For the second time, a court has rejected Rabbi Mordechai Tendler's attempt to out anonymous bloggers who reported on Tendler's clergy sex abuse, which allegedly involved wearing tefillin while he had sex with vulnerable women who came to him for counseling, and telling those women he was the messiah and that sleeping with him had great positive religious import.
In this case, Tendler claimed he need to know the names of these four bloggers – one of them JewishWhistleBlower, I believe – in order to maximize the damages he might get if won.
Paul Alan Levy, an attorney for the Public Citizen Litigation Group, and his team represented the bloggers pro bono. They argued that when the evidence is needed by the plaintiff only impacts the amount of damages obtainable from the defendants, that is not a strong enough reason for depriving a blogger of his or her the right to report or criticize anonymously.
Justice Victor Alfieri of the New York State Supreme Court (i.e., the trial-level court, not the Supreme Court's appellate division, which hears first appeals, or the Court of Appeals, which is the state court of last resort for appeals, akin to the US Supreme Court) agreed with Levy and his team and quashed the subpoena.
Levy wrote today that the decision provides "broad protection" of anonymous speech.