This First Amendment section is in honor of all victims of veterinary incompetence, negligence and malpractice who were then victimized a second time by arrogant, bully vets trying to silence the truth using their wealth and the legal system..
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
-- First Amendment, U.S. Constitution
For First Amendment Resources, scroll down
For information on the lawsuit Edward J. Nichols and Crestway Animal Clinic filed against me in their failed attempts to dismantle this site and obtain an unconstitutional injunction to try to prevent Suki's Story from being told, see the timeline here.
NOTE: Edward J. Nichols and Crestway Animal Clinic FAILED in their bullying and intimidation tactics to squash the truth of what that incompetent QUACK did to Suki. There is no judgment, ruling, verdict, gag order or court order controlling the content of this or any of my sites.
Never has been, never will be.
I stand by all original material on this site. It is protected under the freedom of speech, the First Amendment, and the greatest protection of all -- the TRUTH.
"Every time somebody tries to stifle speech, they end up advertising it."
-- Bruce Rogow, law professor
Equal justice under law is not just a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court building. It is perhaps the most inspiring ideal in our society . . . It is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability, without regard to economic status."
-- United States Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, Jr.
Do you know of a vet threatening legal action against a client? Please let us know and help us spread the word about lawsuits filed by bully vets trying to take away their own victims' First Amendment rights by strong-arming them into surrendering their freedoms rather than face an expensive court case.
If you are a First Amendment advocate interested in contributing research or knowledge to this project, or want to share your story
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU.
Also see: Help! My Vet Sued Me
Related First Amendment Resources:
"Public Citizen has been in the forefront of the legal defense of the First Amendment right to maintain a gripe site, defending against claims that challenge the domain names of gripe sites, the use of meta tags or other devices to call the public's attention to the sites, and baseless claims of libel or other torts that are invoked as a basis for shutting down critics."
eff.org - The Electronic Frontier Foundation
Protects rights to blog and post anonymously
ESPC v. Ebert
EFF blocked a brazen attempt to intimidate online critics by the Embroidery Software Protection Coalition (ESPC). ESPC asked the courts to unmask anonymous members of an online discussion group critical of the Coalition's actions. (The online group was created to share information about the ESPC's long-running campaign to threaten purchasers of embroidery designs and software with copyright infringement lawsuits.) When ESPC filed lawsuits against members of the group and subpoenaed personal information of every single person in it, EFF filed a motion to block ESPC's requests. ESPC then agreed to drop its attempts to unmask the users.
ACLU of Georgia v. MillerEFF defended free speech and anonymity online, helping to overturn a Georgia censorship statute.
In 1996, Georgia enacted a law barring online users from using pseudonyms or communicating anonymously over the Internet. EFF joined a coalition of groups in a suit that blocked the law's enforcement.
www.eff.org - The Electronic Frontier Foundation
American Civil Liberties Union - ACLU - "Free speech is crucial to the survival of democracy. Without it, government reigns unchallenged and humanity drifts from the pursuit of truth. That is why the ACLU defends the free expression of ideas, even those that are unpopular or offensive."
SLAPP suits - Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation
Short of a gun to the head, a greater threat to First Amendment expression can scarcely be imagined.
SLAPP Happy: Corporations that Sue to Shut You Up
"Initially we saw such suits as attacks on traditional 'free speech' and regarded them as just 'intimidation lawsuits,' " Pring and Canan state. "As we studied them further, an even more significant linkage emerged: the defendants had been speaking out in government hearings, to government officials, or about government actions. . . . This was not just free speech under attack. It was that other and older and even more central part of our Constitution: the right to petition government for a redress of grievances, the 'Petition Clause' of the First Amendment."
SLAPP suits threaten the very foundation of citizen involvement and public participation in democracy. "Americans by the thousands are being sued, simply for exercising one of our most cherished rights: the right to communicate our views to our government officials, to 'speak out' on public issue," state Pring and Canan. "Today, you and your friends, neighbors, co-workers, community leaders, and clients can be sued for millions of dollars just for telling the government what you think, want, or believe in. Both individuals and groups are now being routinely sued in multimillion-dollar damage actions for such 'all-American' political activities as circulating a petition, writing a letter to the editor, testifying at a public hearing, reporting violations of law, lobbying for legislation, peaceful demonstrating, or otherwise attempting to influence government action."
From The First Amendment Project www.thefirstamendment.org:SLAPP targets have been sued for engaging in a wide variety of protected speech and protected expression activities, including:
and, of course, putting up a website with personal opinions and experiences...
with an individual's right to protect one's own reputation, is the
constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech," she wrote.
"Consequently, statements that merely express opinion are not actionable as
defamation, no matter how offensive, vituperative or unreasonable they may
"Moreover, in the context of statements pertaining to issues of consumer advocacy, courts have been loath to stifle someone's criticism of goods or services," she added. "The courts have recognised that personal opinion about goods and services are a matter of legitimate public concern and protected speech."
Not all anti-SLAPP legislation is alike--it ranges from bare bones protection to laws that actually have some teeth to them to make rich, bully plaintiffs cough up their evidence BEFORE brutal and often invasive discovery begins against a helpless or poor defendant fighting to maintain his or her constitutional freedoms.
Check the list on the link above to see where your state stands
*Texas Passes Anti_SLAPP Legislation, check out SLAPPedinTexas.com
Companies sue to close gripe sites
"Companies that initiate this litigation know they probably
won't win but do it in hopes of silencing their critics anyway because,
obviously, it's very expensive to defend a case like this," Arkush said.
"The First Amendment protects consumer criticism and they can’t try to use the courts to silence the criticisms" - Arkush
Kathi Mills Wins Libel Suit Brought by Atlanta Humane Society
ATLANTA, June 3, 2005--The Court of Appeals of Georgia today dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Atlanta Humane Society against animal welfare activist Kathi Mills.
Read full article:
Said Kathi Mills in The Weekly, Atlanta: "More and more people are being sued for expressing opinions big companies don't like, and they are retaliating with lawsuits like this, designed to silence critics. My victory is a warning that Georgia citizens will not surrender our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and to petition our government for redress of grievances. We can fight these suits and we can win."
Related: SLAPP AHS! Lawsuit
Firm Fined for Frivolous SLAPP suit"
The 1st Amendment group had asserted in
a court brief that the developer had "sued Steers in order to harass and
intimidate her, to chill her exercise of free speech and to intimidate others
from similarly engaging in the lawful activity of petitioning government
"What's the Beef?" (as we know, Oprah won)
Internet Parodies - a Jerry Falwell parody web site
Here's a site that was bullied by dentists, fought back, and won:
www.dentalfraudinflorida.com - Woman in Florida exposes system that cleared dentists
From article in law.com
"[Paul] Levy's co-counsel, James K. Green of West
Palm Beach, claimed the dentists were relying on an unconstitutional
"I've gotten 10 gag laws declared unconstitutional," he said.
"For some reason, Florida has this history of trying to gag complaints
about all sorts of people -- public officials, police officers and others."
NOTE: The dentists claimed that the site owner broke some kind of "confidentiality" law in Florida by revealing what went on in a state investigation. It was a desperate and laughable attempt to silence a citizen who has every right to tell of their experiences at the state level with regard to a complaint and investigation of a licensee of the state. It is true that the STATE cannot release that information if it is confidential, but there is nothing to prevent a CONSUMER from releasing it. - J.C.
Taubmansucks.com - Hilarious account by Henry Mishkoff of taking on lawyers and their dirty tactics in frivolous trademark infringement suit.
Join the Free Speech Online Blue Ribbon Campaign
Why is the Free Speech Online campaign important?
by Julie Catalano
Because someday a veterinarian may be in control of what you can and cannot say about them. Because with regard to addressing veterinary malpractice, incompetence, negligence, and abuse, the Internet is about all we have left. Historically, veterinarians either control or exploit systems that consistently fall short of protecting consumers and their pets. How do they do this? More
The Revolution Will Be Blogged, charlestoncitypaper.com, November 22, 2006. "[Veterinarian Thomas Sheridan's] attorney has written to Zotto, demanding that she remove the website."
THE SLAPP LAWSUIT
Edward J. Nichols DVM and Edward J. Nichols d/b/a/ Crestway Animal Clinic v. Julie Catalano, founder of vetabusenetwork.com, July 2005-2008*
*we did not receive Nichols' signature on the settlement agreement until January 2009, ten months after the lawsuit was dismissed, if that gives you any idea how "happy" he was. And why should he? This arrogant SOB truly thought his wealth and bottom-feeding lawyers would give him whatever he wanted. In the end they all waved the white flag the night before trial. COWARDS.
For the timeline of the lawsuit, go to Who Did This to Suki"
For the narrative of the lawsuit, go to Suki's Safe Haven: The Lawsuit
If you know of other lawsuits filed by veterinarians against citizens, or media coverage of any types of threats by vets, please send information to firstname.lastname@example.org
We will publicize the names of any and all vets who file lawsuits against their clients in order to silence the truth.