I am reserving commentary since I haven’t had a chance to look at the pleadings in depth. The answer to most of your questions is “I don’t know.” Are they suing the blogs? Commenters? I dunno.
So, without further ado, here are the pleadings. To use a lawyer phrase, they speak for themselves:
Dockets are found here:
Prenda and Paul Duffy filed in Illinois. Steele filed in Florida. Again, I don’t know why. Procedurally, these appear to be state court actions that were removed into federal court.
The named defendants in Illinois are represented by Erin Russell and Jason Sweet. It looks like Paul Duffy is representing himself and Prenda is represented by counsel. (I can’t make out the name in the pleading). In the Florida action, Brad Patrick is representing the named defendants, and John Steele is representing himself.
Get your popcorn, because this is going to get interesting…