Scott Pilutik

I am an attorney and consultant living and working in Manhattan, focusing primarily on church/state constitutional law. I'm a recognized expert on the Church of Scientology organization. I also have strong interests in intellectual property law where it intersects with emerging media, and free speech.

I support the efforts of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the National Lawyers Guild, the ACLU, Creative Commons, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I am a member of the New York County Lawyers Association and the New York State Bar Association. I also enjoy (watching) hockey and (doing) photograhy.

Online I can be found on Facebook, Twitter. My resume can be viewed here. I can be reached by phone at 212.645.6241 or by e-mail at pilutik[at]gmail.com.

Veiled legal threats from Diskeeper

Yesterday I received what at first glance appeared to be a Cease and Desist from Diskeeper’s counsel, An Nguyen, in the Godelman v. Diskeeper case, about which I’ve posted here and here.

The letter (which can be read HERE [PDF]), implies that the material I’ve previously posted was confidential and that my posts contravene a confidentiality order issued in this case last year. The letter also requests that I retain all correspondence relating to how I came to obtain the material I posted. The letter also contains the confidentiality order in question. My response is below.

Dear An,

Thank you for your letter, and I’m sorry you feel my posts are misleading–I respectfully disagree.

I have reviewed the documents on my site as well as the confidentiality order. Preliminarily, I will note that your letter declines to allege or identify any of the material I’ve posted as being subject to the protective order in this case. If this is an oversight on your part, please identify which documents you feel are subject to the protective order so that our discussion can have more meaning.

Perhaps, on the other hand, your failure to allege or identify any documents subject to the protective order is an acknowledgment that none of the material I’ve posted is subject to the protective order, which states in paragraph 3, that “Documents become designated material when visibly marked by the producing, disclosing, or otherwise designating party as “CONFIDENTIAL” to be subject to this Order.” [emphasis added] Of the possibly relevant material hosted on my site, no document is visibly marked as “CONFIDENTIAL,” or marked in any way which would lead a reasonable person to construe them as such. Moreover, none of the exhibits within the documents are visibly marked as “CONFIDENTIAL.”

Your letter goes on to imply untoward behavior on my part in seeking to learn “how [I] obtained information and/or documents related to this case,” despite that every pleading and filing in this case is publicly available from the Los Angeles County Superior Court web site (!). If the documents were intended to be designated as confidential, not only should they have been visibly labeled as such, but they probably should not be publicly available on the Los Angeles County Superior Court web site.

Finally, as I am not party to this litigation, perhaps you could better explain why you ‘anticipate my compliance’ with regard to this order. My blog is a journalistic pursuit that regularly deals with matters such as religious discrimination, to which Mr. Godelman’s lawsuit is highly relevant. Moreover, this lawsuit has a great deal of public relevance and I will therefore view correspondence such as yours, including future correspondence pursuing the same, as attempts to intimidate and censor. Likewise, I will view any action directed at me in light of California’s anti-SLAPP provisions (which specifically provide for the recovery of attorneys fees by prevailing parties). Kindly note also that I will post this and any future correspondence related to this matter, on my site.

Very truly yours,

Scott Pilutik

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