Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » IS THERE A LAWYER IN THE HOUSE?


Filed at 8:52 pm under by dcobranchi

I’ve been threatened with a lawsuit for defamation AND libel over a couple of old posts: http://cobranchi.com/?p=4885 and http://cobranchi.com/?p=4816

As far as I can tell, I’ve done nothing wrong. I posted a brief comment about a silly press release and linked to a Google cache of a rant about the Einstein Academy. Heck, I never even named names. Hardly libelous.


Comment by
May 3rd, 2005
at 9:18 pm

I may want a login to start posting here. You guys have all the fun 🙂

Comment by
May 3rd, 2005
at 9:21 pm

You were served legal papers or just an email saying they were going to sue you?
I don’t see anything wrong with it, unless of course you were mistaken that the company wasn’t the same that had the issues with EA? Anyone reading you has the right to make up their minds for themselves. You are writing a personal webblog, not publishing a national newspaper. I think libel lawsuits are for the pathetically insecure or the guilty.
*disclaimer: the above post was purely the unqualified opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official stance of the webblog owner nor any of his affiliates*
*batteries not included*

Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
May 3rd, 2005
at 9:25 pm

Just a threat so far.

Comment by
May 3rd, 2005
at 9:45 pm

What utter nonsense, but it fits their modus operandi. Daryl, be careful of these people – they’re capable of just about anything.

Chin up, ol’ boy. I’ll post information about this at my lists and blogs as yet another warning to steer clear of these nuts. (There, now let’s see if they threaten me too.)


Comment by
Bec Thomas
May 3rd, 2005
at 9:55 pm

What do they think they can sue for, throwing there own info back at them, I’d like to see them prove that 50% thing in court. That has been a question floating around since that article came out, where do they get their numbers.

Comment by
May 3rd, 2005
at 10:09 pm

Truth is an absolute defense to defamation and libel. You did nothing wrong and what they have done is send you a threat hoping you would stop. If they had a case you would have been served a lawsuit not threatened over the internet.

Comment by
May 3rd, 2005
at 11:45 pm

You really know you’ve arrived when folks want to sue you because you called them “wacky folks”? Maybe your post hit a little to close to home.
Nutjobs anyone?

Comment by
May 4th, 2005
at 12:48 am

Having been sued, and threatened, in the past, I believe the most efficient solution is to shoot the bastards. They are rarely such wonderful people that anyone will inquire after their sudden demise.

There are few problems that can’t be solved by intracranial lead administration.

Comment by
May 4th, 2005
at 2:34 am

Defamation is the issuance of a *false* statement about another person, which causes that person to suffer harm.

The only two items that you can’t prove are true are “wacky people” and the trademark issue. However, they both come under opinion. The one because you asked it as a question. The other, wacky people, is obviously an opinion.

Also, and most important to note, is the “fair comment on a matter of public interest”. Since they are already in court for fraud and so forth and they are opening the same business again, then it is in the public interest to know the details of their track record.

Plus you have the “poor reputation in the community” defense and all you’d have to show is the court cases and quotes from the linked e-mail.

AND, you can always bring out the big guns with the public figure defense (New York Times v Sullivan) and since they are public figures they bear the additional burden of proving “actual malice.” In other words, you would have had to have known the statement to be false, or issued the statement with reckless disregard as to its truth.

The good news, if they keep threatening you, YOU could sue for harassment

Lynda, who is not a lawyer, never played one on T.V. but typed enough briefs as a paralegal to quote them in her sleep.

Comment by
Mike Peach
May 4th, 2005
at 7:40 am

Hey Daryl

Be happy. Just think of the traffic spike this is going to bring you and the subsequent blog ads cheque.

I am jealous!

Comment by
Amy Cortez
May 4th, 2005
at 9:42 am

It always amazes me what tends to make people mad, but to go as far as to drag the already overburdened courts into the picture is just silly. I can’t imagine the precedent a case like this would set, especially for this cyber-frontier. Guys like Daryl do a great service to the rest of our community by using his energy to bring worthwhile information to light, in a humorous way. I suppose there’s just no reaching those who have overstarched shorts.

Comment by
May 4th, 2005
at 10:14 am

What everyone else said, sounds like a threat.

You could do a search for “SLAPP suit defamation.”

Or look here:


Since you’re a homeschooler, I also assume you don’t have tons of money someone serious about a suit would go after.


Comment by
Ann Lahrson-Fisher
May 4th, 2005
at 11:29 am

I’m no expert, but I still don’t see anything libelous in what Daryl wrote. Sarcastic, definitely, but so what?

Sarcasm and satire are protected speech, much to the chagrin of those who take themselves too seriously. Putting out press releases, as these “ones who must not be named” have done, is an act of free public speech, one that then affords others the opportunity to publicly respond and to agree, to disagree, or even to ridicule what was written. This is what Daryl has done.

Sorry to hear about this attack on you, Daryl. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

Comment by
Karen Leventry
May 5th, 2005
at 1:05 am

Dittoing Lynda and Ann. “Poor reputation in the community” is an understatement. Don’t worry, “you’ve got friends in Pennsylvania”.

Comment by
Juan Marron
May 7th, 2005
at 12:30 am

Listen, Cobranchi, don’t let these postings on the resurrection of Mimi Rothschild slide into the archives! There’s real danger in what’s going on and what you’ve been threatened with, and the troops are gathering to your aid. Let this slide under the rug and who knows who the next victim will be. The HSLDA already raised their voice on this situation – get them involved! Call the papers, rally the troops, contact the homeschool message boards. For Pete’s sake, man, call the ACLU if you have to!!! And keep us informed. Don’t let them push you around!

Comment by
May 9th, 2005
at 1:11 am

I belong to a list of homeschool web site owners. It’s where I heard about your troubles.

It seems to me very immatured and not very business savvy what they are doing. You are not the only one they’ve contacted. And the people they are contacting are all talking, making a bad situation for them worse.

No business can have a squeaky clean track record! And apparently they were involved in one massive screw up. If I were them I’d apologize, take my licks and move on.

I asked a couple of lawyer types and basically the consensus is that “they can always sue!” Whether they win or not is another issue.

It seems that they don’t have a case and if they continue to threaten then indeed you might have grounds. If you can document their activities. A paper trail is what you need to create.

You need to demand that all communication with you be done in writing, preferably to your own lawyer!

Then post their letters here to the blog and let us spawn it across the web ;-). They can create all their own bad publicity!

I wonder what would *HAPPEN* to them if some approx 250 web sites began posting all their shannanigans?

Anyway, keep us informed. I am going to reference this blog and a little history on the whole sordid mess ect., along with some info on what Charter schools are. They certainly are not homeschools! Even DMOZ agrees with that ;-)!