As I reported earlier, the Media Bloggers Association has stepped up to assisnt in the defense of Maine blogger Lance Dutson against the multi-million dollar federal lawsuit he has been served with by Warren Kremer Paino, the ad agency of record for the State of Maine Office of Tourism.
The MBA (disclosure: I am a board member) is working to publicize Lance’s case in an effort to shine a light on his accusers and their actions. Furthermore, the MBA’s legal council, Ronald Coleman, is participating in Lance’s defense of this action.
From the MBA’s announcement:
“This case is nothing more than an attempt by a deep-pocketed litigant to bully a blogger for criticizing state officials and state contractors””, said MBA President Robert Cox. “We have successfully defended MBA members in nine previous cases and I donÂ¹t expect the outcome here to be be any different.”
Dutson went public this morning with news of the lawsuit and provided key links here including his account of the events leading up to the lawsuit and the complaint served on Dutson by the local sheriff at his home in Maine. Dutson has vowed to fight.
“The idea that criticism of the state government can be defamatory is absurd”, said Dutson, “This attempt to bludgeon critics of the state government is not going to work.”
Through it’s legal defense initiative, the MBA provides member bloggers with “first line” legal defense, pro bono advice on how best to respond to legal threats related to the member’s blog.
“Bloggers don’t usually have an in-house legal department or high priced outside First Amendment counsel, but they’re at least as likely to need one as any MSM outlet. That’s where we come in,” said MBA General Counsel, Ronald Coleman of the Coleman Law Firm.