The Blog Police (They Live Inside of My Head)!

What is with all these South Florida blogger suits:
It seems that Dr. Tobinick does not appreciate public criticism of his claims and practice, and he wants me to remove the post from SBM. In my opinion he is using legal thuggery in an attempt to intimidate me and silence my free speech because he finds its content inconvenient.

Of course, we have no intention of removing the post as we feel it is critical to the public’s interest. This is what we do at SBM – provide an objective analysis of questionable or controversial medical claims so that consumers can make more informed decisions, and to advance the state of science in medicine.

We also feel it is critical not to cave to this type of intimidation. If we do, we might as well close up shop (which I suspect the Tobinicks of the world would find agreeable). Defending against even a frivolous lawsuit can be quite expensive, but we feel it is necessary for us to fight as hard as we can to defend our rights and the work that we do here at SBM.
An interesting wrinkle of this suit is that Tobinick is claiming that my blog post is an “advertisement.” This is a legal maneuver as the threshold for forcing someone to remove an advertisement is much lower than the threshold for suppressing their free speech. I can only assume that he and his attorneys are not bothered by the fact that blog posts on SBM are blatantly not advertisements.

In the case of the Enbrel article he had to make the absurd claim that the post (which does not mention my own practice) was an advertisement for my neurology practice at Yale, designed to attack a “competitor.” He would have us believe that Yale neurology in Connecticut is concerned about a distant clinic. Further, Yale Neurology is an academic practice. Our problem is too many referrals and long wait times, not competitors. To see how desperate the claim is, he argued that because I use Botox, which can be used to treat symptoms following stroke, that his treatments for stroke represent a competitor. However, I don’t use Botox to treat stroke patients. I mostly use it to treat migraines, as I am a headache specialist.

Perhaps he feels that my 18-year career promoting science, critical thinking, and science-based medicine is just a cover so I can occasionally attack distant tangential “competitors.”

In any case, the fight is on.
So, as usual, this guy has drawn more attention to a post that likely would have evaporated into the inter-ether amid the wash of Beyonce updates, sad Keanu Reeves pics and cute kitten videos.

The suit does seem like a bit of a stretch.

And the good doc from Yale has a master in his corner -- "Razzles" Randazza, who rightly toned down the snark in his opposition papers (he's before Judge Zloch):
On May 17, 2013, the Plaintiffs demanded a retraction of the critical article, which Dr. Novella declined to provide. Novella Decl. ¶¶17-18. Thirteen months later, the Plaintiffs filed suit, alleging Lanham Act violations, unfair competition, trade libel, libel per se, and tortious interference with business relationships. They now seek an untimely and unwarranted prior restraint in the form of a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction. As a result of the excessive thirteen-month delay, Plaintiffs’ request for an preliminary injunction is moot, and must be denied for being untimely.
Wonder if this case will turn out as well as that other one we've been following.


  1. It's not the crime but the coverup!


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