Posts tagged as:

bullying businesses

For good reasons, most large companies have been reluctant to launch ambitious offensive litigation programs as plaintiffs: doing so can distract from productive missions, destroy valued business relationships, and harm a company’s public image. But lawyers (who of course may have a stake in the matter) are urging them to turn affirmative suit-filing into a profit center, including not only such relatively common grounds for legal dispute as intellectual property and insurance recovery, but also contractual and other claims against suppliers, tenants, and venture partners. [Vishneski/Souza, Corporate Counsel]

August 1 roundup

by Walter Olson on August 1, 2012


“When people like Rachel Kane stand up to bullies, it makes it a little bit easier for each and every one of us to stand up to bullies,” writes Ken at Popehat about the blogger who runs a site making fun of some of the wares of the fashion chain Forever 21, and who’s not knuckling under despite a cease-and-desist letter from the store’s lawyer. More coverage: Atlantic Wire; press roundup at WTForever 21.


“Spin magazine slapped Eric Rice, a Portland, Oregon Twitter user, with a cease-and-desist over his ‘@Spin‘ Twitter handle…. Spin, however, may just be following the precedent set by other magazines. Entrepreneur, for one, is notorious for bullying small businesses that use the word ‘entrepreneur,’ a term that the magazine claims to own.” [Dylan Stableford, Yahoo Cutline]

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At Cato at Liberty, I recall a couple of the tycoon’s ventures into the use of defamation litigation to intimidate critics — Reason #1,001 for thoughtful voters to stay well away from him.

P.S. And here’s Radley Balko with Reason #1,002.

“…It’s a more practical issue. Do you want to send your attorney a check every month indefinitely as I continue to pursue this?” [Paul Alan Levy, CL&P, on a business's threats against the "Insurance Forums" website]

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“Indeed, the cost of litigation would presumably quickly outstrip the asset value of the Washington City Paper,” wrote one Redskins official in a lawsuit-threatening letter to an investor in the alternative weekly. Not that owner Dan Snyder is a bully trying to silence his critics or anything! [letter from City Paper editor Amy Austin; Romenesko, TBD]


August 6 roundup

by Walter Olson on August 6, 2010

The lawsuit against Justin Kurtz over his Facebook page “Kalamazoo Residents Against T&J Towing” hasn’t been working out so well for T&J. [Detroit Free Press, earlier]

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If you want to get justice against a bad lawsuit, notes Ron Coleman, you might need to own a Mint.

Or at least it wasn’t for one video firm [Paul Alan Levy, Consumer Law and Policy]

T & J Towing of Kalamazoo, Mich. has filed a lawsuit demanding $750,000 from the Western Michigan University student who started the Facebook page “Kalamazoo Residents Against T&J Towing“. [WOOD and Consumerist via Switched; Kalamazoo Gazette (Facebook group reaches 10,000 members); & welcome Kashmir Hill/Above the Law readers]


Trouble on the consumer beat: a Florida travel company is suing travel gadfly Christopher Elliott over alleged inaccuracies in his reporting on regulatory actions taken by the state of Florida against the company (via Legal Satyricon).

December 1 roundup

by Walter Olson on December 1, 2009

  • Hertz drops libel lawsuit against investor research outfit that claimed its solvency was at risk [Crain's New York, earlier]
  • Report: New Jersey blogger jailed for threats against federal judges was on FBI informant payroll [AP]
  • “Bentley Photos Are Props in Willie Gary’s High School Motivational Speech” [ABA Journal]
  • Australian personal injury lawyers evade ad ban [Sydney Morning Herald]
  • Scott Rothstein’s alleged Ponzi scheme “targeted people who invested in law suits” [Steele/Legal Ethics Forum] “Two Inside Looks at Rothstein’s Firm, Lifestyle” [Ambrogi/Legal Blog Watch]
  • O’Quinn driving nearly twice speed limit on rainy pavement at time of crash [Chron]
  • “Support for UN religious defamation rule drops” [Media Watch Watch] On the other hand? “Envoy’s Speech Signals Softening of U.S. Hostility to International Court” [AP]
  • Rudely titled new book on how to avoid getting sued [Instapundit]

A story of startups and legal “leverage”, told by Daniel Tunkelang at Noisy Channel (via Pete Warden).

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Be careful what you say about the New York-based media giant and parent of Long Island’s Newsday. It has a lot of money to spend on lawyers. [Gawker] More: Citizen Media Law (stronger anti-SLAPP laws needed).

The tactic doesn’t seem to have worked very well in silencing the Consumers Union-run site, though. More: Citizen Media Law.

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Former tenant Amanda Bonnen had just 22 followers on Twitter when she commented in a strongly negative way about Horizon Realty of Chicago. And here’s what a spokesman for Horizon is quoted as saying about its lawsuit:

We’re a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization.

[Podcasting News, Mashable] More: WSJ Law Blog, Charles @ Popehat, Volokh, Bayard/Citizen Media Law. And according to a followup in the WSJ Law Blog, Horizon has apologized for the “sue first” comment, characterizing it as tongue in cheek, and says when it filed the libel action it was already the defendant in a lawsuit filed by Bonnen.