Published on:

When is Blogging Defamation, Journalism, Extortion, or Free Speech?


The April 2012 Oregon State Bar (OSB) Bulletin contains a detailed summary of this interesting case about blogging, bloggers, journalism, defamation, and the law:  Obsidian Finance Group, LLC and Kevin D. Padrick v. Crystal Cox (3:2011cv00057) (D. Or. Nov. 30, 2011) (Motion for new trial denied Mar. 27, 2012) (Appeals filed March 30, 2012, and April 25, 2012)

“The Poster Child: How Oregon’s Blogging Defamation Case Attracted National Attention,” by Janine Robben.


Last November, a federal jury in Portland found a vitriolic, Montana-based blogger liable for $2.5 million for defaming an Oregon State Bar member and his company online. On March 27, 2012, a U.S. District Court judge denied the defendant’s motion for a new trial, setting the stage for an appeal that will be followed by First Amendment lawyers, bloggers and traditional journalists around the country.

UCLA School of Law Prof. Eugene Volokh teaches the First Amendment.

He writes about the First Amendment.

So, when he had an opportunity to actually litigate First Amendment issues in Obsidian Finance Group, LLC. v. Cox (No. 11-0057, 2011 WL 5999334 (D. Or. Nov. 30, 2011), an Oregon defamation case that Forbes magazine called “the $2.5 million dollar lawsuit heard round the blogosphere,” he leapt at it.

But first, Volokh registered a new Internet address,….

Padrick says that Cox’s blogging campaign against him “went on for almost two years.”

“Essentially she taunted me,” he says, “blogging ‘Why haven’t you tried to stop me?’”

Padrick says he finally decided to sue Cox for defamation after his attorneys’ “cease and desist” letter resulted in an offer, from Cox, to protect his online reputation and promote his business for $2,500 a month, and he realized how much her blogging had negatively affected Obsidian….” [Link to full article.]

Link to previous OLR blog post on Obsidian v. Cox.

Contact Information