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Antivaccine nonsense Autism Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Politics

A hilariously conspiratorial justification by Clifford Shoemaker for harassing a blogger

I’ve written a lot about the legal thuggery perpetrated against autism blogger Kathleen Seidel by an unethical lawyer named Clifford Shoemaker, who issued a subpoena against her based on dubious conspiratorial thinking about her supposedly being a shill for big pharma. Shoemaker, in case you didn’t know, is a lawyer who represents litigants suing vaccine manufacturers for “vaccine injury.” In this case, he represented Reverend Lisa Sykes and her husband as they sued Bayer for alleged vaccine injury, and Kathleen Seidel had done a long post about Shoemaker’s activities shortly before he issued the subpoena, which was clearly retaliation against Seidel. The subpoena itself was intrusive in the extreme and asked for all sorts of personal financial information; in other words, it was an obvious fishing expection. So egregious was Shoemaker’s action that even David Kirby and Dan Olmsted couldn’t stomach it.

Fortunately, Seidel’s self-drafted motion to quash was successful, and Shoemaker was ordered by the judge to justify his subpoena. Now, Shoemaker has finally responded, and it would be utterly hilarious were it not a legal action that’s deadly serious. It’s well worth reading yourself for its tidbits of paranoia. (The bit about how Kathleen Seidel’s husband David somehow has seized control of Wikipedia is especially precious.) Fortunately, Kathleen Seidel makes it hilarious by marking the text up with more than a little judicious linking to both useful and humorous sources and retorts.

Personally, I hope the court gives Clifford Shoemaker exactly what he deserves for his legal thuggery based on the “pharma shill” gambit.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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