Dendrite International v. Doe
A software development and servicing company brought suit in New Jersey superior court against four individuals who posted critical comments on a Yahoo! bulletin board, allegedly including defamatory statements and disclosing trade secret information. The plaintiff then sought to subpoena the identities of the four defendants. Appearing as amicus curiae, Public Citizen and the ACLU of New Jersey urged the trial judge and then the appellate court to adopt standards for judging such subpoena requests, including requirements of notice, specification of actionable statements, review of claims for legal validity, testing the factual support for the claims, and balancing the interest in anonymity against the plaintiff's interest in proceeding. Both courts agreed with this argument, and protected two of the four defendants against disclosure. The appellate court decision remains the only appellate opinion on the subject.
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