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The Star asks Supreme Court to review order to name online commenter

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Editor's note: This story has been corrected regarding action taken by the Court of Appeals.

The Indianapolis Star has asked the Indiana Supreme Court to hear its appeal of an order that it identify an anonymous commenter who posted messages on its website that became part of a defamation suit.

A divided panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals last week rejected The Star’s petition for an emergency rehearing in Jeffrey M. Miller, et al. v. Junior Achievement, et al., 49A02-1211-PL-898. The Star on Monday petitioned the Supreme Court to accept jurisdiction.

After granting an emergency stay of a Marion Superior Court order that The Star name an online commenter, an appellate panel heard oral arguments last month before dismissing the appeal for lack of jurisdiction in a 2-1 decision.

At the center of the appeal is whether The Star must reveal the identity of a commenter whose screen name on Indystar.com was DownWithTheColts. Jeffrey Miller, former CEO of Junior Achievement of Indiana, sued multiple parties for defamation and sought to add people, including DownWithTheColts, who made anonymous comments on news organization websites that ran stories about Miller and JA.

Presiding COA Judge Edward Najam and Judge Elaine Brown dismissed the appeal and rejected The Star’s request for an emergency rehearing before the appeals court. Judge Rudy Pyle III dissented in both instances.

There was no immediate indication Tuesday whether the Supreme Court would intervene.

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  1. Hey 2 psychs is never enough, since it is statistically unlikely that three will ever agree on anything! New study admits this pseudo science is about as scientifically valid as astrology ... done by via fortune cookie ....John Ioannidis, professor of health research and policy at Stanford University, said the study was impressive and that its results had been eagerly awaited by the scientific community. “Sadly, the picture it paints - a 64% failure rate even among papers published in the best journals in the field - is not very nice about the current status of psychological science in general, and for fields like social psychology it is just devastating,” he said. http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/aug/27/study-delivers-bleak-verdict-on-validity-of-psychology-experiment-results

  2. Indianapolis Bar Association President John Trimble and I are on the same page, but it is a very large page with plenty of room for others to join us. As my final Res Gestae article will express in more detail in a few days, the Great Recession hastened a fundamental and permanent sea change for the global legal service profession. Every state bar is facing the same existential questions that thrust the medical profession into national healthcare reform debates. The bench, bar, and law schools must comprehensively reconsider how we define the practice of law and what it means to access justice. If the three principals of the legal service profession do not recast the vision of their roles and responsibilities soon, the marketplace will dictate those roles and responsibilities without regard for the public interests that the legal profession professes to serve.

  3. I have met some highly placed bureaucrats who vehemently disagree, Mr. Smith. This is not your father's time in America. Some ideas are just too politically incorrect too allow spoken, says those who watch over us for the good of their concept of order.

  4. Lets talk about this without forgetting that Lawyers, too, have FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ASSOCIATION

  5. Baer filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit on April 30 2015. When will this be decided? How many more appeals does this guy have? Unbelievable this is dragging on like this.

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