Internet Solutions v. Marshall  SummaryThreat Type: LawsuitDate: 11/01/2007Status: PendingLocation: Florida Disposition: Dismissed (total)Verdict or Settlement Amount: N/ALegal Claims: DefamationFalse LightTrade LibelOn November 1, 2007, Internet Solutions, a company that runs a number of employment recruiting and Internet advertising businesses, including VeriResume, sued blogger Tabatha Marshall in federal court in Florida. Marshall runs a blog and website at www.tabathamarshall.com, on which... read full description PartiesParty Receiving Legal Threat: Tabatha MarshallType of Party: OrganizationType of Party: IndividualLocation of Party: FloridaNevadaLocation of Party: WashingtonLegal Counsel: Alex Finch; Keith Kress; Myra Nicholson (appeal)Legal Counsel: Matthew T. Farr (district court); Marc J. Randazza - Randazza Legal Group (appeal) DescriptionOn November 1, 2007, Internet Solutions, a company that runs a number of employment recruiting and Internet advertising businesses, including VeriResume , sued blogger Tabatha Marshall in federal court in Florida. Marshall runs a blog and website at www.tabathamarshall.com, on which she writes about suspicious online job solicitations and so-called "phishing " practices. Part of her site consists of the "PhishBucket ," a "directory of companies/individuals suspected of targeting job seekers with deceptive offers." Included in the PhishBucket is an entry for "VeriResume (Internet Solutions)," which bears the statement "Pending Investigation Phisher" at the top-right of the page. The entry also contains physical and web addresses for the company, links to posts about it (internal and external), and names of affiliated companies. The PhishBucket also includes entries for other companies operated by Internet Solutions, including Ask America, Scout 2007, Too Spoiled, and USA Voice. Marshall's site also contains articles relating to her research and views about certain companies and their online job solicitations. Among these is a post  entitled "Something's VeriRotten with VeriResume." In this post, Marshall excerpts a sample email from VeriResume soliciting job applications, criticizes the company's position on resume fraud, and links to other sites (like the Better Business Bureau ) with information about VeriResume and Internet Solutions. She invites readers to "[c]heck out the research and YOU decide if you want to give them your info." Several users submitted comments to the post that were critical of VeriResume. One user, who claimed to be a company employee, alleged that the company engages in a "bait-and-switch" routine after applicants submit their information, according to documents attached to the complaint. In an update to her original post, Marshall summarized these user's comments and expounded on the situation. Starting on October 30, 2007, a representative of VeriResume (or Internet Solutions -- the record is not clear on this point) contacted Marshall via email, claiming that information about VeriResume and other companies posted on Marshall's website was incorrect and asking her to remove it. According to Marshall, the company representative also contacted her landlord, claiming that Marshall was operating a business in her house, a claim that Marshall disputes. On October 31, 2007, one day before filing suit, counsel representing VeriResume and ten other Internet Solutions-affiliated companies sent a cease-and-desist letter to Marshall via email. (For more information on the emails and letter, please see the CMLP database entry, VeriResume v. Marshall (Email) ). Internet Solutions's complaint  includes claims for defamation, false light invasion of privacy, and injurious falsehood (trade libel). It alleges that Marshall has "author[ed], post[ed], and publish[ed]" statements claiming that Internet Solutions engages in "phishing," "scams," and other criminal and fraudulent conduct. It requests compensatory and punitive damages, and an injunction requiring Marshall to remove the allegedly defamatory posts and prohibiting her from making future defamatory statements about the company. Marshall was served with the complaint on November 3, and she has 20 days to respond. Marshall maintains that she merely posts her opinions, publicly available information, and third-party comments and asks her readers to draw their own conclusions. She is seeking legal assistance in this matter. Update: 4/8/2008 - The court dismissed the complaint, holding that it lacked personal jurisdiction over Marshall. 4/24/08 - Internet Solutions indicated to Marshall that it intends to file an appeal and commence another lawsuit in Washington state. 04/29/08 - Internet Solutions filed a notice that it has appealed the dismissal to the 11th Circuit. 06/06/2008 - Internet Solutions filed its appellate brief with the 11th Circuit. 07/16/2008 - Marshall filed her appellate brief with the 11th Circuit. 02/10/2009 - The 11th Circuit certified a question  to the Florida Supreme Court: "Does posting allegedly defamatory stories and comments about a company with its principal place of business in Florida on a non-commercial website owned and operated by a nonresident with no other connections to Florida constitute a commission of a tortious act within Florida for purposes of Fla. Stat. section 48.193(1)(b)?" 03/03/2010 - Florida Supreme Court heard oral argument  on the certified question.06/17/2010 - Florida Supreme Court issued its decision  on the certified question: We answer the rephrased certified question in the affirmative. We conclude that posting defamatory material on a website alone does not constitute the commission of a tortious act within Florida for purposes of section 48.193(1)(b), Florida Statutes. Rather, the material posted on the website about a Florida resident must not only be accessible in Florida, but also be accessed in Florida in order to constitute the commission of the tortious act of defamation within Florida under section 48.193(1)(b). 9/30/2010 - District Court dismissed  case based on lack of personal jurisdiction.Related Links: CMLP Database Entry: VeriResume v. Marshall (Email)  CMLP Database Entry: Internet Solutions v. ScamFraudAlert.com (Email)  CMLP Database Entry: Difrawi v. Garga-Richardson (Lawsuit)  CMLP Database Entry: Difrawi v. Henderson  CMLP Database Entry: Internet Solutions v. Garga-Richardson (2nd Lawsuit)  CMLP Database Entry: Internet Solutions v. Garga-Richardson (3rd Lawsuit)  Gavel to Gavel: Florida Supreme Court Case No. SC09-272  Legal Satyricon: Randazza Oral Argument Drinking Game  DetailsWeb Site(s) Involved: Tabatha Marshall  Tabatha Marshall: PhishBucket   Tabatha Marshall: Something's VeriRotten with VeriResume  Content Type: TextPublication Medium: BlogSubject Area: DefamationThird-Party ContentPersonal JurisdictionTrade Libel Court Information & DocumentsJurisdiction: FloridaSource of Law: FloridaCourt Name: United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida; United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh CircuitCourt Type: FederalCase Number: 6:07-CV-1740-ORL-22KRS (district court); 08-12328-FF (appeals court)Relevant Documents: 2007-10-31-Internet Solutions Cease-and-Desist Letter.doc  2007-11-01-Internet Solutions Complaint.pdf  2008-04-08-Order Dismissing the Case.pdf  2007-11-20-Marshall's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction.pdf  2007-11-30-Internet Solutions Response to Motion to Dismiss.pdf  2007-11-20-Declaration of Tabatha Marshall in Support of Motion to Dismiss.pdf  2008-04-29-Internet Solutions' Notice of Appeal.pdf  2008-06-06-Internet Solutions Appellate Brief.pdf  2008-07-16-Marshall's Brief on Appeal.pdf  2008-12-12-ISC Letter Brief.pdf  2008-12-15-Marshall Letter Brief.pdf  2009-02-10-11th Circuit Opinion Certifying Question in ISC v. Marshall.pdf  2009-03-24-ISC's Brief on Certified Question.pdf  2009-04-13-Marshall's Brief on Certified Question.pdf  2010-06-17-Florida Supreme Court Decision.pdf  2010-09-30-Marshall second dismissal.pdf  CMLP Information (Private)CMLP Notes: User submitted through threat form Status checked on 6/5/2008, no case in Washington yet (AAB) Updated 1/22/09 - VAF Comments They Seem to be a scam  I failed to research prior to being excited to get my resume to more employers. after registering, I had an e-mail back from my education being verified stating that I had my start date incorrect for my BA degree. Now it shows disputed and that just looks ugly and unprofessional. For god sake I had my start date incorrect after spending 4 hours digging all my information out to enter. In my opinion if I still graduated with that degree, so frickin what if my start date was a few months off. I have tried to go in to fix that date and there seems to be no way to access my own data. There isn't even a darn phone number. What kind of business acts in this manner. My opinion, one that is out for nothing but solicitation. Why? Because even after I went through the steps and selected I did not want any information to any special offers from the approx 40 or so offers they threw at me, I still got 19 junk e-mail offers withing 15 seconds of finishing my inputs to their system. I feel this needs to get out to more people and the better business bureau. This is our people screwing our own people. With regards, Retired AF Guy that will research more in the future. The Alex Simon alias  An interesting detail in Marshall's brief is the mentioned Difrawi alias Alex Simon. The same name was also used in the threat mails to the scamfraudalert admin. So far Difrawi has always avoided to acknowledge that he is Alex Simon ( also spelled Siman with USAVoice).