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Dallas County Court Judge Mark Greenberg last week ended an 18-month courtroom battle, ruling in Fernando Rosales & Initiative Partners LLC d/b/a Lost Society v. Avi Adelman et al. (Case No. CC10-08658-E) that a blogger did not defame a bar owner.
According to an account on the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Web site ( www.rcfp.org.), the case arose from blog posts as long ago as June 2010, on Adelman's BarkingDogs.org site regarding alleged business ordinance violations and customer violence involving the Lost Society bar. The allegedly libelous statement by the defendant characterized Rosales as a "scumbag owner" of the Lost Society bar, the purported site where a victim and his alleged killer "partied" before the shooting occurred, according to a blog post by Adelman. The bar was shut down in October 2011, soon after Rosales's arrest for possession of a controlled substance.
Judge Greenberg ordered the plaintiffs to pay court costs. During the protracted litigation, the plaintiffs unsuccessfully sought an injunction to shut down Adelman's Web site and also subpoenaed him to reveal the source(s) of his post about the fatal shooting, which Adelman defeated by invoking the Texas Shield Law [Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code §22.021-22.027; Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Arts. 38.11 and 38.111].