Eclipse Aviation: New CEO, Blogger Suit Quashed
By Karen Di Piazza /CharterX Industry Headline News
Monday, Vern Raburn, founder of Eclipse Aviation Corp., was ejected from his position as CEO. Roel Pieper, Eclipse chairman, founder and chairman of the of European Technology and Investment Research Center, became Eclipse's acting CEO. Raburn will act as vice chairman of ETIRC, to focus on global expansion of the Eclipse 500 very light. With Raburn gone, Friday, the Eclipse Aviation Critic NG blog lawsuit, lead by Raburn, was quashed. (Reference the April 25 article, Eclipse Aviation Critic Blogger Fights Eclipse Aviation Subpoena, and Quash Eclipse Aviation Subpoena of Eclipse Aviation Critic Bloggers, published May 8.)
Eclipse served Google in California with a subpoena demanding it release personal information and the identities of 29 bloggers. Rich Lucibella, who's in the publishing business, wasn't one of the 29 people on Eclipse's list. A huge proponent of the First Amendment and everything it stands for, Lucibella hired Florida-based attorney Norman Malinski, who took on Eclipse on behalf of the 29 bloggers. He immediately filed a motion to prevent Google from releasing bloggers' private information.
Eclipse had first filed a lawsuit in New Mexico, where Eclipse is headquartered, against unnamed people that agedly violated company non-disclosure agreements; however, Eclipse sought to subpoena Google for the names of 29 bloggers trying to match identities with those who may have breeched NDAs. The New Mexico case was sealed for months; Malinski successfully filed a motion unsealing the case in late July.
Eclipse ended up withdrawing both the New Mexico and California case, with terms set by Malinski. "If Eclipse ever goes after these 29 bloggers again, Eclipse could face financial penalties in advance of proceedings," Malinski said.
Malinski said that the First Amendment is important. "Freedom of speech rights includes being able to keep your identity anonymous, to be able to express freedom of speech, to have the freedom to disagree with someone else's opinion without being harassed."
Lucibella said that he was happy that more money won't be "wasted by Eclipse's creditors on this frivolous lawsuit, and that the suit was nothing more than a personal vendetta by Raburn."
Shane Price, host of the Eclipse Aviation Critic NG blog, said, "I'm delighted that the revised management structure at Eclipse decided to withdraw the 'John Doe, Jane Doe' litigation. It was a waste of time, a waste of management resources and cash. Rich Lucibella deserves gratitude for his selfless act to protect others' welfare; he funded the defense of First Amendment rights."
Eclipse declined to comment.
This article is reproduced here 'for the record'. Although Karen was kind enough to quote me, I wish to state that we all owe Gunner, big time, for his direct action in the matter. A man who says what he means and means what he says. His lawyer, Norman Malinski, also deserves credit for his prompt actions at all times, and the astute manner in which he identified the weaknesses in the Eclipse submissions.
So, there you have it. The suit is finished, and cannot be reactivated unless EAC stump up a pile of cash. I hope you all sleep a little easier now. I know I will...