Well, let’s see how this plays out, as Johnson v. Gawker stumbles toward some kind of resolution.
On Monday, a federal judge issued very plain and detailed instructions for the lawyer representing Chuck C. Johnson in his $66 million (now amended to a lesser figure) libel/defamation suit against Gawker Media. The judge was expecting separate responses to Gawker’s separate motions to strike the complaint and dismiss or move the complaint to another venue, and required the responses to be no more than 20 pages long. The deadline was midnight tonight.
UPDATED: Indeed, Johnson’s attorney John C. “Jonathon” Burns filed two responses, each within the stipulated page limit, to Gawker’s motions. [See below for links and texts.] Additionally, he filed a proposed first amended complaint, which at 54 pages is a somewhat condensed version of the 111-page tome he filed last weekend. It rehashes much of what was in his previous filings, but now asks for $2 million in compensatory damages for three separate reasons and $20 million in punitive damages.
That’s a new discounted price of $26 million!! Order now! Operators are standing by.
Instead, John C. “Jonathon” Burns filed a 54-page proposed first amended complaint (see below for full text). It rehashes much of what was in his previous filings, but now asks for either $2 million or $20 million in damages, depending on what page you’re on.
In other words, Chuck is hoping to salvage a lost cause. This is certainly not going to destroy Gawker, as he as vowed on several occasions.
We’ll have more insightful analysis, or maybe just analysis, later today.
UPDATE 2: Actually not. The documents below are edited versions of the 111-page colossus already filed last week, so there’s not much new here. One new wrinkle, however, is near the end of the amended petition, where plaintiffs have the, um, novel argument that defendants infringed on their 14th amendment rights by shielding “Unpaid Content Creators” (aka anonymous commenters) from recovery, meaning Johnson can’t sue them, too.
We figure the judge will have a good laugh over that one.
UPDATE 3: In addition to the documents appended below, Burns & Johnson filed several memoranda and supplemental memoranda in support of their responses and petition, as well as 42 exhibits. Included in the exhibits is the famous affidavit of Charles C. Johnson, already referenced here at GotNwes. We are glad this piece of historic prose will not be lost from the American system of jurisprudence.
[The previous set of more than 100 exhibits, totaling 800 pages or so, were stricken from the record by order of the judge. Those included the Johnson affidavit of non-floor pooping, non-sheep fucking, non-lying ever.]
Since we do not have full access to PACER, we are only guessing here, but we figure the total number of pages filed Thursday night probably totals about 100 pages. That’s not quite what the judge had asked for. Just sayin’.
Documents galore follow.
The 54-page proposed first amended complaint.