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Judge Allows Law Grad’s Suit Claiming Lost Job Due to Blog Post Claim

Posted Apr 10, 2009 11:17 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A University of Pennsylvania law graduate who claims he was wrongly named as a defendant in a lawsuit over vile Internet posts will get a chance to prove that a federal court in Pennsylvania has jurisdiction to hear his case.

Anthony Ciolli is suing two Yale students who claimed they were defamed on a discussion board at higher education website AutoAdmit, the National Law Journal reports. Ciolli, the former chief education director at AutoAdmit, says he had no authority over the message board where the comments were posted. Yet he was a defendant in the Yale students' suit until they voluntarily dismissed him in 2007, his suit says.

A March 31 decision by a Pennsylvania federal judge rejects a motion to dismiss Ciolli’s suit and allows him to conduct discovery to determine whether his suit meets jurisdictional requirements, the NLJ story says.

Ciolli’s suit also names two lawyers who represented the women, including Stanford law professor Mark Lemley, and the law firm where he was working as counsel, Keker & Van Nest.

Ciolli claims the law firm Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge withdrew an employment offer because of the controversy. He is suing for wrongful initiation of civil proceedings, abuse of process, libel, slander, false-light invasion of privacy, tortious interference with contract and unauthorized use of name or likeness, according to the story.

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