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(Above the Law)   Epic response to letter full of legalese from lawyer who's apparently sick of this shiat   (abovethelaw.com) divider line 172
    More: Amusing, Latin phrases, SAT Scores, town council, injunctions  
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37008 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Jun 2013 at 4:28 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-18 05:01:24 PM  

Gyrfalcon: gingerjet: Voiceofreason01: Domain camping isn't cool.

You don't seem to know what 'domain camping' is so I'll just point out that this particular instance isn't an example of it.

This.

Which would have been my reply, if I'd been the attorney.


Good thing you're not an attorney then. This wasn't a cybersquatting complaint, it was a trademark complaint. Still fails, but not for the reason you think.
 
2013-06-18 05:01:28 PM  

Dear Jerk: There was this guy who stole my gal and I stole her back so he used his lawyer buddy to harass us. After one letter, I spelled out why he had no case, but offered him a swift kick in the ass as a good faith settlement. It felt good to send that letter and to think about his lawyer showing it to him.


You are hilarious.
 
2013-06-18 05:02:21 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: Pro bono lawyer, proving that people do their best work and have the most fun when they're working for free.

So eliminate the minimum wage.


I think the fact that he was working for free caused him to not really give a shiat what happened with the case, so he shot off a wise-ass response letter.
 
2013-06-18 05:05:23 PM  
I'm confused, I thought I was supposed to hate all lawyers.  My head hurts.
 
2013-06-18 05:06:28 PM  
I love how it was this whole big build up, then the payoff was in scribd.com, which is blocked at work.


/I hate the internet.
 
2013-06-18 05:06:43 PM  
4tehsnowflakes:

I still say, no matter how much bitterness there is between the clients, the lawyer should maintain a professional tone; the response to demand letter will likely be an exhibit before the court if a case is filed and proceeds, and most judges will not be amused by this kind of thing.

Please. Kaplitt could afford to be humorous because he knew that if West Orange pursued this case, they would be laughed out of court and then prosecuted for attempting to violate Freivald's civil rights. There was no case to be made, not from any angle on any point of law.
 
2013-06-18 05:07:42 PM  
any particular reason lawyer #1 consistently spells 'domain' with a capital D?  Does he think 'domain' is part of a proper noun?  Mr. Tech-savy Lawyer esq.
 
2013-06-18 05:08:31 PM  

Begoggle: Not to many real lawyers do "pro bono" work for some domain squatter.
What's the real story here?


"My lawyer can beat up your lawyer".
 
2013-06-18 05:09:05 PM  

OldManDownDRoad: Groucho Marx did it first.


awesome.
 
2013-06-18 05:10:17 PM  

noitsnot: Aren't cease and desist letters a standard CYA when you notice somebody using your trademarked material, even though you don't intend to really enforce it at that time?  You don't want to be accused of giving tacit approval down the road if things get weird?  Not that this was the case here - I'm just asking for info.


No, because the letter starts the clock ticking for the defendant to argue that you sat on your rights too long before enforcing them.  If enough time passes, that guy is home free even if he was infringing.  Also a common response to trademark-based demands is along the lines of, what about these 8 other people using similar marks?  It's not a strong defense.  The TM owner may choose against whom to enforce the mark, as long as it does some minimal policing of the mark.

/not legal advice, do not rely, YMMM (oblig)
 
2013-06-18 05:10:42 PM  

4tehsnowflakes: ecmoRandomNumbers: vudutek: kxs401: Huh, it's actually the writer of the response letter who comes off as rather an asshole bully.

At least Freivald hired a bigger asshole to smack down the lesser asshole.

And that's what you want in a lawyer.

As one of the assholes who does this kind of thing, 4ts says the second lawyer Kaplitt was right that the domain name claim is weak, but the letter is unprofessional. For example, a footnote referring to a personal property tax issue the lawyer has with the municipality, really?  The fact that he is doing the case pro bono does not excuse the arrogance.  Just telling the other side that you have lawyered up is usually enough to get them to back off to some degree.


It wasn't clear, but reread this part...

"P.S. Off topic, but as long as we're chatting, I hereby demand from the Township a refund in the amount of $28,763.22 for excess property taxes levied on 74 Terrace Avenue since my acquisition of ownership on August 9, 2010. Detailed calculations and legal authority available on request.

P.P.S. Wait, I have a better idea. I just learned that westorange.gov is still available and any state or local agency can license it from the U.S. General Services Administration for only $125 per year. Since the whole refund thing might trigger a stampede if word got around, instead how about if I form a limited liability company to conceal my identity, and then use it to license westorange.gov from the GSA - I'll just need a letter from Mayor Parisi designating my LLC as an authorized Township agent - and then my LLC will sublicense it to the Township for a paid-up royalty of $28,763.22 ! Pretty clever, huh ? Krakoviak will be a hard sell, but Sayers should like it. Just something to consider ..."

It sounds (to me) like he's implying in the P.P.S. that someone is already doing this, and that his claim for "excess property taxes" from the P.S. would be valid if this was brought to light for the public. Actually sounds like a veiled threat.

-I think we may have found one of the last lawyers in the states with balls.
 
2013-06-18 05:13:19 PM  
I think more lawyers need to write humorous, semi-serious letters to each other.
 
2013-06-18 05:14:33 PM  
I definitely was confusted by the C&D letter.


///reminds me of the day Rauol Jr, in a fit of pique over something I was saying, loudly demanded that I "Decease and Persist"
 
2013-06-18 05:17:40 PM  
Meh. If I was the guy's attorney, my letter would've read:

Dear West Orange Lawyer Guy:

Re: your C&D letter.

Ha ha, no.

Signed,
Uzzah
 
2013-06-18 05:18:51 PM  

p0nk: any particular reason lawyer #1 consistently spells 'domain' with a capital D?  Does he think 'domain' is part of a proper noun?  Mr. Tech-savy Lawyer esq.


Because in this case it is. He uses "domain" when referring to the domain ("you registered and began to use the domain name") but uses Domain in the context of the "Info Domain", in the same vein as referring to "the Defendant", "Township", etc.
 
2013-06-18 05:19:41 PM  

Lost Thought 00: The fact that lawyers, working for teh government no less, are legally allowed to threaten civilians like that in the first place is the real shame of our modern legal system.


Actually, the response specifically says he *can't* threaten him without cause, or he can be disbarred.

Has nothing to do with working for the government.
 
2013-06-18 05:19:58 PM  

Dear Jerk: There was this guy who stole my gal and I stole her back so he used his lawyer buddy to harass us. After one letter, I spelled out why he had no case, but offered him a swift kick in the ass as a good faith settlement. It felt good to send that letter and to think about his lawyer showing it to him.


"Your gal" sounds like a slut.

/just sayin'
 
2013-06-18 05:21:14 PM  

Raoul Eaton: reminds me of the day Rauol Jr, in a fit of pique over something I was saying, loudly demanded that I "Decease and Persist"


A demand you become a zombie? That would confust the hell out of me.
 
2013-06-18 05:21:49 PM  
Unless a larger font is used, I will consult my attorney.
 
2013-06-18 05:22:18 PM  

LonMead: one of my all time favorites:


That is beyond awesome.
 
2013-06-18 05:22:47 PM  
pic.photobucket.com
 
2013-06-18 05:22:59 PM  
Wow, that was EPIC.

not
 
2013-06-18 05:23:37 PM  
LOVE THAT!
 
2013-06-18 05:26:27 PM  
Beautifully done.
 
2013-06-18 05:27:12 PM  

OldManDownDRoad: Groucho Marx did it first.

img.fark.net
 
2013-06-18 05:30:09 PM  
Can someone post the response letter?

That letter is blocked at work for some reason
 
2013-06-18 05:30:48 PM  
Competence like this would never work for the government.
 
2013-06-18 05:31:49 PM  

Gabrielmot: It sounds (to me) like he's implying in the P.P.S. that someone is already doing this, and that his claim for "excess property taxes" from the P.S. would be valid if this was brought to light for the public. Actually sounds like a veiled threat.

-I think we may have found one of the last lawyers in the states with balls.


Yes, he has balls and yes he is making a threat in the PPS.  He is alleging that the current administration did a sweetheart deal to line someone's pockets on the official website design and maintenance.

However, the threat to harass the township with an unrelated claim over the valuation of his personal property for tax purposes is out of place and inappropriate.  It has nothing to do with the case.  And the threat to expose corruption does not belong here either.  If you piss off the judge you do a disservice to the client.

And to those imagining that the lawyer who wrote the letter could be in trouble for doing that, think again.  No case has been filed.  Even if it were filed, the bar is set pretty high on sanctioning lawyers for filing frivolous cases.  It has to be obviously for purposes of harassment.  A weak trademark-based claim is not going to get you there.
 
2013-06-18 05:32:50 PM  

uncle soondead: Can someone post the response letter?

That letter is blocked at work for some reason


Try here:
http://localforums.org/westorange/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=672f1879 95 5231139f46a7b128e33b0a&topic=101
 
2013-06-18 05:34:22 PM  
I would send back a Xeroxed copy of my middle finger. But that's me.

CSB:
Went into business with my brother and dad (note: don't ever do this). Eventualy they farked things up enough that we went out of business. Guess who was on the hook for most of the loans? Me, of course. I didn't even collect salary the first and last year. (Meanwhile my brother lands a six figure job at Cap One because of his buddy. He gets a job as a lead SQL server programmer. After which he calls me up and asks "What's SQL?" "Do you know anything about UNIX?" "Oh by the way, you never paid the last bill for your cell phone, so can you get that too me?" Oh sure, no problem. I just paid off $15,000 worth of company loans and am paying back 250 bucks a month on my second mortage which you wasted, but sure.) But I am getting off point here.
 One of the banks we used for a $450,000 loan (that I was against) decided I owed them the money.
They had a personal guarantee with my name on it that I didn't remember signing. (my dad wanted me to put my house up, and I told him to go screw. So he put his up). Signature looked like mine, but the initals were WAY off. When I went to the title company for a copy of all the documents, THAT particular document wasn't in there. Don't know where the bank got it from. Well their lawyer filed to have a judgement against me. With the gracious help of a JAG attorney (who was limited in what he could do, but gave me a great start) and copious amounts of google, I drafted a pretty decent response letter saying (basicly) I though they were full of shiat.

The bank's lawyer contacted me and says "What are you trying to do here? We've got you. You've got no recourse. If you fight this, you are only going to increase the cost of my legal fees which you will be responsible for"
I told him "well, first of all...you're after me for half a million. You think 20 thousand or so in extra legal fees means anything to me at this point? Ar you familiar  with the phrase 'If I owe your 1000 dollars I have a problem, if I owe you 1 million dollars *you* have a problem?' There is no way I'll ever be able to pay that in my lifetime. And if you do get the judgement I'll bankrupt out anyway. So my goal is to fight this for as long as possible and make this expensive as possible for your client. I don't have a lawyer, so this costs me nothing but time. But I do have the help of lawyers who will tell me what steps I need to take every step of the way. All I gotta do is the paperwork. And thanks to the internet, I have plenty of free examples to go by. So you ask me how expensive do I want to make it? I ask you how much does your client want to get stuck with, when I have no way of ever paying them?"

I've not heard back from them in about 6 months.
 
2013-06-18 05:35:09 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: For me the gold standard for these letters is this:

http://www.audioholics.com/news/industry-news/blue-jeans-strikes-bac k


TL;DR. I got about halfway through the letter before I gave up.
 
2013-06-18 05:35:31 PM  
It's funny because he's just earned his client a lawsuit?

/because that's what lawyers do!
 
2013-06-18 05:39:07 PM  

ArcadianRefugee: Raoul Eaton: reminds me of the day Rauol Jr, in a fit of pique over something I was saying, loudly demanded that I "Decease and Persist"

A demand you become a zombie? That would confust the hell out of me.


I was laughing too hard to be confusted.
 
2013-06-18 05:39:10 PM  

MythDragon: I would send back a Xeroxed copy of my middle finger. But that's me.



But god help you if you scan to email..
 
2013-06-18 05:39:15 PM  
ArcadianRefugee:
Because in this case it is. He uses "domain" when referring to the domain ("you registered and began to use the domain name") but uses Domain in the context of the "Info Domain", in the same vein as referring to "the Defendant", "Township", etc.

Thank you.  I am unfamiliar with that form of legalese where the "heretofore referred to as" is assumed in the parenthesis.
 
2013-06-18 05:39:59 PM  

p0nk: any particular reason lawyer #1 consistently spells 'domain' with a capital D?  Does he think 'domain' is part of a proper noun?  Mr. Tech-savy Lawyer esq.


It is a defined term.
 
2013-06-18 05:40:56 PM  

traylor: It's funny because he's just earned his client a lawsuit?


This lawyer wants a lawsuit, he wants to air the town government's dirty laundry.  If the town files suit, then they will go into discovery mode and he will request stuff the town does not want made public record.
 
2013-06-18 05:41:54 PM  

Theaetetus: uncle soondead: Can someone post the response letter?

That letter is blocked at work for some reason

Try here:
http://localforums.org/westorange/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=672f1879 95 5231139f46a7b128e33b0a&topic=101


Thanks... But no it does not make it through either, I'm shocked Fark makes it.
 
2013-06-18 05:42:58 PM  
400 Bad Requestnginx/1.2.9
 
2013-06-18 05:50:27 PM  

uncle soondead: Theaetetus: uncle soondead: Can someone post the response letter?

That letter is blocked at work for some reason

======

Stephen B. Kaplitt
Member of the Bar in New York * New Jersey * Maryland * District of Columbia (inactive)
1271 Avenue of the Americas
Suite 4300
New York, NY 10020
www.KaplittLegal.com
June 17, 2013

VIA EMAIL ONLY

Richard D. Trenk, Esq.
Township Attorney for the Township of West Orange
Trenk DiPasquale
347 Mount Pleasant Avenue
Suite 300 West Orange, New Jersey 07052

Dear Mr. Trenk:

I am pro bono counsel to Jake Freivald and write in response to your "cease and desist letter," dated May 13, 2013, regarding his domain westorange.info. Obviously it was sent in jest, and the world can certainly use more legal satire. Bravo, Mr. Trenk !

Not that we didn't get the joke ... but since Mr. Freivald had not previously encountered a humorous lawyer, he actually thought your letter may have been a serious effort by the Township to protect its legitimate interests. Rest assured, I've at least convinced him that it was certainly not some impulsive, ham-fisted attempt to bully a local resident solely because of his well-known political views. After all, as lawyers you and I both know that would be flagrantly unconstitutional and would also, in the words of my 4-year old, make you a big meanie.

Nonetheless, to further allay my client's concerns, will you kindly forward to me copies of the prank cease and desist letters you have no doubt also sent to the owners of the following domains:
   westorangeinfo.com (don't tell me you overlooked this one ... ?)westorange.patch.comwestorangenj.net (now that sounds like a Township website !)westorangehistory.comwestorangetax.comwestorangnurseries.comwestoran geins.comwestorangebassanglers.com (my personal favorite)westorangephoto.comwestorangeparade.comwestorangenephrology.c omwestorangeplumber.comwestorangerotary.orgwestorangemassagetherapy.co m (hopefully not a euphemism, suggest you investigate)
Oh, and just to play along, had you intended for your letter to be taken seriously, even in some small measure, we would have sent in response something along the following lines:

* * *

Dear Mr. Trenk:

1) The suggestion that Mr. Freivald's website is "likely to cause confusion" or "falsely create the impression" of association with the Township is farcical. As is evident from the attached home page snapshots, the Township's website is a "virtual" masterpiece developed by Icon Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a CivicPlus, at a cost to West Orange taxpayers of $35,000 (plus $5,000 per annum for hosting and maintenance). By contrast, my client's rudimentary website (cost: $3.17,1 free hosting) is so minimalist that it arguably qualifies as modern art.

2) To date, all ICANN rulings in this area have held that geographic domain names, by themselves, are not protected marks - especially when claimed by government or municipal authorities.2

3) I can't believe I really have to explain this, but here goes ... after nearly a century of First Amendment jurisprudence, it is well-settled that content-based restrictions on free speech by the government3 are subject to "strict scrutiny", and will only be upheld upon a showing that such restrictions "promote a compelling [governmental] interest" and are the "least restrictive means to further the articulated interest". See, e.g., Sable Communications of California, Inc. v. Fed. Comm. Commission, 492 U.S. 115, 126 (1989), and about a kajillion other U.S. Supreme Court free speech cases.

4) Will you kindly explain exactly which of its "federally protected rights" the Township believes my client "may" have violated.

5) So that I may properly counsel my client, please also explain what in Sam Hill's name you meant by "anything else confusingly similar thereto."

6) Last but not least, will you kindly provide to me the specific legal basis or bases for the Township's demand that my client cease and desist from "use, ownership and maintenance" of his domain. To paraphrase the bar exam instructions, feel free to cite any authority you consider relevant, including Federal, state or local laws, rules, regulations, ordinances, etc. (even those voluminous Township playground rules no one pays attention to). Since New Jersey Rule of Professional Conduct 4.1(a)(1) prohibits a lawyer from making a "false statement of material fact or law to a third person", surely you must have persuasive authority for the Township's extraordinary demand that my client relinquish private property lawfully purchased and owned by him.

If you manage to produce supporting authority that even remotely passes the laugh test, I will donate $100 in your honor to the American Civil Liberties Union - NJ Chapter. I plan to make the donation online, assuming the State of New Jersey has not shut down aclu-nj.org.

* * *

But of course, only a humorless suit would have sent such a response to your literary gag gift.

Sincerely yours,
Stephen B. Kaplitt

P.S. Off topic, but as long as we're chatting, I hereby demand from the Township a refund in the amount of $28,763.22 for excess property taxes levied on 74 Terrace Avenue since my acquisition of ownership on August 9, 2010. Detailed calculations and legal authority available on request.

P.P.S. Wait, I have a better idea. I just learned that westorange.gov is still available and any state or local agency can license it from the U.S. General Services Administration for only $125 per year. Since the whole refund thing might trigger a stampede if word got around, instead how about if I form a limited liability company to conceal my identity, and then use it to license westorange.gov from the GSA - I'll just need a letter from Mayor Parisi designating my LLC as an authorized Township agent - and then my LLC will sublicense it to the Township for a paid-up royalty of $28,763.22 ! Pretty clever, huh ? Krakoviak will be a hard sell, but Sayers should like it. Just something to consider ...

-----

[1] Jake swears that was his actual cost. Looking at his website, I believe him.

[2] See, e.g., City of Dearborn v. Dan Mekled d/b/a ID Solutions, FA 99602 (Nat. Arb. Forum Nov. 12, 2001)(insufficient evidence that "City of Dearborn" is a protected common law mark); City of Myrtle Beach v. Information Centers, Inc. FA 0112000103367(Nat. Arb. Forum March 8, 2002)("The City of Myrtle Beach is a geographical place. There is insufficient evidence that the name has acquired any secondary meaning [to create a protected trademark interest]"); and City of Salinas v. Brian Baughn, FA 97076 (Nat. Arb. Forum June 4, 2001)(insufficient evidence that "City of Salinas" mark acquired secondary meaning such that the City of Salinas may claim the exclusive right to use as a trademark).

[3] Yes, that includes the Township of West Orange. See Herbert v. Lando, 441 U.S. 153, 168 n. 16 (1979).
 
2013-06-18 05:55:36 PM  
From 2008, Blue Jeans Cable responds to Monster Cable's cease-and-desist letter on certain patents and trademarks:

http://www.bluejeanscable.com/legal/mcp/response041408.pdf
 
2013-06-18 05:56:01 PM  
Lawyer problems.

Please cease and desist all lawyer humor.
 
2013-06-18 05:56:21 PM  
It was great, then good, then got really childish for some reason.  Some people don't know when to quit when they're ahead, I guess.
 
2013-06-18 05:56:41 PM  

Theaetetus: MNguy: I think he said 'pro bono' when he meant to say 'pro se'.  Rookie mistake.

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 500x224]


Well, it sort of makes sense in the context of the P.S. and P.P.S. at the end of the response letter, so maybe the statement deserves the benefit of a doubt...
 
2013-06-18 05:57:09 PM  
it was the second letter that skirted (if not crossed) the rules of ethics.

from the few times fark has directed me to "above the law", I have to admit, that's the worst law blog/journal/website ever.  first, it totally dropped the ball on that 5th amendment issue the other day, and today it's picking the improper response over the harmless one (albeit, overprotective, but shiat, law is the business of managing risk.  you're going to be overprotective if risk is in your job description).

and if there is a person who could not make sense of the first letter, then you've found a person who cannot read.
 
2013-06-18 06:00:10 PM  
Still can't beat Private Eye & Arkell v Pressdram:

Arkell's lawyers wrote a letter which concluded: "His attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of your reply."

The magazine's response was, in full:

"We acknowledge your letter of 29th April referring to Mr J. Arkell. We note that Mr Arkell's attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of our reply and would therefore be grateful if you would inform us what his attitude to damages would be, were he to learn that the nature of our reply is as follows: fark off."

From link - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_Eye
 
2013-06-18 06:04:43 PM  

p0nk: any particular reason lawyer #1 consistently spells 'domain' with a capital D?  Does he think 'domain' is part of a proper noun?  Mr. Tech-savy Lawyer esq.


he defined "Domain" as a term referring to the domain.  so, whenever capitalized, that's the shorthand for the previously given defined term (the whole domain name).  he made it a proper noun be making it a defined term.  lawyers do this kind of shorthand all the time. makes for easier reading all the while maintaining the precision you need.
 
2013-06-18 06:05:47 PM  

pute kisses like a man: it was the second letter that skirted (if not crossed) the rules of ethics.

from the few times fark has directed me to "above the law", I have to admit, that's the worst law blog/journal/website ever.  first, it totally dropped the ball on that 5th amendment issue the other day, and today it's picking the improper response over the harmless one (albeit, overprotective, but shiat, law is the business of managing risk.  you're going to be overprotective if risk is in your job description).

and if there is a person who could not make sense of the first letter, then you've found a person who cannot read.


I bet you drink tepid water and think saltines are "the bee's knees" don't you?
If you consider trying to bully someone from exercising their first amendment rights harmless, and can't understand that the C&D letter was an attempt to harass someone with political views they (the council, council member, or lawyer) didn't like then I think you're more ignorant than someone who can't read.
 
2013-06-18 06:06:28 PM  

OldManDownDRoad: Groucho Marx did it first.


I had to look up what "dog-in-the-Wanger" meant.

It didn't mean what I thought it meant.

/I was grateful.
//Unless it isn't a typo and this is incorrect?
 
2013-06-18 06:07:11 PM  

Super Chronic: Theaetetus: MNguy: I think he said 'pro bono' when he meant to say 'pro se'.  Rookie mistake.

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 500x224]

Well, it sort of makes sense in the context of the P.S. and P.P.S. at the end of the response letter, so maybe the statement deserves the benefit of a doubt...


Letter looks as if it was drafted by a 13-year old kid.  'What in the Sam Hill.'
 
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