Troll Tracker wants to fight defamation suits in East Texas

By Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau | May 29, 2008

Eric Albritton

TEXARKANA, Ark. -- Patent Troll Tracker blogger, Richard Frenkel and his employer Cisco are trying to move the pending defamation litigation from Texarkana, Ark., to the Tyler, Texas, federal court.

Shortly after revealing his identity as the Patent Troll Tracker blogger, Frenkel was sued by east Texas attorneys John Ward Jr. and Eric Albritton.

Albritton filed the original suit in county court but Cisco removed the case to the Tyler Division of the Eastern District of Texas.
Ward filed his original suit in county court but removed the case to the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas.

The lawsuits alleged the blog posts regarding a patent litigation contained defamatory remarks that alleged the attorneys had engaged in criminal conduct by altering the date of the patent infringement complaint so that it would not be filed before their client's patent had been approved.

The attorneys are seeking damages for shame, embarrassment, humiliation, mental pain, and anguish. Further, the attorneys state injuries to their "business reputation, good name, and standing in the community, and will be exposed to the hatred, contempt, and ridicule of the public in general as well as of his business associates, clients, friends, and relatives." Moreover, the plaintiffs are seeking exemplary damages arguing the defendants acted with malice.

The two lawsuits allege Cisco as Frenkel's employer is also liable for exemplary damages by arguing Frenkel, as the director of intellectual property litigation at Cisco, published his statements in his managerial capacity and with the knowledge of his employer.

In recent actions, Frenkel asked for the Ward's pending Arkansas litigation to be moved to Tyler, in which Ward's office and the companion suit is located. Ward sought to dismiss Frenkel just hours after Frenkel's request, but is continuing the litigation against Cisco in Arkansas court.

Ward wants the case to remain in the Texarkana, Ark., federal court arguing that the Eastern District of Texas court system is too slow and too crowded with pending litigations.

Frenkel filed for ward to pay his attorneys' fees or in the alternative, said he would forgo the attorney fee request if Ward would agree not to sue Frenkel over the same issues again.

Frenkel's motion stated, "this is the second time that Ward has sued Frenkel and the second time he was nonsuited after Frenkel has been put to considerable expense."

Ward replied to the motion stating that Frenkel is "not satisfied with being dismissed from the lawsuit and not having to personally appear and answer for his tortuous conduct, Frenkel now seeks to be reimbursed for the fees he incurred, or more likely that Cisco incurred on his behalf." Further, Ward states that Frenkel's request for fees should be denied because "the lack of substantive work Frenkel had to expend before being dismissed."

Case No: 04-4022

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