The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has postponed arguments scheduled for this month in a dispute over an attempt to unmask an anonymous Wikipedia editor sued for defamation.
Washington attorney Susan Burke, who recently left her solo practice to join Katz, Marshal & Banks, has been fighting in court to uncover the identity of an editor she claimed defamed her in a post on her Wikipedia page. The editor appealed after a District of Columbia Superior Court judge denied a motion to block Burke's subpoena.
The appeals court was set to hear arguments on September 19 over whether the editor had a right to appeal. On September 6, however, the court asked for additional briefing from the parties and said it would reschedule arguments for a later date. Besides the question of whether the editor had a right to appeal before the lawsuit was fully resolved, the court asked for briefs on the merits of the Superior Court judge's rejection of the editor's motions to quash Burke's subpoena and for a protective order.
The editor's lawyer, Christopher Hajec of The Center for Individual Rights, said in an email today that the court's order "opens up the proceeding to a full consideration of the merits, which is good for our client." Burke's attorney, William O'Neil of The O'Neil Group, said via email that "we welcome the chance to provide the Court additional briefing on the merits of the Superior Court’s ruling."
For more on the case, check out recent coverage by The National Law Journal.