Never mind the Pelican.
Hollywood’s most bizarre and potentially important lawsuit has just gotten more bizarre. The defense lawyer in the case wants you to join his team.
Internet journalism pioneer and personality Luke Ford is being sued for defamation by notorious Hollywood agent, producer, manager and ex-husband of Helen Reddy (referred to only as “Number Two” in her recent autobiography) Jeff Wald, for posting items about Wald on his sites. Some of the material came from original interviews conducted by Luke. Other information was from existing articles and other material-- you know, the stuff you find on the Internet.
The case has been bouncing around the Los Angeles Superior Court system since last July. Now Luke’s new lawyer has put out a call for help in his defense. He’s not ringing Robert Shapiro or Bert Fields. And we guess he can’t hire Anthony Pellicano to dig up dirt on the other side. He's put out an open casting call for help at the defense table.
Justin Levine has posted this on the Southern California Law Blog:
“Welcome to the Open Source Legal Motion-- a groundbreaking experiment to harness the collective force of the Internet to help improve legal motions that will be filed in real cases...
“I will post a first rough draft of a motion that I am working on in the case of Wald v. Ford. You (or anyone else) can read it, comment on it, and give me feedback. Maybe you can rewrite some passages to make it better. Maybe you can come up with some theories, arguments, or legal authorities that I haven’t. Maybe you can provide the best counter-arguments on the other side...
“Anyone who ends up contributing an original improvement to the final product that is both tangible and identifiable will be given credit both on the pages of this blog as well as in either a footnote or page attachment on the court motion itself.
Tell your friends..."
Read Levine's entire posting, and lots of background on the case, here (and that means you, L.A. Times reporters-- though the New York Times will probably beat you to the punch on this historic Hollywood case, too).
Justin Levine? Luke tells us he’s taken the case pro bono. Either the guy’s a genius who’s really onto something or he’s in over his head.
In any case, it sounds like a movie. We’ll put in first bid for the rights. We’re already casting in our heads.