Resetting One of the Longest Running Cyberbullying Cases–DC v. RR (Guest Blog Post)

21 03 2013

By Guest Blogger Sruli Yellin

[Eric’s introduction: In the course of blogging over the past 8+ years, I’ve read hundreds or even thousands of cases. This case ranks in my top 1% of most interesting and memorable cases.

Today, we’d call this a cyberbullying case, but when the online attack occurred in 2004, we didn’t have that terminology. The principal plaintiff, DC, was a high school student and an aspiring actor. He had a promotional website for his acting career, including a guestbook. His classmates discovered the website and posted hateful and threatening messages in the guestbook. In 2005, DC and his parents sued the school, the students who posted messages and their parents. A lot has transpired in the past 9 years, and I’ve found it hard to track everything and keep things straight. In this post, my RA Sruli Yellin sorts through the numerous developments.]

D.C. v. R.R. spans more than eight years in court; two appeals (including one to the California Supreme Court); a side suit for malpractice; and an expensive trip to arbitration. Prof. Goldman blogged the case twice (here and here) and discussed it in a recent talk on high schoolers using the Internet. To get a sense of how long this case has been running, it has already lasted over 1/3 of the lives of some of the litigants who were minors when the case was filed.


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