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Tactical Maneuvers in Suit Against Lexis

ATLANTA (CN) - In what appears to be a tactical move, Attorney Steven Newton has moved to dismiss one of his earlier cases against Reed Elsevier's division LexisNexis while another more recent suit remains pending. Newton, representing several Atlanta attorneys, says Lexis and the Fulton County courts are violating state law by charging fees through an electronic filing system owned and run by Lexis.

The current complaint, filed on Jan. 6, is Newton's fourth lawsuit against Fulton County, Reed Elsevier and LexisNexis.

In the next most recent complaint -- the third lawsuit against the same parties -- Newton was scheduled to go before DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Robert J. Castellani last week to argue that all Fulton County judges should be recused from hearing the case. It is that suit that he has moved to dismiss.

"This class action arises from an illegal scheme enacted by defendant Reed Elsevier Inc. dba Lexis-Nexis Courtlink Inc. and defendant Fulton County to impose an unlawful, mandatory e-filing system upon litigants in Fulton County State and Superior Court and to charge excessive and unauthorized fees in connection therewith. Defendant Fulton County has participated in the illegal scheme by promulgating a 'pilot program' authorizing Lexis' unlawful mandatory e-filing scheme and excessive fees without the statutory authority to do so," according to the complaint.

Newton represents W. Phillip McCurdy III, Michael Cawthon, Nelson Picklesimer, Kenneth Clowdus as administrator for the estate of Kenneth Larry Clowdus, The Best Jewelry Manufacturing Company and Does.

Newton filed a similar lawsuit against Lexis-Nexis Courtlink and Fulton County in Federal Court. He filed his original lawsuit in December 2007, withdrew it in March 2008, and refilled in June 2008. That case was dismissed in March 2009.

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