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Russ Whitney dismisses the first of the three lawsuits he filed against John T. Reed On April 29, 2003, Russ Whitey filed a motion in court to dismiss the lawsuit he filed against me on June 25, 2002. The motion was granted on May 5, 2003. This is not an out-of-court settlement. It is the equivalent of Whitney telling the court, "Never mind about that lawsuit I filed last June. I changed my mind." The other two suits are still going on He is still suing me in Fort Lauderdale for tortious interference with a business relationship and in Miami for defamation. About all the dismissal accomplishes is eliminating the trademark claims for using Whitney' name at my Web site without his permission. (You don"t need the permission of a public figure to use his name in comments about him or comparative advertising.) The libel claims in the first lawsuit live on in the form of the tortious interference with a business relationship claim in Fort Lauderdale"”which is based on the same facts and has the same plaintiffs (Whitney and his publicly-owned corporation) and defendant (me), so the dismissal of the first case does not mean much. Celebration? Is the dismissal a cause for celebration? Nah. Don"t mean nothin". It' probably just some tactical orr strategic ploy to gain some advantage. The trademark claim was always garbage. It was just a bluff to see if I was dumb enough to think I had to remove all mention of Whitney from my site"”their real goal all along"”because of trademark law. Stop my investigation? Does the dismissal of the first suit mean I am going to

stop my investigation of Whitney? No way! The guy is still suing me in two courts. I need to dig up as much evidence as I can to prepare for trial in those suits. New York Times vs. Sullivan Dismissing the libel is probably because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision called New York Times vs. Sullivan. That decision established that public figures like Whitney and his corporation must meet extremely high standards to win a libel suit against a media defendant like me. Most laymen think libel is a published false statement that hurts the guy it' about. Not when he' a public figure and the statement is in the media. In that case, the plaintiff must prove not only that the statement was false, but also that the publisher knew that it was false or recklessly disregarded whether it was false. Furthermore, the plaintiff must prove that to a "clear and convincing" standard, which is significantly higher than the normal "preponderance of the evidence" standard in civil cases. "Preponderance of the evidence" means proving to a 50.1% probability that you are right. "Clear and convincing" is a higher standard, but there is no probability percentage established for it. Apparently, Whitney thinks he can sue me for libel, but call it tortious interference with a business relationship, and thereby avoid New York Times vs. Sullivan. I suspect that the doctrine of substance over form (The courts don"t care what you call it, only what it really is.) and judicial sensitivity to First Amendment issues will prevent Whitney from getting away with that. Does Whitney withdrawing this suit mean I won? Nope. It means the "game" was cancelled. There can be no winner or loser unless you "play the game." John T. Reed Copyright 2003 by John T. Reed Last update 5/4/03 John T. Reed, a.k.a. John Reed, Jack Reed, 342 Bryan Drive, Alamo, CA 94507, Voice: 925-820-7262, Fax: 925-820-1259, www.johntreed.com

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