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June 01, 2007

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And in news that I find even more disturbing, the Diet Pepsi in the bottle I opened a few days ago has gone flat.

Couldnt happen to a nicer girl. I guess she is back to anal to make ends meet.

On the other hand, the end of Casey Serin the same day does have me strangely worked up.

Probably because Casey Serin is better looking than Jessica Cutler...

What happened to the $300,000 she received as an advance for her book (the dollar figure comes from the complaint in Steinbuch v. Cutler), the money that HBO paid her for the rights to make a TV show based on the book, and the money she received for posing nude for Playboy?

Like you said, I'd agree that the lawyers have eaten much of her earnings from the book, TV show, and Playboy. It's probably has been exacerbated by maintaining an expensive lifestyle in one of the most expensive cities in the country. When she wrote the book, she probably scared away any potential sugar daddies who may have supported her lifestyle. Besides the blog, did she have some type of employment?

because I strongly feel that people shouldn't be forced to pay six figures in legal fees for what they write in their personal blog about their personal life experiences

HS or anybody else equipped to answer, what would have happened to Mademoiselle Cutler if she had revealed this information about Steinbuch in a newspaper, television show, or pamphlet?

I beg to differ. I am glad that hussy is bankrupt, and I hope she loses the lawsuit (for lack of competent legal talent).
Privacy is not only an online entity. I am entitled to expect people to respect my privacy. Including, and maybe especially, people I sleep with. Therefore, I objected to her being shielded, and I would welcome any misfortune that befalls her. come frigging on, do we want to live in a society where big mouthed whores triumph over people who mistakenly thought they were dating a human?

do we want to live in a society where big mouthed whores triumph over people who mistakenly thought they were dating a human?

He was clearly aware of the fact that his "arrangement" with her included him providing compensation in exchange for sexual favors & accepted this. He knew he was dating a whore. He's just pissed that now other people know this too. This lawsuit is BS.

I have an idea: How about we sue big mouth trolls who post libelous comments on someone else's blog?

I am entitled to expect people to respect my privacy. Including, and maybe especially, people I sleep with.

If you sleep around, you assume the risk that the person you sleep with is going to gossip about you with her friends, something which happens routinely with women (haven't you ever watched Sex and the City?), and in the age of MySpace and Facebook and Blogger, a lot of that gossip winds up on the internet.

from jessicacutleronline.com:
24 May 2007
How do you spell fun? OB-GYN!

Nurse: How many partners have you had in the last six months?
I answer truthfully.
Nurse: Are you an escort?
Me: No, I'm not. I wish I made that much money!
Nurse: I hear that! Getting paid! I'm on the phone like, "How much money do you have?"
High-fives ensue.


Steinbuch v. Cutler:
Plaintiff was clearly identifiable to a substantial segment of the community as one
of the sexual partners of Cutler described in her public blog. Cutler used
Plaintiff’s initials, “R.S.” and his first name to refer to him. Cutler also identified
Plaintiff in her public blog through his religion, Jewish; his job, Committee
Counsel to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary; his place of residence,
Bethesda; the fact that he has a twin; his general appearance; and details of
Cutler’s intimate relationship with Plaintiff that Cutler had previously disclosed to
colleagues and co-workers.

She took no care to protect his privacy and published statements that he claims were apocryphal. He had no expectation that he would be published to the Internet as dating a prostitute. Sounds damaging.

This, unfortunately, means we may never get a resolution to that lawsuit because Steinbuch is probably left with a lawsuit against a bankruptcy estate which doesn't have much money in it. (But it has been a while since I studied bankruptcy law, so I could be wrong about that.)

Well, we know punitive damages aren't dischargable in BK. (But whether they'll ever be collectible is another matter.) Just about everything else is dischargeable. He's probably seeking punitive damages along with his other damages. I don't know the likelihood of him getting any in a defamation lawsuit under, what, D.C. law?

If she gets a BK discharge order, and the claim for punitives gets thrown out in a pretrial motion, and he's not seeking any other nonmonetary relief, he'll have to dismiss the case.

The more I think about Steinbuch's lawsuit, the angrier I get. I really hope that the court makes him pay for her legal fees.

Usually in a tort lawsuit, parties bear their own legal costs. I don't know what D.C. has in the way of a malicious prosecution/abuse of process tort (whereby she could sue him for misusing the court system against her with an unsupported claim). But it looks like Steinbuch's claim is colorable enough that it wouldn't qualify.

This is why a lot of people hate plaintiff attorneys and the tort law system in general. Steinbuch's attorney is probably doing this on a contingency agreement. So the lawsuit is probably costing Steinbuch nothing except the filing fees and other court costs. A normal check and balance of the process is that a plaintiff attorney won't take a contingency case that isn't likely to make him some money. But in this type of case, the publicity itself is an incentive to the attorney.

But everyone has to pay for defense in a civil case. Or represent themselves (wouldn't that be fun to watch). Yeah, lawsuits are a great way to punish someone simply by ruining them with legal fees. If you can either get an attorney to take it on contingency, or if you can afford attorney fees but know the defendant can't, doesn't matter if you lose or win.

I think the weakest part of his claim is the fact that she didn't actually identify him. She just used his initials. Wonkette did that legwork, right? I don't remember if it's an intentional tort, or what intent is required (ie, she intended to publish the info, but did not intend that the subject's identity become known).

Here's something on the tort of public disclosure of private facts from the First Amendment Center:

"Generally, the material published must be private information that “is not of legitimate concern to the public.” Its disclosure must also be “highly offensive to a reasonable person.” Material private enough to trigger this tort claim could include disclosure of sexual orientation, medical history, or other personal, private facets of a person’s life. The pressing question in public disclosure of private-facts cases is whether the information is newsworthy or of legitimate concern to the public. Newsworthiness is evaluated by an examination of several factors, including the social value of the disclosed material, the depth of intrusion into personal life, and the extent to which the person is already in public view."

I think the weakest part of his claim is the fact that she didn't actually identify him. She just used his initials.

His job title and initials were enough to identify him.

Truth is a rather effective defense. Chances are, the defense will try to pack the jury with women. Sure, they may not like Cutler, but they will like Steinbuch even less.

If fame is enough to compensate the lawyers involved, why couldn't someone pickup her defense?


Truth is a rather effective defense.

No, it is no defense against this particular tort. Label and slander must be false; public disclosure of private facts presumes the facts are true, just private.

His job title and initials were enough to identify him.

Did she use his specific job or just a general description, such that a lot of other people would have fit?

If fame is enough to compensate the lawyers involved, why couldn't someone pickup her defense?

Agreeing to represent someone for free isn't the same thing as agreeing to represent them under a contingency agreement that one knows may bring nothing.

And the kind of lawyers who defend these cases aren't usually the same types who prosecute them. Defense types usually work for firms and charge by the hour.

She'll probably be able to find some lawyer to take her case. Few lawyers will actually agree to defend for free, but some may agree to take on a client who may not be able to pay them off for a long time. And some would be more likely if it were a high-profile case. The problem is that with a BK client, there's no way to enforce a fee agreement ever, because it gets discharged.

Label and slander must be false

That was supposed to be "libel." :)

David, if she'd revealed it on any other medium the same analysis would apply.

Is it "of legitimate concern to the public" that a "Committee
Counsel to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary" (is there more than one of these?) was (arguably) paying for sex, which is illegal?

Even if he won, I don't know what damages the guy could prove. He seems to be doing pretty well, professor at a law school and (I think) married. Maybe he could get compensation for his emotional distress.

"Did she use his specific job or just a general description, such that a lot of other people would have fit?"

I tried googling this... looks like you could find out who RS is pretty quickly.

Steinbuch v. Cutler:
Plaintiff was clearly identifiable to a substantial segment of the community as one
of the sexual partners of Cutler described in her public blog. Cutler used
Plaintiff’s initials, “R.S.” and his first name to refer to him. Cutler also identified
Plaintiff in her public blog through his religion, Jewish; his job, Committee
Counsel to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary; his place of residence,
Bethesda; the fact that he has a twin; his general appearance; and details of
Cutler’s intimate relationship with Plaintiff that Cutler had previously disclosed to colleagues and co-workers.


But everyone has to pay for defense in a civil case. Or represent themselves (wouldn't that be fun to watch). Yeah, lawsuits are a great way to punish someone simply by ruining them with legal fees. If you can either get an attorney to take it on contingency, or if you can afford attorney fees but know the defendant can't, doesn't matter if you lose or win.

As an example, consider this story (as posted in a comment at 2Blowhards):

I'm reminded of a lawsuit by Monsanto against a regional family owned business, Oakhurst Dairy (three generations and counting) that advertised how all of their suppliers (modest scale, regional, mostly family farms) maintained herds without the use of artificial growth hormones. After a number of years of defending these ads in court Oakhurst, not having the deep pockets that Monsanto does for endless legal maneuvering, reached a settlement. They are allowed to mention using only growth hormone free cows, but must now have a disclaimer on each carton of milk stating that the USDA finds no difference in the milk from cows that do get artificial growth hormones. Having reached this settlement with Oakhurst, Monsanto is now suing a number of other dairy distributors in the Northeast for the same thing.

Monsanto didn't ruin the smaller dairies, just made them stop using their misleading advertising implying the hormones are bad for you.

I see Cutler filed Chapter 7 (as opposed to 13). That's the one you file when you don't have assets to protect. Total discharge as opposed to repayment plan.

I wonder if Steinbuch will challenge her BK. He probably could, arguing that she has reasonable expectations of income within the next 5 years (the period used for reorganization under Chapter 13).

I wonder if she'll have to go to those debt counseling classes they require now for BK.

I'm conflicted about his lawsuit. The situation is sort of similar to when that kid who hangs around with Jackie Passey put the ad on Craigslist pretending to be a woman wanting sex, then published the responses he got online, with all identifying details. I thought that was definitely a bastard move. If anyone should have been sued, it was him, but I don't think anything happened to him because he's an unknown with no money.

This case, though, I'm more ambivalent. Not sure why; probably because she didn't seem malicious.

Cutler confuses me. She acts the way that in real life (as opposed to the movies), generally only poor women from abusive backgrounds act. Yet, she's privileged and from a good family, right? I'd like to put her in a bottle and study her.

The situation is sort of similar to when that kid who hangs around with Jackie Passey put the ad on Craigslist pretending to be a woman wanting sex, then published the responses he got online, with all identifying details.

I didn't know about that ... were the details enough so that people who knew the men who replied could have figured out who they were?

If you posted a response that said "I'm a 30-year-old D&D nerd who lives in Mom's basement and I've never had a girl before" it wouldn't be sufficient as at least 100,000 men fit that description :)

were the details enough so that people who knew the men who replied could have figured out who they were?

Yes, it included email addresses and, in some cases, names! Some responses were from work emails, or emails with the respondent's full, true name in them.

Some of the guys were married and said so in their responses. Supposedly a few even got fired over the incident.

OK, I read the lawsuit and the attached copy of her posts. She did NOT use his specific job title. She said only that he "works in one of the Committee offices."

Most of the stuff she said wasn't bad. She said he looked like George Clooney and had "a great ass."

More importantly, she blogged about how their relationship was being gossiped around the office. And he did nothing to stop it, even seemed to encourage it. Doesn't look like he was all that discreet himself.

Looks like the only questionable stuff was that he had trouble coming with a condom on, and was into light S&M.

He's looking more and more like a petty, punitive bastard. Not like I've never seen guys turn on women they slept with. But this is a whole new level. It's ironic that this action he's taking to supposedly redeem himself publicly is what makes me think he's a worm, not the stuff he's suing over.

Spungen, she said his job was "Committee
Counsel to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary". That and RS seems enough to determine his identity.

Turambar, I see the plaintiff's allegation that she did that, but I don't see an actual blog post where she uses the title. I see only that he works for a committee, and later she says he's counsel.

I suddenly find myself more interested in who this "MK" guy is she mentions. Says she lived with him from 2001 and had a nasty breakup with in March of, I guess, 2004. Poor guy, looks like she really did a number on him.

Hey, didn't HS move to D.C. in 2001? And let's see, it seems he moved to NY from D.C. some time in 2005 ... And we all know his initials ... and isn't it a little curious that The Calico Cat was so very interested in the Cutler scandal? Hmmmm?

MK was Jessica's long term boyfriend, and I don't think he was ever identified, probably because he seemed so free of any wrongdoing that no one cared about his identity or wanted to humiliate him any further.

Unlike the senior guys at her work place (Matt Doyle and Robert Steinbuch) and the mysterious sugar daddies who paid her for sex.

Hey everyone, look, he's not denying it. Wonder if he's the one who taught her to blog? Maybe I should run with this scoop over at Bobvis. ;) It sure would explain a lot about Half Sigma.

More importantly, she blogged about how their relationship was being gossiped around the office.

Every workplace relationship is gossiped around the office. It makes no difference whatsoever if the couple does their utmost to keep things private. Everyone will know.

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