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Sunday, October 21, 2007

John C. Dvorak on Dozier Internet Law

John C. Dvorak is a big name in technology analysis. I remember reading his columns in PC Magazine (he had two every issue) and watching him on CNET (the television show, not the website) before I even had a computer. So it's especially pleasing that Dvorak links to Techdirt and Public Citizen in a post about Dozier Internet law.

Read Dvorak's article.

Web discussion about Dozier Internet Law is very broad: from the erudite, to the elementary, from the case study, to the threatened blogger, everyone is talking about Dozier.

Why aren't you?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Does the Direct Buy / Dozier Internet Law Case Demand Legal Reform?

First DirectBuy hired the thugs at Dozier Internet Law to silence a critique....

And now, dmcgowan Legal Ethics Forum has a very insightful post on copyright threats in cease-and-desist letters (as I mentioned to Curtis). Dozier Internet Law isn't the first firm to try this stunt, and in spite of Dozier's horrible track record probably won't be the last.

After analyzing existing rules on misconduct, DMC suggests a new one:

"In dealing on behalf of a client with a person who is not represented by counsel a lawyer shall not . . . . (b) explicitly or implicitly threaten the recipient of any communication from the lawyer with legal action based on the reproduction, performance, or display of that communication."


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What is Dozier Internet Law's Donald E. Morris's motive?

I am not a lawyer. But I am interested in law, and two posts at New York Personal Injury Attorney deserve mention. Both relate to Dozier Internet Law, the lawyers for DirectBuy that sent a copyrighted cease-and-desist letter to a blog that was critical of their business.

Emphasis is mine on the excerpts below, but the text is NYPIA's

From "Personal Injury Law Round-Up #31:"

This one is priceless and really deserves its own post if I weren't so busy: From Public Citizen's Consumer Law and Policy Blog comes: Don't Post This Cease-and-Desist Letter, Or Else. Seems some chuckleheaded lawyer representing DirectBuy -- which isn't happy that some folks think the company's direct buy plan is a "scam" and a "nightmare" -- thinks his threatening cease and desist letter is copyrighted and can't be posted online. Ha! says Public Citizen, which tells Dozier Internet Law, P.C to stick it where the sun don't shine. And yes, "chuckleheaded lawyer" is clearly an opinion.

And from "Don't Post This Letter on the Internet!:"

The writer of the original letter, Donald Morris, seems to have clearly done his client a grave disservice with this stupidity. (I mentioned this the other day in my personal injury law round-up, but thought this chuckleheaded conduct needed its own post.) Perhaps his threats have succeeded before, but the result is that the letter, and the claims against his client, are now being re-broadcast across the internet.

(Mr. Donald E. Morris, Esq. is a practicing lawyer who works in Dozier Internet Law P.C.'s Glen Allen Office and wrote the threatening letter, as you can see in the pdf version).

NYPIA's point, I believe, is that the Donald Morris / Dozier law letter was so poorly written that it was "chuckleheaded" and "stupid." Another possibility, of course, is that the letter may have been intelligent and smart -- and aimed at Dozier Internet Law itself. On Dozier's "page hawking its service in defamation suits includes several incidents of employees and former employees purposefully sabotaging their employers out of spite.

So who is Donald Morris working for, anyway?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Punishment and Torture

Michael Devlin, who would also be a murderer if the child hadn't talked him out of it -- who kidnapped a boy for four years -- agreed to a plea deal which will, theoretically, send him to jail for the rest of his life.

The obvious question, as this is notionally a death sentence, is why the state wishes the execution to take decades instead of a much shorter amount of time. In other words, why not just kill him?

One explanation, supported by Senator John Kerry and others, is that we should torture people. That is, ending lives is too merciful and that the schadenfreude Twe get from imprisoning (subjecting to prison rape, etc.) Michael is reward enough. [Senator Kerry grants, though, that terrorists should have the mercy of death as quickly as possible. ]

Another is that we should be as merciful to Michael Devlin as we are to, say, a dog we really hated. So we shouldn't allow him normal peer interaction, the ability to move about, etc., but we should not put him down, either.

I, opposed to punishment and torture, I reject both notions. Too much is influenced by both environment and genetics to believe that individuals are rational agents who think things out in any coherent manner. Or at least, such thinking is too far removed from action and observed physical evidence to allow men to know the hearts of others. Rather, our "justice" system should be based on discipline (teaching) and deterrence (making sure something doesn't happen again), while minimizing suffering.

The questions should then be?

How can we teach Michael Devlin not to do this again?
Or, failing that, how can we guarantee that Michael Devlin will not do this again?
Whatever our approach, how may we do this without torturous punishment?

(Thanks for Mark of ZenPundit for an email which inspired this post.)

12:18 Posted in Law | Permalink | Comments (1) | Tags: punishment, torture

Copyrighted Cease and Desist Letters

Has anyone heard of copyrighted cease and desist letters before Dozier Internet Law slapp'd Infomercial Scams with one (and Public Citizen stood up for speech)? The only google result for "copyrighted cease and desist" comes from Legal Research Blog's coverage of the Dozier letter, while the copy occurrence of "copyrighted C&D" comes to kd.to_tumblr's reporting on the DirectBuy case.

(Chilling Effects has a searchable cease-and-desist database, but I'm not familiar enough with it to find any copyrighted strategic lawsuits against public participation.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Cost of the War on Drugs

An Associated Press story, 3 Charged in PC Magazine Editor's Death:

Three men have been charged with murdering a senior editor for PC World magazine in what police said was an attempt to steal marijuana that the victim's son grew in their home for medical use.

Rex Farrance, 59, the San Francisco-based magazine's senior technical editor, was shot in the chest on Jan. 9 after masked men broke into his suburban home.

Prohibition kills.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Struggles, both violent and political

There's something a little ironic about a rally in support of what everyone believes are violent criminals themselves joyously breaking the law:


Wave after wave of marchers walked a long hot mile to Jena High School. There, with only a handful of police to stop them, they swept past the school's chain link fence and on to the school grounds.

and that:

But unlike the protests that became landmarks for civil rights when fire hoses and police dogs greeted demonstrators, the rally to support six black teenagers charged in a school fight had a festive yet laid-back air.

"It was a great day," said Denise Broussard, of Lafayette, La. "I really felt a sense of purpose and commitment, but it was also a lot of fun. I met great people and made some good friends."

The assault itself seems to be a case of honor violence, endemic among ex-confederate populations (both white and black). One wonders how much of the national attention is an attempt by Jessee Jackson's southern clique to sink the candidacy to half-white Barack Obama who, whatever he is, is not Dixie.

Update: Shannon Love ads his thoughts.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Convicted sex predator to serve one day in jail

Mike Nifong, a convicted sexual predator (or whatever else you would describe a man who used his government office to organize a kidnapping ring against innocent late-adolescents on sexual grounds) has been sentenced to one day in jail:

From the day he took over the Duke lacrosse rape case, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong charged forward with a strident determination that the guilty would end up in jail. Ultimately, the since-disgraced former prosecutor only succeeded at putting himself behind bars.

Nifong was sentenced Friday to a single day in jail, having been held in criminal contempt of court for lying to a judge during his pursuit of rape charges against the three falsely accused lacrosse players....

It was the latest in a line of punishments for a broken man who once confidently trumpeted to anyone within earshot that a woman hired to perform as a stripper at a March 2006 lacrosse team party had been raped.

While certainly it's good that Mr. Nifong will serve a day in jail (less than a former history teacher of mine served for having the same name and ethnicity as a convict, because he was picked up on Saturday and office staff who could realize the mistake did not come in until Monday) and change careers (a "punishment" a globalized economy inflicts on thousands of Americans every year), the Mike Nifong/Crystal Gail Mangum conspiracy that criminals with just the right mix of race and status (a white male prosecutor, a black female accuser) who work together are essentially above the law.

Too bad.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Comparative medical technology

Ritter, M. (2007). Brain-injured man speaks after 6 years. Associated Press. August 1, 2007. Available online: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8QOBPDG0&show_article=1.

Neat trick...

A brain-damaged man who could communicate only with slight eye or thumb movements for six years can speak again, after stimulating electrodes were placed in his brain, researchers report.

The 38-year-old also regained the ability to chew and swallow, which allows him to be spoon-fed, rather than relying on nourishment through a tube in his belly.

The man's brain was injured during an assault, he spent six years with only occasional signs of consciousness and no useful movement of his limbs. In an experiment, researchers implanted electrodes in his brain for a procedure called deep brain stimulation, which is routinely done for Parkinson's disease and some other illnesses.

... but presumably an even better medical advance would be to castrate and imprison, or execute, violent criminals. (At least if your goal is social wellness.)

15:19 Posted in Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Linwood Wilson Out

Linwood Wilson, one of the Durham County thugs who helped Michael Byron Nifong and his co-conspirators (Crystal Gail Mangum, Jessee Jackson, the Group of 88, etc) try to get some youths raped in prison, has lost his job.

Fortunately, the villians are now stabbing each other in the back. Durham-in-Wonderland has video and text of Nifong criticizing Wilson.

For those new to the scandal, an enjoyable recap is available onYouTube.