Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Professor sues former student over online comments, claims defamation

Who doesn't hate to be criticized on how they do their job? Professors, however, have a special beef about this, since websites like "ratemyprofessor.com" and others allow students to rank professors.

But one student took it too far. In a civil suit filed in a Wisconsin circuit court, a tenured University of Wisconsin professor says that a former student’s extensive online commentary about her teaching amounts to defamation -- not protected speech. She says the student, after being dismissed from the university, “engaged in an intentional, malicious and unprivileged campaign” throughout 2013 to besmirch her reputation. She says it resulted in “substantial economic, reputational and emotional injuries,” and she’s seeking an unspecified amount in damages.

Article here (via taxprofblog). 

5 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Professor Sally Vogl-Bauer's lawyer, Timothy [[ Edwards released a statement: “Students have a right to express their opinion, but when you go so far beyond that, into a concerted effort to attack somebody’s reputation because things didn’t go your way, that’s much different.” ]]


    I was the defendant in a defamation lawsuit, David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion (Minnesota Supreme Court A11-1154, 2013). Timothy Edwards comments about Ms. Sally Vogl-Bauer's intentions to welcome criticism but sue defamation cause me to think "been there, done that, got the Supreme Court dismissal."


    The Duluth News Tribune in June 2010 said this about Marshall H. Tanick of
    Hellmuth Johnson: Minneapolis attorney Marshall Tanick, in a phone interview,
    alleged that Laurion defamed his client in several ways, including posting
    negative reviews of McKee on various websites. The basis for the lawsuit is the
    defamatory statements that were made on websites and to other sources, Tanick
    said. However, by no means does Dr. McKee want to in any way prevent or affect
    any kind of communications that may be made to the Board of Medical Practice or
    any other regulatory agencies. The purpose of the lawsuit is to prevent
    defamation being made on the websites and through other sources.


    Sounds familiar to the present case, eh?

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  3. [EARLIER POSTER] I was the defendant in a defamation lawsuit, David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion (Minnesota Supreme Court A11-1154, 2013). Timothy Edwards comments about Ms. Sally Vogl-Bauer's intentions to welcome criticism but sue defamation cause me to think "been there, done that, got the Supreme Court dismissal. [END QUOTE]

    Maybe Sally Vogl-Bauer will learn to vocalize understanding of the Streisand Effect.

    This is from an April 4, 2014, Buzzfeed article by Jake Rossen.

    [Excerpt begins] David McKee, M.D., a Duluth, Minn., neurologist, was unaware of the Streisand phenomenon at the time he decided to sue Dennis Laurion. Laurion’s father, Kenneth, had suffered a stroke in April 2010; McKee was called in to assess Kenneth’s condition.

    According to the Laurions, McKee was oblivious to Kenneth’s modesty. “His son was right there,” McKee counters. “If he was concerned about the gown, he didn’t get out of his chair to tie it.”

    Dennis Laurion consulted with his family to see if his impression of the arrogant doctor was real or imagined. He fired off a dozen or more letters to a variety of medical institutions, including the hospital’s ombudsman, the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice, Medicare, and the American Medical Association.

    McKee sued Laurion for defamation. A local Duluth newspaper picked up on the story, favoring Laurion’s interpretation of events.

    In April 2011, the judge granted Laurion’s motion for summary judgment, ruling his comments were protected free speech. A user on Reddit.com posted the newspaper story. Almost overnight, dozens of “reviews” popped up on RateMDs.com and other sites with outlandish commentary on McKee, who was referred to as “the dickface doctor of Duluth.”

    McKee found no easy way to exit the situation. “You get drawn in,” he says, suggesting his lawyer nudged him into further action. “It’s throwing good money after bad. … I wanted out almost as soon as I got in, and it was always, ‘Well, just one more step.’” McKee appealed, and the summary judgment was overturned. The case, and the measurable impact of being labeled a “real tool,” was now headed for the Minnesota Supreme Court.

    McKee was rated for several years as a top provider in Duluth Superior Magazine, but “From now until the end of time, I’ll be the jerk neurologist who was rude to a World War II veteran,” the physician says. “I’m stuck with it forever.” [Excerpt ends]

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  4. IS A SETTLEMENT IN THE WORKS FOR VOGL-BAUER V. LLEWELLYN?

    Anthony Llewellyn now has three lawyers, Andrew Price, Kate E. Maternowski, and Laura Brenner . Jury trial is still scheduled for SEP 15 - SEP 17, 2014, in the Walworth County Judicial Center Courtroom of the Honorable Phillip A Koss; however, it is hard to find any of Anthony Llewellyn's videos online. IS HE TAKING THE VIDEOS DOWN?

    Sally Vogl-Bauer apparently had her pre-trial hearing AUG 20, 2014. It is no longer listed on the pending court docket.

    Visit http://wcca.wicourts.gov/index.xsl . Click agree.

    On next page enter name = Llewellyn,

    County = Walworth,

    Case Number = 2013CV001140.

    You'll see suit history and public data about Sally Vogl-Bauer and Anthony Llewellyn.

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  5. SALLY VOGL-BAUER V. ANTHONY LLEWELLYN IS CLOSED

    Jury trial is no longer scheduled for SEP 15 - SEP 17, 2014, in the Walworth County Judicial Center Courtroom of the Honorable Phillip A Koss. HAS ANTHONY LLEWELLYN TAKEN THE VIDEOS DOWN?

    Sally Vogl-Bauer apparently had her pre-trial hearing AUG 20, 2014. It is no longer listed on the pending court docket. The case status is now shown as "Closed."

    Visit http://wcca.wicourts.gov/index.xsl . Click agree.

    On next page enter name = Llewellyn,

    County = Walworth,

    Case Number = 2013CV001140.

    You'll see suit history and public data about Sally Vogl-Bauer and Anthony Llewellyn.

    This probably won't appear in newspapers since it settled.

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