Judge Orders Attorney to Identify Client
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A Los Angeles judge has ordered the attorney for an anonymous defendant to identify a now-deceased client who targeted actor James Woods with Twitter insults.

Woods sued the John Doe defendant last year after the Twitter user, who went by the name “Abe List,” called him a “cocaine addict.”

The Twitter user died since the lawsuit was filed. His attorney, Ken White had argued that the case should have been thrown out, as the insults were part of protected political speech. But the motion to toss the case was denied.

“This is a significant step forward in our ability to recover the millions in damages caused by John Doe’s cowardly Tweet,” said Woods’ attorney, Michael Weinsten of Lavely & Singer. “It also sends a message to others who believe they can hide behind the anonymity of online social media to falsely accuse public figures of heinous behavior without recourse to themselves.”

According to Weinsten, White has 10 days to disclose his client’s name in a sworn declaration.

“Sometimes the bad guy wins in litigation,” White said via email.  “I remain proud that I defended Abe Doe against James Woods’ vexatious, petulant lawsuit complaining about a joke he’s used himself on Twitter.  I’m also pleased that the judge rejected his request for sanctions and turned down his demand to compel me to respond to a number of other questions.  Woods is a bully who can dish it out but can’t take it.  His claim that a patently satirical tweet damaged his reputation is preposterous.  It would be ridiculous for anyone not to hire him because of an obvious joke – but perfectly reasonable not to hire him because he’s James Woods.”

In a court brief last year, White accused Woods of harassing his client’s family. Included in one of White’s briefs was one of Woods’ tweets, after being informed that the John Doe defendant had died. “Screaming my name, I hope. Learn this. Libel me, I’ll sue you. If you die, I’ll follow you to the bowels of Hell. Get it?”

Woods, a prolific Twitter user, wrote on Tuesday, “Twitter’s worst users cherish the ability to defame from the shadows of anonymity. Twitter squeals “1st Amendment” only when profit calls.”

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