Cyber-Slapp Against

James Taranto reports on a plaintiffs lawyer's effort to stifle voices skeptical of a vaccine-autism link. (LvIP).

UPDATE: Walter Olson has more here, here, and here.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Anti-Vaccine Cyber-SLAPP Update:
  2. Cyber-Slapp Against
U just can't deprive Big Pharma of pofits.

BTW. Isn't the safety that must be proven, and all the rest IS A RISK?
4.10.2008 11:27pm
Brian K (mail):
Does anyone else find the specific mentioning of islam surprising? from the article: any "religious groups (Muslim or otherwise), or individuals with religious affiliations,

i've never heard of some kind of systematic involvement of muslims in the autism debate. am i missing something?
4.10.2008 11:31pm
Brian K: It's apparently not an unusual tactic. A guy I work with (happened to have middle eastern background) was involved in a minor traffic accident in Texas. He got sued; the plaintiff's lawyers did a deposition. A lot of the questions were about whether he had a connection to Saddam Hussein. Just trying to make him look bad.
4.10.2008 11:48pm
Brian K (mail):

thanks. that's what i thought it was but wanted to be sure.
4.11.2008 12:25am
Glad somebody brought up vaccination again. The search function wasn't useful in finding that last big post about the subject.

I want to ask if any of the people who supported parents refusing to vaccinate their children if their opinions have been at all affected by the recent measles outbreaks?
4.11.2008 12:35am
Ms. Seidel is very impressive, and I highly commend her blogsite to anyone interested in understanding what these cases claiming that a vaccine caused a child's autism are about.
4.11.2008 2:49am
Hmmm. Time for a SLAPPBACK suit. I once read that nobody's
ever lost a SLAPPBACK suit. Anyone know if that's true?
4.11.2008 8:08am
Dan Weber (www):
Sounds like she didn't take Volokh's advice about not generating income for her blog.
I receive $50-$100/month in commissions from for the sale of autism-related books and other merchandise. Since the site's inception in 2004, I have received approximately $600 in miscellaneous contributions from autistic adults and parents of autistic children. This minimal income has helped to defray but has not completely covered website operating costs. I have not otherwise been paid by any person or organization for developing or maintaining the website, for writing, or for my political advocacy or charitable work.
4.11.2008 11:42am
LM (mail):
Yeah, but Jenny McCarthy. Rrreooowww...!
4.11.2008 3:35pm
There are a number of excellent comments on this subpoena. For a recent one, see
the Wall Street Journal, BEST OF THE WEB TODAY, Cyber-Slapp, By JAMES TARANTO, April 10, 2008, at (This can also be accessed via

For the views of non-lawyer bloggers, see Respectful Insolence, articles entitled "David Kirby and Dan Olmsted respond regarding the abuse of subpoena power directed at Kathleen Seidel", "An open letter to David Kirby and Dan Olmsted about the Kathleen Seidel subpoena" and "More legal thuggery, this time against" and Dr. Novella's comment "Another Attack on Free Speech and a Science Blogger" at . For some background on Dr. Geier's appearances as an expert witness, see Prometheus's article "A Definition of Insanity" at

The comments also leave the impression that other professions aren't nearly as impressed with the legal profession as we are with ourselves: "98% of the lawyers give the rest a bad name."
4.11.2008 4:29pm
wfjag: The comments also leave the impression that other professions aren't nearly as impressed with the legal profession as we are with ourselves: "98% of the lawyers give the rest a bad name."
Do you disagree? Perhaps you think the estimate is off, and in fact it is more like 50% of lawyers who give the rest a bad name? Or, 75% who are an embarassment to the other 25%? Or, is that 98% and 2% totally flipped around, with 98% of the lawyers giv(ing) the rest a bad name? :)
4.11.2008 6:02pm
Liz Ditz (mail) (www):
I'm keeping a running list of responses to the Seidel subpoena at I Speak of Dreams. The Volokh Conspiracy has been added.

Oh, and the Muslim matter? Kathleen Seidel maintains an online "Sufi Cookbook and Art Gallery", Serving the Guest, "with essays and anecdotes on the historic and contemporary role of food, eating, meals and hospitality in Sufism, the mystical tradition of Islam". In other words, the mention of Islam is just another layer of intimidation.
4.11.2008 7:20pm