This amicus brief is filed on behalf of various print and Internet media outlets in Michigan on behalf of the defendant, John Doe, an anonymous blogger that has leveled harsh criticism against the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, MI.
Cooley Law School has sued the anonymous blogger for defamation in the Ingham County Circuit Court. The law school is represented by the Miller Canfield law firm of Detroit, MI. Miller Canfield has issued subpoenas in both Michigan and California, where the anonymous blogger's internet service provider is headquartered. The defendant has sought to quash the subpoenas.
This brief surveys the long history and common law of anonymous criticism and the First Amendment protections of anonymous critics. As this case involves anonymous Internet-based criticism, it appears to be an important case of first impression.
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