Also A Bad Idea: Gawker Exploring Lawsuit Against Peter Thiel For Tortious Interference & Racketeering
from the not-a-good-move dept
There ought to just be a rule that if you’re even threatening to sue someone for “tortious interference” or “racketeering” that you should recognize that your claims are probably bogus and you should probably take a deep breath and think again. I’ve been quite clear that I have serious problems with Peter Thiel’s aggressive campaign to bankrupt Gawker by funding a variety of (mostly specious) lawsuits, but I don’t think the answer is to hit back with a similarly ridiculous lawsuit. However, Forbes (warning: adblocker blockers in play) is reporting that Gawker’s lawyers are exploring a potential lawsuit against Thiel for tortious interference and racketeering:
?The lawyers are exploring whether this could be a case of tortious interference, racketeering or other potential claims,? said the source.
The thing is, these are the kinds of charges that you throw in to a case when you’re just really annoyed at what someone or some company did to you, and you don’t have any actual laws you can show they broke. I do think there could be an argument for some sort of anti-SLAPP law that allows companies to go after those financing questionable lawsuits for legal fees of such lawsuits, but expanding that to racketeering just seems extreme (and, also, very unlikely to succeed — as Ken White has pointed out repeatedly, judges hate civil racketeering claims, as they recognize that they’re frequently bogus).
So I’m all for looking for reasonable ways to prevent billionaires from overloading small publications with bogus legal fees, but I don’t think making questionable arguments around tortious interference and racketeering are a reasonable approach.