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Blogger Successfully Quashes Subpoena 172

Posted by kdawson
from the oh-and-here's-your-head dept.
Ares writes "In a follow-up to Blogger Subpoenaed for Criticizing Trial Lawyers, Katherine Seidel's blog indicates that not only has she successfully quashed her subpoena, but the lawyer issuing said subpoena is now under orders to appear and explain why the courts shouldn't sanction him for it. This should be interesting, because in addition to Ms. Seidel's subpoena in New Hampshire, the lawyer issued a similar subpoena to a doctor and a Harvard professor under similar circumstances."
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Blogger Successfully Quashes Subpoena

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  • by Ossifer (703813) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @03:54PM (#23163576)
    Good to hear she can return to addressing more important things in life... like autism...
  • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @04:07PM (#23163704)
    Well, how about that... If only this sort of story were not the exception rather than the rule.

    I have a friend who recently started a small business (he makes board games). On release of his first game, he was immediately sent a letter from a competitor's lawyer demanding either cease-and-desist, or a licensing agreement for the use of the term "Superheroes*". Are you kidding me?! My understanding is that this company routinely threatens any small business (they're fairly small too) that creates a game with "Superheroes" in the name, and threatens legal action or a licensing payment.

    Most of these companies run on a shoestring budget and caved, but my friend hired a lawyer to write an aggressive response, threatening countersuits, etc. My understanding is that he never heard from them again. In an ideal world, this sort of through-the-legal-system extortion and bullying would be severely reprimanded, but in the real world, a small business is generally considered lucky if they only have to shell out a few hundred (or thousand) in lawyer fees.

    * It wasn't really that, but a similarly generic term. I don't want to stir anything up for my friend. Lawyers may be listening!
  • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @04:11PM (#23163750) Journal
    Injustices benefit a few, justice benefits us all. By the numbers, you're more likely to benefit from justice than injustice.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @04:13PM (#23163762)
    similarly, the fact that we like to root for the underdog...

    perhaps this is related to our empathic natures. We are capable of placing ourselves into these stories, of seeing that if it could happen to them, it could happen to us. By seeing justice served, it means that one less person can act against our own best interests. In effect, when the big bully gets knocked down a peg, we are safer - even if it wasn't us getting picked on in the first place.
  • by fm6 (162816) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @04:13PM (#23163766) Homepage Journal
    ...is how much in the way of legal bills did Seidel run up getting the supoena quashed. If it was a lot, we should be outraged. And if we're outraged, we should express our outrage in a constructive manner: go to her web site, click on "donate" and drop a few bucks in her kitty.

    And don't say "She can get damages from that shyster for his misuse of the legal system". That's a lot harder to do than people seem to realize.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @04:19PM (#23163840)
    Oh crap. That's wrong. Genes can code for behavior that's bad for the individual, but good for the survival of that particular gene.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @04:45PM (#23164156)
    There's nothing like being your own free legal counsel

    Something about having a fool for a client...
  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... minus physicist> on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @04:47PM (#23164204) Journal
    Hehe, that is SO true. Who DIDN'T root for the coyote to catch the roadrunner? Life isn't fair, yet most of us are born with an innate desire for it to be so. This desire for fairness has been shown to be more powerful than the profit motive. Yet our economic system is based on the premise that individual profit is most rewarding to individuals. It is set up to reward selfishness, and in essence makes life less fair. When it seems there is no possibility that life can be fair, most people resort to selfish behavior. So our economic system becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
  • by bill_kress (99356) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @05:40PM (#23164866)
    Yes, but your benefit from injustice is likely to be much greater.

    A company distributing a significant amount of its profits to all its employees might double all their salaries and be fair, but the top few management people could no longer draw $10m salaries for screwing the company up....
  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @05:58PM (#23165068) Homepage Journal

    I can't imagine what else I'd feed my pet alligators if the supply of lawyers ran out!
    I hope you never get arrested for a crime you didn't commit or your kid isn't poisoned by some product made by a careless corporation.

    I hope you never get prosecuted or sued by the RIAA because your neighbor's son hacked your wireless router and used it to play with torrentz.

    I hope your civil rights are never violated or that you never need the protection of bankruptcy court.

    I hope you never have a problem with your income taxes, or a dispute with your business partner or get rear-ended by a drunk driver.

    I hope you never have to set up a trust fund to care for a relative who is too ill to care for herself or have a dispute with your bank or have your identity stolen.

    I hope you never get married unwisely and have to divorce from a spouse who wants to hurt you as much as possible.

    I hope you never get overlooked for promotion because you are too old, or too black or too female.

    It can be argued that lawyers do as much to protect our freedoms as the men and women in our military. Maybe more.

    People who think our lives and our country would be better without lawyers are as stupid as stupid gets.
  • by compro01 (777531) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @06:57PM (#23165720)
    yes, good lawyers are very useful people to have (good accountants also fall in the undervalued category), but there are way too many bad (where bad="complete lack of ethics") ones around, hence the big-brushing of the profession.
  • by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy.gmail@com> on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @08:40PM (#23166618)

    yes, good lawyers are very useful people to have (good accountants also fall in the undervalued category), but there are way too many bad (where bad="complete lack of ethics") ones around, hence the big-brushing of the profession.

    As a nitpick, the problem with "bad lawyers" is usually their morals, not their ethics.

    Indeed, such people (along with, say, the average large corporation's upper management) are usually an excellent example for demonstrating the difference between "ethical" and "moral".

  • by Spykk (823586) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @09:40PM (#23167090)

    I hope you never get arrested for a crime you didn't commit or your kid isn't poisoned by some product made by a careless corporation.
    Yeah, because your appointed lawyer is sure to beat said careless corporation's lawyer.

    I hope you never get prosecuted or sued by the RIAA because your neighbor's son hacked your wireless router and used it to play with torrentz.
    You may not be aware of this, but the RIAA has been using its highly paid lawyers to win the majority of those laughable cases.

    It can be argued that lawyers do as much to protect our freedoms as the men and women in our military. Maybe more.
    For every lawyer who defended someone's rights, there was another lawyer trying to usurp them for profit. Sadly, the amount of money you spend on your lawyer can be a much larger factor in the outcome of your case than being in the right is.

Business is a good game -- lots of competition and minimum of rules. You keep score with money. -- Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari

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