Attorney Ben Carter, who practices at Morris & Player PLLC, knows a secret that has been the talk of Kentucky’s political junkies for weeks; the identity of the person or persons who created the Jake Payne Watch website.
Carter is representing him/her/them.
On Monday, May 16 at 8:45 a.m. in Judge Barry Willett’s courtroom, Carter will step forward to make a motion to quash the subpoena political blogger Jake Payne filed April 14 to force the Jake Payne Watch creator/creators to reveal themselves so Payne can sue them for defamation.
While he will be representing whoever is behind Jake Payne Watch, his client/clients won’t attend, Carter said.
Asked if he was ready to give Insider Louisville the big scoop, he said, “Ah, no.”
In the motion to quash filed yesterday, people/persons behind Jake Payne Watch will ask Willett to dismiss Payne’s suit citing, among other things, lack of jurisdiction over the defendant(s) and failure to state a claim “on which relief can be granted,” according to court documents.
Then, in April, the creator(s) began making claims of “bombshell revelations” about Payne including allegations about enhanced credentials and charges Payne tones down his criticism of pols after they started advertising with him.
As part of Monday’s preceding, Carter said, he’ll ask Willett to set up a briefing schedule during which he can explain to the judge his client(s)’ positions on freedom of speech issues.
“The issue will be whether Jake’s case has enough merit to justify trampling on someone’s right to speak anonymously on the Internet,” he said.
“My client or clients are comfortable with what they said on the website,” Carter said. “They’re confident a jury would understand our story if it ever comes to telling it.”
Payne’s attorney Daniel Canon declined to discuss new developments in the case.
The case is scheduled for a hearing in July on an injunction Canon filed requiring Jake Payne Watch creator(s) to reveal themselves and take down defamatory language.
Though Internet speech issues are new to Kentucky, Carter said there is case law out there from other areas.
But even the case’s title, complete with email addresses, introduces Internet and speech issues into local courts for perhaps the first time: “Jacob Payne versus Anonymous Bloggers, aka [email protected] and Jake Payne Watch @Jakepaynewatch.com.”
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