Eighth Tosses Most Deep Pockets from Blogging Sex Scandal Suit
By Robert Loblaw
Steinbuch v. Cutler, 07-1509 (8th Cir., March 6, 2008)
Once upon a time, Jessica Cutler was one of the biggest names in the blogging world. An intern to a Republican Senator by day, Cutler spent her nights engaged in all manner of sexual escapades - sometimes for money - with some of the dullest men in D.C. How do we know this? Because she blogged about it on her personal blog, The Washingtonienne, and her entries were publicized by Wonkette, the ultimate D.C. gossip site.
Cutler quickly capitalized on her outing by signing a book deal with Hyperion, a television deal with HBO, and a bare-it-all deal with Playboy. Enter Robert Steinbuch, a law professor who recognized at least some of the details of his trysts with Cutler. Although Cutler referred to Steinbuch only as R.S., he decided to capitalize on his role ? and out himself ? by suing Cutler for invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
While Steinbuch?s plea for $20 million in damages seemed far-fetched, especially after Cutler filed for bankruptcy, he added several deep pockets as insurance ? Cutler?s publisher, Hyperion; its parent company, Disney; Cutler?s small-screen sponsor, HBO; and its parent company, Time Warner. The district court tossed out most of these defendants and, on appeal, the Eighth Circuit largely affirms. Disney, HBO, and Time Warner are out, but the Court remands on the issue of whether the Arkansas court has personal jurisdiction over the defendant Hyperion. The Court concludes that Steinbuch is entitled to discovery on whether the publisher has sufficient contacts with the state of Arkansas to justify personal jurisdiction.
Incidentally, Cutler described Steinbuch as a George Clooney look-a-like. Here?s a picture of the good professor, courtesy of Tax Prof. Maybe Clooney should sue Cutler too?
"Court Tosses Suit Over School Speech" "Court Tosses Suit Over School Speech": The Associated Press provides this report. My earlier coverage of today's Sixth Circuit ruling appears at this link.
"Lawyer's deep pockets in Ill. judicial race raise hackles" "Lawyer's deep pockets in Ill. judicial race raise hackles": The St. Louis Post-Dispatch today contains an article that begins, "A Swansea lawyer is poised to spend more than $600,000 of her own money to win a Southern Illinois appellate court seat, potentially adding a new dimension to what critics say is the disturbing trend of high-priced judicial races...
Deep Capture - Part IX This is the eighth part of a series on what Situationist Contributor David Yosifon and I call ?deep capture.? The most basic prediction of the ?deep capture? hypothesis is that there will be a competition over the situation (including the way we think) to influence the behavior of individuals and institutions and that those individuals, [...
Politician Reinstated After Scandal A politician who recently lost his job after a scandal has been reinstated, and his record will be cleared, officials said today. Thanks for reading, Client-9, but it's not you. Eighth-grader Michael Sheridan, of New Haven, Connecticut, was suspended and...