Liberal OC Demands Approval of Orange Juice Blog's Apology to Liberal OC as Part of Pissing War Settlement
Today, August 25, is the day that the Liberal OC blog has given Orange Juice! blog publisher Art Pedroza as a deadline to accept a settlement offer in their federal lawsuit against the blogger--or risk further legal hell.
You'll remember that Liberal OC members sued Pedroza earlier this year for copyright infringement, conspiracy, cybersquatting, and unfair business practice, the culmination of a years-long pissing war between two of the more prominent OC political blogs, a war that included allegations of alcoholism, mental disease, pedophilia--and those are just the nice slurs.
In a August 23 email sent to Pedroza, plaintiff lawyer Todd Gallinger offered Pedroza their terms: $22,500 to cover "legal fees and reputational damage," and a public apology--but not just any apology.
"Though the apology will be subject to the approval of my clients, they will not draft it for you," Gallinger wrote. "Following the finalization of the settlement agreement, they may forward you some points which they think it should include. Additionally, the Orange Juice Blog will also not publish any future posts, or comments from writers, which are derogatory towards my clients with regards to this lawsuit."
Dictation and suppression of speech? REAL liberal there!
If Pedroza doesn't accept the settlement, Gallinger wrote, they will pursue the matter in United States federal court, where the Irvine-based lawyer (and former, unsuccessful Irvine City Council candidate for the Larry Agran machine) says he thinks he can prove that Pedroza has cost Liberal OC blogger Dan Chmielewski $11,000 per month in lost business as a result of the pissing war.
Pedroza, predictably, told Gallinger to slag off. In an email sent this morning, he called the offer "insulting and ridiculous" and "completely unethical and demeaning." He did offer to settle the suit for $10,000, which he says isn't "an admission of guilt but rather reflects my desire to stop this ridiculous persecution against me by you and your clients."
"Your clients will apologize to me, on their blog, for libeling about me on their blog and for publishing my financial records," Pedroza wrote. "They will delete those posts and promise to stop libeling me on their blog. In return, I will be happy to apologize on my blog for my part in this debacle."
As for Chmielewski's claim of lost revenue? "It may well be that his clients do not wish to do business with him because he is a gigantic prick and he stalks people," Pedroza wrote. "Those aren't exactly qualities executives look for in public relations professionals."
Pedroza gave Gallinger until the afternoon of today to accept his demands. Which means Orange County's most-entertaining media war goes to the next level...fun times! But, seriously, guys: drop this and go after a true public menace, one the two of you despise: Allan Mansoor.
UPDATE: The Liberal OC responds with email showing that Pedroza offered them Orange Juice as a settlement offer! Read more at their site.