Arthur Alan Wolk Settles Lawsuits With Various Sites
from the and-so-it-goes dept
You may recall that famed aviation lawyer Arthur Alan Wolk had sued a bunch of parties, suggesting that their discussions about an earlier defamation lawsuit against him were against the law. Specifically, Wolk had filed a defamation lawsuit against Overlawyered.com, which was later deemed by the court to have been filed past the statute of limitations. Wolk later claimed this judgment was in error because Overlawyered had changed its blogging software, which he believed reset the clock. After we wrote about all of this and after a court reiterated that the change in blogging software did not change its original ruling, Wolk also promised to sue us if we did not “correct” our post. Instead, we posted a direct reply to Wolk (at that link)… and never heard from him again.
It appears that Wolk and at least some of those he’s sued have now come to various settlements. The Reason Foundation has announced that it has settled the lawsuit Wolk filed against it:
On August 1, Wolk dropped his Pennsylvania complaint, and on the same day he filed a similar one in California, where the Reason Foundation, the nonprofit organization that publishes Reason magazine and this website, is based. On August 12 he dropped the California complaint as well, and he recently agreed to a resolution consisting of mutual releases in which he promises not to sue us again for our past posts and we promise not to sue him over his litigation so far. That’s about as good an outcome as we could have reasonably expected, since the main issue for us all along has been maintaining the freedom to report and comment on issues of public concern. We are glad the litigation is over and grateful to Gayle Sproul for her patient, able, and indefatigable assistance in achieving that end.
Overlaywered.com has also settled with Wolk, and placed the following statement on its site — though not in a blog post:
Arthur Alan Wolk, Esquire, Walter K. Olson, David M. Nieporent, Esquire and Overlawyered.com agreed to settle Wolk’s longstanding libel claims against Overlawyered.com, et al.
The parties agreed to dismiss with prejudice all litigation pending between them and also agreed to release each other from all claims. Overlawyered.com removed from its web site certain posts about Wolk that led to the case as well as other posts that commented on the case’s dismissal by the Court last August. Wolk removed from his web site a post he wrote about Overlawyered.com.
Upon submission of materials to Overlawyered.com in the litigation, Overlawyered learned that Wolk took protections for his clients in the Taylor v. Teledyne case.
With the release of this statement, Overlawyered.com and Wolk will have nothing further to say on these matters and ask all others on the internet to take down their posts concerning this dispute since the controversy now has been settled on an amicable basis and should be laid to rest.
The Reason post, on the other hand, notes that just because the case has been settled, it “does not mean it never happened, so we are keeping our original posts and adding a link to the joint statement by Overlawyered.com and Wolk.” Similarly, we don’t believe that there is any benefit to taking down factual posts on historical events, even if they ended in an out-of-court settlement. In fact, we’re a bit disappointed that Overlawyered would agree to take down historical posts without a court-ordered reason to do so. Meanwhile, the Reason blog notes that because it does “not want to see any further lawsuits filed as a result of comments on our site,” it was disabling comments on that post.
We will neither remove historical posts nor disable comments. As we noted in our last post on Mr. Wolk’s email to us, we believe his intent in these lawsuits and threats was to silence people from talking about him — and we do not intend to be silenced by such threats when they do not appear credible to us.