Dozier Internet Law, P.C. v. Riley et al

Filing 10

Memorandum in Opposition re 5 MOTION to Remand to State Court filed by Ronald J. Riley(an individual), Inventored, Inc.(a Michigan corporation), Riley Consulting Corporation, Riley Enterprises, LTD, The Alliance for American Innovation, LLC(a Michigan corporation). (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A (Part 1), # 2 Exhibit A (Part 2), # 3 Exhibit B, # 4 Exhibit C, # 5 Exhibit D)(Wolf, Thomas)

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Dozier Internet Law, P.C. v. Riley et al Doc. 10 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA RICHMOND VIRGINIA DOZIER INTERNET LAW, P.C., Plaintiff, v. RONALD J. RILEY, et al., Defendants. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) No. 3:08-cv-00643-HEH MEMORANDUM OF DEFENDANTS RONALD J. RILEY ET AL. IN OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR REMAND Table of Authorities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ii Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Introduction and Summary of Argument . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 I. THE COURT HAS SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION BECAUSE THIS CASE ARISES UNDER FEDERAL LAW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 THE COMPLAINT WAS PROPERLY REMOVED UNDER DIVERSITY JURISDICTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 II. Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Dockets.Justia.com TABLE OF AUTHORITIES CASES America's MoneyLine v. Coleman, 360 F.3d 782 (7th Cir. 2004) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Batzel v. Smith, 333 F.3d 1018 (9th Cir. 2003) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Beneficial National Bank v. Anderson, 539 U.S. 1 (2003) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Cradle v. Monumental Life Insurance Co., 354 F. Supp.2d 632 (E.D. Va. 2005) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Dixon v. Edwards, 290 F.3d 699 (4th Cir. 2002) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Ford-Fisher v. Stone, 2007 WL 190153 (E.D. Va. Jan 22, 2000) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Galt G/S v. JSS Scandinavia, 142 F.3d 1150 (9th Cir. 1998) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Gavin v. AT&T Corp., 464 F.3d 634 (7th Cir. 2006) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Grant v. Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., 309 F.3d 864 (5th Cir. 2002) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Hunt v. Washington State Apple Adver. Commission, 432 U.S. 333 (1977) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Lovell v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 466 F.3d 893 (10th Cir. 2006) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Marshak v. Treadwell, 240 F.3d 184 (3d Cir. 2001) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 National Association for Healthcare Communications v. Central Arkansas Area Agency on Aging, 257 F.3d 732 (8th Cir. 2001) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 -ii- Perfect 10 v. CC Bill, 488 F.3d 1102 (9th Cir. 2007) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6, 11 Planetary Motion v. Techsplosion, 261 F.3d 1188 (11th Cir. 2001) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Schlessinger v. Salimes, 100 F.3d 519 (7th Cir. 1996) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Schwenk v. Cobra Manufacturing Co., 322 F. Supp. 2d 676 (E.D. Va. 2004) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Smith v. GTE Corp., 236 F.3d 1292 (11th Cir. 2001) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Smith v. Wal-Mart Stores, 537 F. Supp. 2d 1302 (N.D. Ga. 2008) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 St. Paul Mercury Indemnity Co. v. Red Cab Co., 303 U.S. 283 (1938) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Sugar Busters LLC v. Brennan, 177 F.3d 258 (5th Cir. 1999) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Two Pesos v. Taco Cabana, 505 U.S. 763 (1992) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Ty Inc. v. Softbelly's Inc., 353 F.3d 528 (7th Cir. 2003) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 U.S. Search, LLC v. U.S. Search.com, 300 F.3d 517 (4th Cir. 2002) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Wyatt v. Sussex Surry, 482 F. Supp. 2d 740 (E.D. Va. 2007) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Zeran v. America Online, 129 F.3d 327 (4th Cir. 1997) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 -iii- STATUTES AND RULES Communications Decency Act 47 U.S.C. 230 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 47 U.S.C. 230(e)(2) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1051 et seq. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9, 10, 13 Section 32, 15 U.S.C. 1114 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Section 35, 15 U.S.C. 1117(d) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Section 39, 15 U.S.C. 1121 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Section 43(a), 15 U.S.C. 1125(a) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1, 10, 11 28 U.S.C. 1331 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 28 U.S.C. 1332 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 28 U.S.C. 1337 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 28 U.S.C. 1338 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 28 U.S.C. 1367 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Virginia Code 59.1 92.13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 MISCELLANEOUS The $75,000.01 Question: What Is the Value of Injunctive Relief, 6 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 1013 (1999) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 -iv- This action was brought in state court by a Richmond-area law firm against an Internet critic living in Michigan, seeking to suppress criticism in the name of trademark law, and was removed to this Court. Plaintiff seeks remand, even though the complaint alleges "statutory" and "common law" trademark infringement, causes of action that arise under the federal Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1125(a). Moreover, even to the extent that the complaint alleges state law claims, it prays for damages and attorney fees in the amount of $55,000, understating the amount of attorney fees likely to be incurred in a trademark suit such as this, as well as an injunction to prevent future damage to plaintiff that alone brings the amount in controversy over $75,000. Indeed, the fact that it is a self-professed Virginia SuperLawyer, designated as such by the local Bar, who is bringing this case against a critic from another state, places this case squarely within the category of cases that Congress meant to make removable to protect citizens of other states from local prejudice. Accordingly, plaintiff's motion for remand should be denied. STATEMENT It would be quite an understatement to say that John Dozier and Ronald Riley dislike and disapprove of each other. John Dozier is a Virginia lawyer whose various web sites praise him as a Virginia "Super Lawyer" and "Elite Lawyer," plaudits allegedly obtained by nomination by the Virginia Bar and other local lawyers who know him. See http://cybertriallawyer.com/. Dozier is the founder and sole owner of plaintiff law firm Dozier Internet Law, which specializes in representing small and medium sized businesses in connection with legal issues arising online, as well as more generally with intellectual property issues in the area of copyright and trademark law. Id. Dozier maintains a web site for his law firm at cybertriallawyer.com, along with more than sixty other -1- web sites where he promotes his own and his law firm's work, both directly, by discussing its work, and by including hyperlinks to his firm web site.1 This technique is calculated to raise the ranking of his various web sites in the search results obtained on search engines such as Google and Yahoo!. Dozier has attracted a fair amount of notoriety on the Internet for some of the outlandish assertions that he and his associates have made, such as that their cease and desist letters cannot be published for the purpose of public criticism without infringing their copyright, http://overlawyered.com/2007/10/nastygram-don't-you-dare-post-this-nastygram-on-the-web/, that the firm can forbid internet viewers from looking at the source code for its web site, 1 http://dozierinternet-law.blogspot.com, http://dozier-internetlaw.blogspot.com, h t tp : // d oz i er -i n ter net -l aw .b l ogs po t .co m /, http://dozierinternetlawpc.blogspot.com/, h t t p : / / d o z i e r - i n t e r n e t l a w p c . b l o g s p o t . c o m / , ht t p : / / w w w . c y b e r t r i a l l a w y e r . c o m / , http://dozierinternetlaw.cybertriallawyer.com/, http://dozierinternetlaw.cybertriallawyer.com, http://www.dozierinternetlaw.com/, http://www.dozierinternet-law.org/, http://www.dozier-internetlaw.org/, http://dozierinternetlaw.net/, < h t t p : / / w w w . d o z i e r - i n t e r n e t l a w . c o m / , http://www.dozier-internet-law-pc.com/, h t t p : / / i n t e r n e t - l a w - d o z i e r . b i z / , http:/ / d o z i e r i n t e r n e t l a w . c y b e r t r i a l l a w y e r . c o m / , h t t p : / / w w w . i n t e r n e t - l a w - d o z i e r . c o m / , http://dozier-internetlaw.blogspot.com/, ht tp :/ /j oh nd oz ier jr .t ypepad.com/, http://www.dozierinternetlaw.org/, http://dozierinternetlawpc.cybertriallawyer.com/, http://dozier-internet-law.cybertriallawyer.com/, http://dozierinternetlaw.net/, http://www.dozier-internet-law.info/, h t t p : / / d o z i e r i n t er n e t l aw s u i t s . b l o gs p i r i t . c o m / , http://dozierinternetlawpc.blogspot.com/, http://defamationlawyers.net/, http://www.dozierinternet-law.com/, h t t p : / / wo rd p re s s . co m / t ag/ d o z i er -i n t er n et -l aw / , h t t p : / / i n t er n et -l aw ye r s . o rg, h t t p : / / c o p yr i gh t l a w ye r . b i z / , h t t p : / / t r ad e m a r k i n fr i n ge m e n t at t o r n e ys . c o m / ,