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Revenge porn attorney to host CLE on how to fight ‘psychos, stalkers, trolls’

August 14, 2019 Rob Abruzzese

New York State is finally doing something big about revenge porn, and an attorney who has built her reputation on fighting “psychos, stalkers, pervs, and trolls” is ready to arm Brooklyn’s attorneys with the tools they need to protect their clients.

New York’s “revenge porn” law was passed in February, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo finally got around to signing it in July. With the new statute, New York finally joins 45 other states in the country that have already passed similar laws that ban non-consensual sharing of sexually explicit photos or videos.

“This year has been a triumph for victims’ rights in Albany with this and the Child Victims Act and other sexual harassment laws,” said attorney Carrie Goldberg. “Our lawmakers are finally catching up.”

Attorney and author Carrie Goldberg.
Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese

On Thursday, Oct. 3, Goldberg will host a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar at the Brooklyn Bar Association with her fellow attorney Susan Crumiller to educate lawyers on the statute.

“The plan is to talk about the new revenge porn law,” Goldberg said. “It’s really special in so far as it’s not just a criminal law, like many states have passed, but it also has a civil cause of action.”

Goldberg explained that while she doesn’t think the law is perfect, the fact that it includes a civil cause of action is a big deal and one that she wants to see lawyers comfortable utilizing to protect their clients.

“It’s the first new privacy tort in New York in ages,” Goldberg said. “The only other one we have seen recently is one that relates to commercial re-appropriation.”

Goldberg is hopeful that the CLE is well attended because the law has a lot of nuances. The biggest thing she wants to discuss is conjunctive relief when it comes to websites.

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“Your wording has to be specific in legal papers so it doesn’t conflict with federal law concerning immunity and liability,” she said. “This law has protections in employment context, which is what I want to talk about.

“I want employment lawyers to be attracted to this CLE because they need to alert their clients for those who defend employers,” Goldberg continued. “For those who do employment defense, they need to make sure their clients are aware of their new responsibilities, and plaintiffs have new legal action they can take as well.”

Under the new law, victims of non-consensual porn and people whose images have been circulating without their permission online or electronically can report the crime to the police as it is a misdemeanor. They can sue civilly and use it in workplace harassment suits.

“I’ve been fighting on issues on sexual privacy nationally for the last five and a half years and worked with tech companies to get them to ban revenge porn on their platforms,” she said. “It’s been a national effort. It’s nice to be able to do some of the work at home and educating other lawyers so they can pass it onto their clients.”

Goldberg’s first book, “Nobody’s Victim: Fighting Psychos, Stalkers, Pervs and Trolls,” is available online and in bookstores starting Aug. 13. Photo courtesy of Plume publishing

Goldberg isn’t just looking to arm other attorneys with the knowledge of how to fight revenge porn. She also published a book titled, “Nobody’s Victim: Fighting Psychos, Stalkers, Pervs, and Trolls” that came out on Tuesday, Aug. 13.

Her book shares her personal story about how she got involved in fighting revenge porn and shares stories of many of her major cases. She described it almost as a guidebook to fighting harassers for people dealing with or who have dealt with online stalkers.

“As an attorney who sees these cases over and over again, I see the patterns in offenders,” Goldberg said. “These guys are using the same playbook when they’re stalking, sharing revenge porn or assaulting my clients. There are characteristics that are common from type to type.

“Having that information is something I need to share,” she continued. “This book will keep people safe and also, for those who are currently being victimized by an abuser and a stalker, this book will give them resources. It’s written not in legalese, it’s a very accessible page-turning style.”

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