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The lawsuit, filed in New York State Supreme Court earlier this month, details the claim that Huffington and Lerer, after having met with Democratic consultants Peter Daou and James Bryce, had all shook hands after having come up with the idea for the liberal website. It states that Huffington and Lerer then struck out without their two supposed-partners. The complaint reads in part:
Huffington has styled herself as a new media maven and an expert on the effective deployment of news and celebrity on the internet in the service of political ends...
Attorneys for the consultants are certain they can prove the website was ''founded on false impressions and inaccuracies'' and that the new media ideas were stolen from Daou and Brice and therefore, the promise, via the handshake, was broken. The site was intended to ''push the message'' for the Democratic party while also serving as a fundraising avenue. Huffington denies the charges and calls the lawsuit ''absurd'' and a ''ludicrous supposition''. She also claims the two men approached her in search of a job, and not a business proposition most recently (she does state they approached her six years earlier, but the lawsuit is in regards to a more recent meeting). She states, ''We have now officially entered into Bizzaro World''.
Huffington and Lerer have both stated that they declined to go into business with the consultants more than six years ago and reiterated Daou and Bryce had nothing to do with the creation, running or financing Huffington Post. Further, they insist the two consultants said they'd not file the suit and ''would go away for just a little money''.
Whether or not it's true and if the two plaintiffs win their suit, which many say is unlikely, they will use the funds to support progressive causes and citizen journalists. Despite those who say the suit will never be won, it's important to note that anytime intellectual property is involved, such as the one with the 2008 Facebook lawsuit, there is reason to not jump to any conclusions. Some say if Daou and Boyce can absolutely prove the offering included something specific and more than a general notion, there's a good chance they could win. Forbes Magazine values Huffington Post at $100 million in 2008.
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