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HIGH COURT TO HEAR INTERNET SPEECH CASE By a unanimous vote Wednesday, the California Supreme Court agreed to take a look at a case that could set boundaries on acceptable Internet speech. The case involves Ilena Rosenthal, a devout proponent of alternative medicines, who has waged an online campaign against retired Pennsylvania psychiatrist Stephen Barrett and Canadian doctor Terry Polevoy, who consider such treatments quackery. Rosenthal, who operates the San Diego-based Humantics Foundation for Women, has republished statements saying the doctors stalk women and that their organization, Quackwatch, “appears to be a power-hungry, misguided bunch of pseudoscientific socialistic bigots.” An Alameda County Superior Court judge tossed a defamation suit against Rosenthal in 2001 after she claimed immunity under the federal Communications Decency Act. But San Francisco’s First District Court of Appeal reinstated Polevoy’s claims last year. “The trial court finding that appellant Polevoy cannot show actual malice, and there is therefore no probability he will prevail on the merits of his claim, was error,” Justice J. Anthony Kline wrote. “We cannot say that the evidence elicited at this early stage in the litigation will necessarily persuade the trier of fact to rule in favor of Polevoy on this issue, but we can say it is more probable than not.” The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked for additional briefing on the meaning of the word “user” under the Communications Decency Act and whether it matters if the “user” was engaged in active or passive conduct. The case is Barrett v. Rosenthal, S122953. — Mike McKee IP PARTNER LEAVES WILSON FOR WINSTON Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati partner Andrew Bridges has jumped to the San Francisco office of Chicago-based Winston & Strawn. Bridges, who joined Winston & Strawn on Friday, said he was attracted to the firm’s broad litigation practice and its national and international presence. “I do part intellectual property, part consumer protection, part commercial litigation and part unfair competition,” Bridges said. “Everything is patent or securities [litigation] at Wilson.” Bridges spends a lot of his time advising clients of the risks associated with their business. “It’s primary care IP,” he said. The best example of that, he said, was his representation of Diamond Multimedia Systems Inc., manufacturer of the Rio portable music player. In 1999 the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied the Recording Industry Association of America’s request for an injunction, finding that the device did not violate recording piracy laws. A 1983 graduate of Harvard Law School, Bridges spent 12 years at Wilson Sonsini. Prior to that he was with Farella Braun & Martel. Winston & Strawn moved into San Francisco last year by acquiring Murphy Sheneman Julian & Rogers, a 43-attorney insolvency and commercial finance boutique. The firm also has a 3-year-old office in Los Angeles and outposts in New York, Washington, D.C., Geneva, London and Paris. — Brenda Sandburg

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