September 20, 2007 08:00 ET

Overstock Celebrates California Supreme Court's Denial of Petitions for Review; Rocker/Gradient Litigation Now on Track for Trial Eager to Begin Discovery and Move to Trial on the Merits

SALT LAKE CITY, UT--(Marketwire - September 20, 2007) -, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSTK) today announced that the California Supreme Court rejected Petitions for Review of Gradient Analytics and Rocker Partners in et al. v. Gradient Analytics et al. Overstock is suing the defendants for libel, unfair business practices and tortuous interference. The California Supreme Court decision clears the way for Overstock to proceed in all of its causes of action against Gradient Analytics, Rocker Partners and their principals.

Overstock alleged in its complaint that the Rocker Defendants paid Gradient Analytics to publish negative reports about Overstock, and that Gradient supplied pre-publication copies of these reports to Rocker for him to edit and front-run.

Whistleblowers within Gradient provided affidavits attesting to these claims, with statements such as:

"I heard many hedge funds request that [Gradient executive] Vickrey delay the public release of reports from 3 to 7 days to allow them to take a position in the stock."

One suggests that financial journalist Herb Greenberg was also involved:

"In particular, it appeared to me that Rocker, Vickrey, and Greenberg were coordinating their attacks on Overstock, and Vickrey and Greenberg were coordinating the content and timing of their various reports on Overstock to please Rocker."

The defendants have been arguing that their behavior is protected under the First Amendment. Today's decision by the California Supreme Court, handed down in the late afternoon, refused even a review of the California Court of Appeals ruling which upheld the trial court's rejection of defendants' arguments that Overstock's claims be thrown out on, among other grounds, that the case improperly curbed the Defendants' free speech rights.

Overstock Chairman and CEO Patrick Byrne said, "Wall Street will do anything to avoid having to stand in front of a jury of 12 Americans. For over two years these defendants have been hiding behind legal technicalities, delaying procedures, and the risible assertion that their patently illegal behavior was 'free speech.' Though almost all of the New York financial media has blindly and obediently parroted this assertion with a fervor that borders on a cover-up, their argument has now been rejected out-of-hand by the Marin County trial judge, the California Appellate Court in a 3-0 decision, the California Attorney General in an amicus brief filed with the California Appellate Court, and as of today, by the California Supreme Court as well. This case is about hedge funds illegally enriching themselves at the expense of others. I applaud today's decision, and confess I am immensely interested in discovery."

Jonathan Johnson, Overstock Senior Vice President of Legal said, "We're more than pleased with this decision. The gate is up on discovery. We now have rulings from all three levels of the California judiciary supporting Overstock's claims that its complaint has serious merit. The two lower courts found that Overstock had a 'reasonable probability' of prevailing on every claim, and the Supreme Court's final rejection of Defendants' Petition for Review is the ultimate capstone. Now that we're on the other side of Defendant's legal smoke and mirrors, we are eager for the day we can expose in great detail the defendants' serious misconduct."

About, Inc. is an online "closeout" retailer offering discount, brand-name merchandise for sale over the Internet. The company offers its customers an opportunity to shop for bargains conveniently, while offering its suppliers an alternative inventory liquidation distribution channel., headquartered in Salt Lake City, is a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ Global Market System and can be found online at is a registered trademark of, Inc.

The Gradient affidavits are available here:

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding moving to trial, the results of any trial or portion thereof, the strength of evidence of either side related to the litigation, as well as all such other risks as identified in our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006, and all our subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which contain and identify important factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those contained in our projections or forward-looking statements.

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