Butler University has dropped its libel lawsuit against a student that criticized university administration in an anonymous blog, but not before it was able to obtain the identity of the student. It will continue to pursue its own disciplinary proceedings against the student, junior Jess Zimmerman.
Dan Altman, Zimmerman’s lawyer, said that the university filed the lawsuit not because it believed that Zimmerman posted libelous information, but because it wanted to silence his criticism. He called the lawsuit an example of a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP), lawsuits that are designed to intimidate defendants that are critical of the plaintiff.
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