An anonymous reader writes to tell us about Yaman Salahi, a UC Berkeley student and blogger, who lost a lawsuit brought against him by Lee Kaplan, a journalist for FrontPageMag.com. Kaplan had sued Salahi in California small claims court for tortious business interference and libel, in response to a blog Salahi had set up about him called "Lee Kaplan Watch
." Salahi lost in small claims court and then lost an "appeal" — which is essentially a retrial by another small-claims judge. No written opinion was offered with either decision, though all other court filings
are available. From Salahi's update
on his blog: "...because [Kaplan] sued me in small claims court, I did not have the protections of the anti-SLAPP [Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Policy] statute... I will never know why I lost the initial hearing, or why I lost the appeal, because small claims judges are not obligated to release written opinions with their rulings.... I will never have the opportunity to take this to a real appellate court where my first amendment rights might be protected."