Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Internet Defamation Jury Trial Victory

Internet defamation attorneys Erik Syverson and Steven Gebelin of Miller Barondess, LLP recently scored a jury trial victory representing the Plaintiff against Dr. Adam Dorin, Orange County Superior Court case #30-2012-00586522.

On July 9 and July 17, 2012, anonymous emails were sent to Plaintiff's law firm and the State Bar of California.  The emails were sent from anonymous email addresses.  The emails falsely stated that Plaintiff was a threat to others, had borderline personality disorder, misused attorney client trust funds, had a police record, participated in illegitimate business transactions and engaged in acts of moral turpitude. 

Plaintiff filed the lawsuit naming John Doe as the initial defendant and served subpoenas on Internet companies for records identifying the sender of the emails.  The records for the July 9 email identified Dr. Adam Dorin as the sender.  Dr. Dorin sent the email from his hospital in between medical procedures.  The records for the July 17 email revealed that Dr. Dorin sent that email from the business center in his condominium building in Irvine, CA. 

At the time the emails were sent, Plaintiff was engaged in divorce and custody proceedings with his ex-wife.  Dr. Adam Dorin was engaged in a romantic relationship with Plaintiff's ex-wife at the time.

Dr. Dorin denied sending the emails, claiming alternatively that someone hacked into his Internet accounts and that he was not at a computer  at the time the emails were sent (the excuses included eating alone at a diner and being stuck in traffic).  Dr. Dorin produced not a single witness or shred of evidence to support his story.   

The jury did not believe Dr. Dorin's stories and awarded $75,000 to Plaintiff for emotional distress and reputational damages.  The jury went on to find that Dr. Dorin's conduct was willful and malicious thereby entitling Plaintiff to $125,000 in punitive damages.


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