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Is Blogger 'daTruthSquad' a Lawyer?

That is what the New Jersey township of Manalapan would like to know and what a judge today will decide whether it gets to find out. In Superior Court in Freehold, N.J., today, lawyers from the Electronic Frontier Foundation will argue in favor of preserving the anonymity of blogger daTruthSquad, while lawyers for the township will seek to enforce a subpoena to Google (host of the blog via its Blogger service) demanding that it unmask the blogger and turn over his contact information, draft postings and e-mails.

All of this stems from a legal malpractice suit the township filed last June against its former attorney Stuart Moskovitz, alleging misconduct in handling the township's purchase of polluted land in 2005. According to an EFF Web page devoted to the case, the lawsuit became the center of "a lively debate in the regional press and among local bloggers," with blogger daTruthSquad emerging as one of the township's most vocal critics. The township asserts that the author of daTruthSquad is none other than Moskovitz himself and that by writing the blog he has violated a gag order the court imposed on the parties to the case.

It is not clear from the township's pleadings how it comes to this belief; the only explanation it provides is that the blog frequently refers to "da Mosked Man," which it says is "obviously the defendant, Stuart Moskovitz." For his part, Moskovitz has denied that he writes the blog. EFF says that the township has "no evidence to back up its accusation." It is for the court to sort this all out in today's hearing. Meanwhile, the EFF's page, Manalapan v. Moskovitz, collects all the pleadings in the case and rounds up several news reports and blog posts. Bashman also has a roundup of news reports.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on December 21, 2007 at 04:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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