Internet provider to transfer site’s info to solicitor

A US-based provider of internet services is to transfer the domain name and the registration of www.rate-your-solicitor.com to a solicitor who claimed he was defamed on the website.

Damien Tansey, a Sligo-based solicitor, secured various orders in January against Dotster Inc, which he alleged provided internet services to those hosting the website and two individuals — John Gill and Ann Vogelaar — he said were running and operating the site.

Mr Gill, who says he has nothing to do with the site, and Ms Vogelaar denied those claims. Mr Gill has further indicated he intends to appeal all orders, including to pay Mr Tansey’s legal costs, to the Supreme Court.

Yesterday at the High Court, Mr Justice Michael Peart made a number of orders, at the request of Richard Humphreys SC for Mr Tansey, to transfer the domain name, registration, and hosting accounts of both rate-your-solicitor-.com, which no longer functions, and crookedlawyers.com to Mark Humphrys of the DCU school of computing on behalf of Mr Tansey.

The judge further ordered Dotster to provide Mr Humphreys with access to files associated with the websites, passwords, and contact names of those who paid Dotster to host and register the sites over the past five years, as well as emails sent by the site’s operators during the same period.

Counsel said his client’s proceedings against Dotster were concluded, and orders previously obtained against it could be struck out.

Mr Justice Michael Peart previously granted mandatory injunctions, pending the full hearing of the action, against Mr Gill, Drumline, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare, and Ms Vogelaar, Parklands, Westport, Co Mayo, requiring them to terminate the operation of the website.

They were also ordered to remove material posted about Mr Tansey on the website and to refrain from publishing further defamatory material about him. They were directed to deliver the names and address of all those involved in the posting of defamatory material, plus details about those who operated the site.

He granted similar orders against Dotster Inc and, in the absence of any defence put forward by Dotster, granted judgment against it in favour of Mr Tansey, with the sum of damages due to be assessed later.