Editorial: The perils of dating / Suing is not the answer to an unhappy date
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Pittsburgh lawyer Todd J. Hollis would have been wiser to laugh and let it go when someone trashed him on an obscure Web site created to enable women to warn others about dicey dates.
The site -- www.dontdatehimgirl.com -- provides space for men to challenge accusations made in postings, but Mr. Hollis chose not to do that.
He decided instead to file a defamation suit against the owner of the Web site, which made the postings even more public, and got himself lots of attention. His profile on the Web site now has thousands of hits, while most others have fewer than 200.
And now when "Todd Hollis" is Googled, sites come up talking about the suit and linking to the accusations on the "dontdate" Web site. One of them offers a piece of advice to Mr. Hollis from a celebrated Washington trial lawyer. It says the attorney told clients who wanted to sue for defamation: "Nothing is usually a good thing to say, and always a good thing to do."
Suing is one thing in the case of the Mt. Lebanon teen-ager who is described in the vilest of sexual terms in a "Top 25" list that was e-mailed and distributed directly to her friends and acquaintances.
But suing for defamation by a 38-year-old man portrayed in much tamer terms on a Web site makes the lawyer look as ridiculous as the descriptions of him on the Web site.
First Published July 5, 2006 12:00 am