New York’s Highest Court Agrees to Hear the Golb (Dead Sea Scrolls) E-Mail Impersonation Case

I blogged in January about the intermediate appellate court decision, which upheld Rafael Golb’s conviction for impersonating others in e-mails; I have now learned that on March 11, New York’s highest court agreed to hear the case (though that decision might not have become known until March 14).

This also adds another perspective on the e-mail from Clifford Rieders (Prof. Lawrence Schiffman’s lawyer) demanding that I remove the earlier post. That e-mail, dated March 13, stated, “I am advised that Mr. Golb has been convicted and appeals denied.” It seems quite likely that the author of the e-mail didn’t know and couldn’t reasonably know that Golb’s appeal had indeed been allowed two days before the e-mail was sent. But I would think that the fact that Golb’s lawyer was petitioning New York’s highest court for leave to appeal, and that the petition had not been denied, would have been knowable — and quite likely known — to those who were writing demand letters related to the Golb matter.

I e-mailed Mr. Rieders yesterday evening to ask for a comment on the matter, but have not yet heard back from him; I’ll post his response if I do get it.

UPDATE: Mr. Rieders called back and said they checked shortly before sending the e-mail, and didn’t know of anything then about the highest court’s grant of leave to appeal, or even that the petition for leave to appeal had been pending. I e-mailed this UPDATE to Mr. Rieders to confirm it with him (I’d read it over the phone during our conversation, but I wanted to check it in writing), and he thought this summary was inaccurate; I therefore thought that I’d instead just quote what he said in the return e-mail: “[A]t the time I sent you the email, there had not yet been any posting about the appeal which we explicitly checked for and the DA had not informed us that anything was pending at yet a second appellate level.”

FURTHER UPDATE: Mr. Rieders e-mails to add, “In the interest of integrity you should also state that this does not dilute our original message that impersonation is improper and those who aide and abet in impersonation may subject themselves to civil liability.” It is my pleasure to quote that.