Gawker asks court to ban lawyers for former unpaid interns from using Reddit to promote their lawsuit
This past weekend, I reported that lawyers acting for Gawker's army of unpaid former interns had asked for the court's permission to promote their upcoming class action suit on Reddit. Their plan included posting on at least one subreddit affiliated with Gamergate.
It didn't take Gawker long to object.
The company's lawyers have written to Judge Alison J. Nathan and asked not only that the lawyers be blocked from targeting Gamergate subreddits, but barred entirely from promoting the suit on Reddit.
In their letter to the court, Gawker's lawyers at Proskauer argued that:
[P]laintiffs’ plan with respect to Reddit is calculated less to reach potential collective members than to connect this lawsuit with unrelated controversies and political causes. For example, the topic “KotakuInAction,” where Plaintiffs propose to post, centers around criticism of commentary that a Gawker editor made in October 2014 related to a controversy known as GamerGate, which had nothing to do with interns or any remotely related subject... The Court specifically mentioned Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter in its November 3 Order. There is little to be gained by posting information about this case on Reddit as well, and the Court should deny this request.But there's more. The letter also asks the court to significantly restrict how lawyers for the unpaid interns can use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Tumblr.
First, Plaintiffs should be limited to a single general tweet, and a single direct message to any individual known to be a former Gawker intern. Gawker proposes the most neutral of those suggested by Plantiffs: “To join the collective action lawsuit brought by former Gawker interns, please visit GawkerlnternLawsuit.com for more information...”
First, the [LinkedIn] Group Profile should simply direct individuals to a copy of the approved notice, without further discussion of the case (and without the invitation to phone Plaintiffs’ counsel). The purpose of the social media presence is to get the Court-approved notice to potential collective members, and the LinkedIn group should not do more than that...
Also, as with LinkedIn, the Facebook page description should simply direct readers to a copy of the notice, without additional narrative. Finally, to the extent that Plaintiffs communicate with specific interns, the sole content of that communication should be to provide a link to the court-approved notice – the equivalent of an envelope mailed to that person’s home address...
The Court should decline to permit posting of the notice on Tumblr. Tumblr is a collection of blogs (“Tumblr is blogs,” its home page declares). Permitting Plaintiffs to create a blog is equivalent to their creating a website, and Plaintiffs already have been permitted to create two of those – GawkerInternLawsuit.com and GawkerClassAction.com. There is no need for a third.Earlier today, lawyers for the interns wrote to Judge Nathan, asking that she allow them until Monday to respond to Gawker's letter before the court makes its ruling.