Law Grad Sues Her Law School and Twitter

By William Vogeler, Esq. on June 22, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If at first you don't succeed, file an amended complaint.

It may sound like first-year civil procedure, but that's what law school graduate Tiffany Dehen knows so far. She sued her law school in February for defamation after someone there created a fake Twitter account to mock her.

Bloggers mocked her more for a "rambling lawsuit," so, well, she did it again. This time, she's really serious.

John Doe, Twitterer

Dehen claims that John Doe, or whoever created the offending Twitter account, should have been disciplined by the law school. She said the University of San Diego School of Law, where they attended, had a policy against "conduct that is disorderly, lewd, indecent or obscene."

The Twitter posts called Dehen a Nazi and a member of the KKK, made jokes about violence to animals and referenced her chastity. She reported it to Twitter, but the company declined her request to take down the account.

The legal question for defamation is whether the posts are a parody. Dehen told Above the Law that there are limits to the First Amendment.

"You can say something is parody all you want," she said. "This was not a parody."

Not a Nazi

Dehen was offended by the Twitter posts, in part, because she is anything but a Nazi. Her grandfather fought against the Germans in World War II and was decorated for liberating Holocaust victims. Dehen herself was a camp counselor at the Jewish Community Center in Tucson, Arizona.

On her website, Dehen says she filed her lawsuit to take a stand. In an email to FindLaw, she said she wants her lawsuit to "bring attention to the various safe harbors the tech companies are using as weapons against the American people."

In claims against Twitter, the lawsuit says that the company does not tolerate "repeated and/or non -consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone."

According to reports, Twitter said it declined to take down the account because it was a parody. However, the first amended complaint is no joke.

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