitor' website
    THE controversial website which invites people to rate their lawyers is at the centre of a groundbreaking libel action that could see the internet portal shut down.

    A Co Clare man, alleged to have defamed a lawyer by posting offensive remarks on the internet, has been told by a High Court judge that he must do all in his power to have them removed from the website.

    Dublin-based barrister Jayne Maguire claimed John Gill, of Drumline, Newmarket on Fergus, had posted defamatory statements about her "of the most offensive and damaging nature both personally and professionally" on the website

    The barrister is seeking damages for defamation and breach of privacy and an interlocutory injunction restraining Mr Gill from continuing with publication of the statements on the site which she says is operated and administered by him.

    The High Court action is the opening salvo against online libel in the Irish courts and may extend to America.

    Yesterday, Judge Hanna also issued a direction that an American Internet Service Provider (ISP) which is host to be served with notice of the action unfolding at the Four Courts., an ISP based in Arizona, has now been notified that the Irish High Court has issued an order that defamatory material posted about Ms Maguire must be removed from

    Paul O'Higgins, for Ms Maguire, said he would be seeking to join seven other people to the proceedings.

    When he told the court that Mr Gill had ignored an interim injunction made against him last week and directing him to remove the offensive material from the website, Mr Justice Michael Hanna extended the injunction to include anyone with knowledge of the making of the order and in particular the seven people named by Mr O'Higgins in court.

    Mr O'Higgins had sought to have Mr Gilljailed for contempt of court. After a hearing of several hours, Judge Hanna adjourned both the interlocutory and contempt applications until October 5.

    The judge said Mr Gill should ensure that the "particularly offensive" remarks were removed - if necessary by the complete striking down of the website.

    Mr Gill, who claimed he had, over a number of years, been "robbed and defrauded of tens of thousands" by members of the legal profession, told the court he had never at any time published or permitted to be published or posted on the site anything whatsoever concerning Ms Maguire. He said Ms Maguire had told him during a telephone conversation it had been a colleague who had posted the material on the website.


    He said he had no means of removing anything from or any other website.

    Karyn Harty, a partner in McCann FitzGerald solicitors, stated in an affidavit she had discovered links to Mr Gill's name, home address and fax and telephone number through another website,, to which she had been directed by clicking "contact us" on the rateyoursolicitor site.

    Ms Maguire said she had been called to the Bar in 2001 and on September 6 it had come to her attention there had been published on a series of comments defamatory of her and which were wholly untrue.

    She had contacted Mr Gill, who had adamantly refused to remove the contents of the website as they related to her. He had also participated in a radio interview, giving further publicity to the allegations.

    She said that in a newspaper article in November 2005 it had been stated that Victims of the Legal Profession Society (VLPS) had bought the domain name and Mr Gill, as spokesman, had stated that the society planned to use the site to "list all rogue solicitors in our website".

    Mr O'Higgins said it had been stated on the internet yesterday that the VLPS had held a meeting on Tuesday evening in the Grand Hotel, Wicklow Town, and was holding another meeting last night in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny.

    He said there had to be contact between various people, including the seven he named in court and who Mr Gill claimed he did not have addresses for.

    Judge Hanna said it would probably take a day to have a full hearing into the matter.
    From by Dearbhail McDonald and Ray Managh
    Did you ever notice that in every painting of Adam & Eve, they have belly buttons. Think about that...take as long as you want.

  2. #2
    First Team
    Jul 2003
    The far end
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    I've read the posts by the guy & they are very bad. You couldn't let him away with it. He's posted about five or six times. Someone should have done something about it. The site & similat ones are open to abuse.

  3. #3
    Director dahamsta's Avatar
    May 2001
    The Internet
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    Site seems to be dead.

    strangeirish, I make an exception to the quoting whole articles rule for Tony O'Reilly's rags. Work away boy.


  4. #4
    First Team Billsthoughts's Avatar
    Jun 2006
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    I got into the site yesterday. a lot of the criticisms were very specific. as in spoke about specific incidents as opposed to just general "they are crap lawyers"
    they are mostly from people who have had bad experiences dealing with the firms in question.
    I think it is a useful site but as has been said doess seem a bit too open to abuse. it seems to allow anonymous posts.
    anyway....who would have thought that a site slagging off lawyers would lead to the courts.....

  5. #5
    Seasoned Pro Lionel Ritchie's Avatar
    Nov 2003
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    Hmmm ...lot's of sniping in the long grass going on there and some disgusting comments from cnuts I'd like to see taken out and shot too ..."Got me off a drunk driving rap. I'd be banned now but for him"

    If solicitors named here deserve justice to swing one way it'd be nice to see it swing the other as well. I'd love to see some of the cases here re-entered against these clowns.
    " I wish to God that someone would be able to block out the voices in my head for five minutes, the voices that scream, over and over again: "Why do they come to me to die?"

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