Saturday, May 06, 2006



Moments ago, lawyers for the advertising agency suing MBA Member Lance Dutson filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal in U.S. District Court in Maine.The notice reads simply:"Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1), Plaintiff Warren Kremer Paino Advertising, L.L.C. hereby dismisses the above-captioned action without prejudice."The decision to withdraw the lawsuit comes on the heels of a withering media campaign orchestrated by the Media Bloggers Association on behalf of MBA Member Lance Dutson. Hundreds of bloggers responded to the MBA's call to arms and were joined by media outlets around the world in highlighting the heavy-handed tactics of the state contractor."As it should be, the story of 'Warren Kremer Paino and the Maine Blogger' is now a cautionary tale", said MBA President Robert Cox, "future potential plaintiffs would do well to consider WKP's experience in attempting to silence a blog critic through the Federal courts. Our message is simple: 'Don't Mess with the Bloggers'"A big round of thanks is in order for the lawyers who volunteered their time on Lance's behalf including MBA General Counsel, Ronald Coleman of the Coleman Law Firm, Greg Herbert of Greenberg Traurig and private attorney Jon Stanley. "This demonstrates precisely what we have said all along," said Coleman, "Suits like this are premised solely on the anticipation that there will be no push back from the little guy. Here, there was.""The plaintiff failed to understand it's a new world", said Stanley, "This is a text book case of how blogs work. This result could not have come about without the blogosphere. Lance's defense team was put together through the blogs and pressure was brought to bear on WKP through the blogs.""This is a great victory for the First Amendment and bloggers' rights, and Exhibit A in a future case study of 'How Not to Handle an Internet Critic''", said Herbert. "We are extremely gratified that Mr. Dutson will no longer have the threat of litigation having over his head and censoring his speech.""This will make the Cinco de Mayo celebration tonight that much sweeter (and may even mean it starts earlier) for the Dutson clan", noted Dutson on his blog, "Maybe there's something more profound I should be saying at this moment, but frankly, I'm going to go pick my wife up from work now, throw her in the car, and buy her a very large cocktail."Link to Lance Dutson post on Maine Web Report including a PDF of the Notice of Voluntary Dismissal. it/

Robert Cox

President Media Bloggers Association

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