Ted Rall, who contemplated suing conservative columnist/author Ann Coulter for libel after she suggested (jokingly or otherwise) that Ted had entered the Iranian Holocaust cartooning contest, has decided against launching the suit on the grounds that it would be expensive and the verdict unclear.
From his blog:
One needs to have two things on one’s side to win a lawsuit: money and the law. Toward the first end I reached out to readers outraged by Coulter’s malicious smears against me and others whose only crime is criticizing the Bush Administration. Theyâ??youâ??didn’t let me down. I obtained serious pledge commitments (I asked readers not to send the actual money until and unless I filed a suit) sufficient to make fighting a suit against a moneyed defendant like Coulter feasible.
Because I am opposed to burdening the legal system with vanity litigation, I decided that I would only sue if I had an excellent chance to win. Therefore I asked my attorneys to exhaustively research case precedents relative to slander and libel in New York State and under federal law. Months of research have forced me to conclude that, though a lawsuit against Coulter would certainly withstand initial challenges and motions to dismiss and might ultimately prevail through verdicts and subsequent appeals, the road ahead is too uncertain to justify spending thousands of dollars of pledges, not to mention my own money.