Bill Cosby’s former attorney seeks to remove judge in Janice Dickinson defamation suit

Janice Dickinson says the lawyer defamed her when he defended Bill Cosby against allegations of rapeBill Cosby‘s former attorney wants to bar a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge from hearing a case in which model Janice Dickinson says the lawyer defamed her when he defended Cosby against allegations of rape.

On Monday, attorney Martin Singer filed court papers seeking to remove Judge Debra Katz Weintraub from the civil suit, which accuses both Singer and Cosby of defamation.

The filing comes roughly a month after the judge ruled both Cosby and his former attorney could be deposed by Dickinson’s lawyer, Lisa Bloom.

Singer did not state a reason in court papers as to why the judge should be removed. As a named defendant in the lawsuit, he can exercise the right to disqualify the jurist. If the petition is granted, the presiding judge will assign someone else to the case.

Cosby and Singer had been scheduled to answer questions about the case in November, but the Los Angeles-based 2nd District Court of Appeal ordered those depositions delayed after Cosby challenged the ruling.

Dickinson sued Cosby in May after Singer issued a statement calling her allegations “a lie.” Cosby also said that he did not rape Dickinson while in Lake Tahoe in 1982, as she has alleged.

Last month, attorney Gloria Allred, who is Bloom’s mother, deposed Cosby, 78, in a lawsuit filed by Judy Huth, who alleges she was sexually assaulted by the comedian in the 1970s at the Playboy Mansion when she was 15 years old.

After that deposition, Cosby replaced Singer with attorney Christopher Tayback.

In recent years, more than 50 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault or abuse.

http://www.latimes.com/topic/entertainment/television/bill-cosby-PECLB001147-topic.html… Read the rest

Facebook silent on federal revenge porn bill amid delays

Facebook is backing the criminalization of so-called revenge porn but has yet to take a public position on broader draft legislation in Congress.

Antigone Davis, Facebook’s head of global safety, said on Tuesday the company is focused on targeting the people who post intimate or nude images of others online without their consent. But she hesitated to say whether the company would back legislation that holds technology companies liable if they do not promptly remove the images when asked.

“I haven’t seen the federal legislation, so I am loath to comment on the federal legislation,” she told reporters after a presentation about Facebook’s projects and products dedicated to enhancing the “social good.”

“We do not tolerate revenge porn on Facebook, and we have reporting folks that do allow people to report and to take it down, and we do support the criminalization for people who post that non-consensual content,” she said.

“I think we really focus in on the people who are actually sharing those images without the consent of another person and on that behavior,” she added at another point.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) has been working to unveil federal legislation and has had talks with tech companies and civil liberties groups about it. But the bill’s introduction has been delayed for months without explanation. Her office said Tuesday that staff is still finalizing language with colleagues in the Senate.

The tentatively titled Intimate Privacy Protection Act, as described, would make posting revenge porn a federal crime and would put companies such as Google, Facebook and other social media sites on the hook if they do not promptly remove the photos when asked.

The legislation would not target sites when they are unaware the content has been posted. It would also contain public interest and other exemptions, after civil liberties groups raised concerns about similar state laws that have been successfully challenged in court because of First Amendment concerns.

A number of major tech companies, including Facebook, have dedicated staff to responding to takedown requests for revenge porn and other abuse online.

Facebook, along with Google, Microsoft, Pinterest, Tumblr and Yahoo, recently worked with California’s attorney general to outline a series of best practices to remove the content.

The best practices suggested strong terms of service that generally bar the practice and recommended a removal process of about two days that includes verification before images are blocked or removed.

The tech companies noted that there are limits to what they can do and specifically pointed out it would be infeasible to pre-approve or even “proactively monitor” potential instances of abuse.

In a statement released after she spoke to reporters, Facebook’s Davis said the company would “continue to promote tools to fight” revenge porn. And a spokeswoman said the company looks forward to reviewing the legislation once it is released.

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/257450-facebook-silent-on-federal-revenge-porn-bill-amid-delays… Read the rest