At RedState, Leon Wolf has been parodying the work of Senatorial daughter and talk-show personality Meghan McCain. McCain’s lawyer, Albin Gess of Snell & Wilmer, wrote RedState editor Erich Erichson to threaten litigation over the posts, which prompted this magnificent letter in response (PDF) from Georgia attorney Christopher Scott Badeaux, representing Wolf. It also guaranteed more critical attention to McCain herself and her work, including this cruel entry by Ken at Popehat.
What Ken calls “the use of money and power to achieve censorship” — particularly in jurisdictions where judges are averse to awarding sanctions and anti-SLAPP protections are weak — is a continuing problem long overdue for open public discussion.
Should they be nastygrams, or adopt a more measured tone? [Ron Miller]
Attorney, for intimidation purposes only, no followup required [Elie Mystal, Above the Law]
Patrick at Popehat has compiled “A Small Businessman’s Guide To Dealing With Obnoxious Letters From Lawyers.”
The law firm in question had sent a nastygram over a blog post that wasn’t even about their client, but merely combined the phrase “academic advantage” with (in comments) the word “scam.” Academic Advantage now says it has “severed its relationship” with the L.A. law firm involved. [California Watch, BoingBoing, earlier]
Behind the menacing letter in question, apparently: a baffling failure to grasp the context in which the phrase “Academic Advantage” appeared on the popular blog.
This time it’s Patterico on the receiving end. Excerpt: “I have filed over a hundred lawsuits and another one will be no sweat for me. On the other hand, it will cost you a lot of time and money and for what.”
And yet Mr. Page’s demand letter seems only to have succeeded in getting his name, and that of his modeling agency, into wider circulation. [Ken at Popehat]
Lawyers for the National Pork Board, which maintains the trademark “The Other White Meat,” sent a 12-page cease-and-desist letter to a website which had promoted cans of supposed “Unicorn Meat” as the “new white meat.” It is not clear whether Faegre & Benson realized that the cans were a fake product intended for April Fool’s Day. [ThinkGeek] More: Lowering the Bar.
“If you sell sandwiches that happen to be, oh, 12 inches long, and you dare to refer to said sandwiches as being a ‘footlong,’ then Subway would like to have a word with you.” [Bruce Carton, Legal Blog Watch; cease and desist letter, PDF, via NPR]
And prints a saucy response. Earlier here, here, etc.
And now someone must pay [The Smoking Gun]
More: Jon Coppelman consults Ogletree’s “settlement calculator”.
Peabody Energy, by way of St. Louis law firm Senniger Powers, has sent a nastygram (PDF) demanding the takedown of an enviro-activist website that critically mimics the “Consortium for ‘Clean Coal’ Utilization,” of which Peabody is a part. Along with trademark infringement claims, the letter advances a congeries of other legal theories (defamation, tortious interference with contracts) and insists on the total removal of the site. [Citizen Media Law, EFF, Riverfront Times]