by Paul Alan Levy
As previously discussed here, Houlihan Smith, a Chicago investment bank, obtained a temporary restraining order against 800Notes.com after it refused to remove negative comments from consumers (and former employees) but then was denied a preliminary injunction after Julia Forte, the operator of 800Notes, got notice of the suit and was able to call to the Court's attention section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, as well as the plaintiff’s factual misrepresentations and faulty legal arguments. Houlihan Smith has now dismissed its action with prejudice. Houlihan Smith initially refused to withdraw its suit, even after Forte moved to dismiss, but also missed the deadline for opposing the motion to dismiss and finally began to pay attention to the case again after Forte threatened to seek Rule 11 sanctions. Forte has begun the process of seeking an award of attorney fees under the same statutory fee provisions that Houlihan Smith itself had invoked in its complaint.