Angry, Threatening Lawyer Fails To Sue As Promised, Drops His SLAPP Suit

from the wise-decisions dept

A couple weeks back we wrote about the somewhat odd decision making of an angry lawyer named Jason Lee Van Dyke, whom we’d also written about years ago for some spectacularly bad lawyering. This year he’s also gotten really really pissed off at three (very different) people: Ken White, Asher Langton and Talib Kweli. The first two have appeared on Techdirt many times. Ken is a criminal defense and First Amendment lawyer. Asher has an astounding ability to sniff out frauds online. And Talib is a musical genius among other things. But, Van Dyke has spent months angrily lashing out about them on the internet (well, the lashing out at Kweli was more recent).

When we last checked in on him, he was threatening to add those three individuals — plus the Huffington Post — to a fairly obvious SLAPP suit that he had already filed in Texas against an Ohio-based publication called the Mockingbird. Lots of people had pointed out that Texas has a fairly robust anti-SLAPP law, which could lead to Van Dyke having to pay up — and Van Dyke’s response (not atypical from his earlier responses) was to lash out and threaten more lawsuits and to promise violence if he was sanctioned.

He then went so far as to contact Mockingbird’s lawyer to ask for leave to amend the existing lawsuit with the three individuals mentioned above, plus the Huffington Post (which had also written about the lawsuit).

So… despite the promises to add more names to the lawsuit, that didn’t happen. And despite the claims that he was going to just keep fighting the lawsuit… a few days later, Van Dyke agreed to dismiss the suit with prejudice, and the judge agreed. Gerry Bello at Mockingbird has a post on this as well, which reveals that Van Dyke told Bello’s lawyer that the reason for the dismissal was that his “immediate supervisor at the company where I am employed” had “instructed” Van Dyke to dismiss the case. It is not clear where Van Dyke is currently employed or who told him to do this. Van Dyke has generally held himself out as being self-employed as a lawyer.

One hopes that this is actually Van Dyke recognizing that repeated threats of both violence and lawsuits against critics is not a particularly wise idea. I’m not holding my breath that this is the case, however. In the meantime, we’ve heard from others that various bar complaints have been filed against Van Dyke, and given his actions and statements, at the very least you have to wonder how much longer he’ll be able to practice law, no matter who “employs” him.

Lawsuit against Mockingbird Paper Dismissed with prejudice: The lessons, takeaway and a reveal. | Mockingbird Paper

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Companies: mockingbird

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Comments on “Angry, Threatening Lawyer Fails To Sue As Promised, Drops His SLAPP Suit”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

'Brave Sir Van Dyke ran away. Bravely ran away away...'

And to the surprise of no-one the angry, petulant, child-pretending-to-be-an-adult blowhard tucked tail and ran away once he realized that he couldn’t simple beat his chest and bluster his way to victory.

Satisfying, but not terribly surprising, and I merely hope that the various bars that have received complaints regarding him don’t see this as reason to drop any pending action against him, as this is but a moment of clarity in an ocean of inanity.

Androgynous Codeword says:

So his lawsuit has been shot down?

Seems he was out-gunned and didn’t want to be blown away. He really wasn’t up to calibre on this, so it would have been a hollow point in shelling out a great wad on some heavy targets who would have gone rifling through his magazines.

Perhaps he realised he would be a dum-dum and go off half-cocked if he ever got in the chamber. Better to snipe through his keyboard.

Now no-one will need to muzzle him or recoil in horror at his action.

Anonymous Coward says:

These suits failed too: "SUPREMES ALLOW FULL TRAVEL BAN".

You get court cases WRONG nearly every time due to your biases.

“10,000 YOUTUBE staff to police content…” — And after you claimed can’t and shouldn’t be done!

“Time to move on from Russia collusion fantasy?” — I bet not here!

But keep your focus on silly maniacs like this, cause then ya can look kinda right.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: These suits failed too: "SUPREMES ALLOW FULL TRAVEL BAN".


Chuck says:

Especially funny since...

… “a .50 BMG” is a caliber (more correctly a cartridge), not a gun, unless he’s (incorrectly) referring to a M2 Browning Machine Gun, in which case there are some guys at ATF who are going to want to have a little chat with him because one of the very few weapons you can, most certainly, not own as a civilian is the M2.

I love it when people who pretend to be lawyers also pretend to be gun nuts (err…gun enthusiasts). It gives me so many juicy avenues to pick their lies apart.

Yay, choices!

Dan (profile) says:

Re: Especially funny since...

Civilian ownership of machine guns is perfectly legal (highly regulated, and very expensive, but still legal) in most of the country. Are you quite sure there are no M2s on the NFA registry? Because I see a listing for a fully-registered and transferrable model from last year for $40k. See

Now, do I believe JLVD has a legal machine gun (of any flavor)? No, and I don’t think that’s what he’s saying–I expect he’s referring to a .50 BMG-cal rifle, not an M2 heavy machine gun.

Is he a gun {nut|enthusiast}? Don’t know. But he is actually a lawyer, in that he has a law degree and is (at least for the time being) licensed to practice in a few states.

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