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Electronic Frontier Foundation The Courts Your Rights Online

Charles Carreon Drops Case Against the Oatmeal 107

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the practicing-law-while-angry-not-recommended dept.
Dynamoo writes "Charles Carreon has reportedly dropped his lawsuit against the creator of The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman. This bizarre lawsuit (dubbed a SLAPP suit by the EFF) kicked off after a dispute between Inman and FunnyJunk.com which spun rapidly out of control. Perhaps Carreon has seen sense, but it turns out that there might be an even more bizarre twist in this tale."
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Charles Carreon Drops Case Against the Oatmeal

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  • Re:Very strange. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @10:40AM (#40541565)
    This whole farce kills more and more of my brain cells each time I read it. Carreon is nuts. A new challenger appearing in the form of Jonathan Lee Riches threatens to push me further into complete retardation.
  • Re:Very strange. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shavano (2541114) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @10:45AM (#40541599)
    How does being a lawyer excuse him from suspicion of being a complete idiot?
  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @11:01AM (#40541723)

    How do people manage to become lawyers while maintaining the maturity of a preteen girl? (and by that I reference the ability to hold a meaningless grudge and carry it out to all kinds of extremes)

    You need to understand the type of person who becomes a lawyer. To become a lawyer, you have to be reasonably intelligent and hardworking. People like that could do something with their lives that would make the world a better place, but instead these people choose to become parasites on society. They choose a profession to enrich and advance their own interests, despite having a negative effect on humanity as a whole.

    Then the worst of them become politicians.

  • Re:Very strange. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @11:05AM (#40541751)
    Probably because he passed the requisite classwork and passed the state bar for wherever he was admitted to practice. These are non-trivial things and an idiot could not do them. Now, it could be that his mental faculties have gone 'south' since the time he passed the bar. But originally at least he was not an idiot.
  • Re:Very strange. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cl1mh4224rd (265427) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @11:56AM (#40542129)

    Carreon seems to have shown himself to file odd lawsuits but being a lawyer, he isn't a complete idiot.

    Someone's already pointed out Jack Thompson, so I'll offer another: Orly Taitz [wikipedia.org].

    Idiots can still become lawyers and lawyers, much like any other highly skilled professional, can become idiots or crazy after being certified in their field. Just because you were smart or sane when you were younger is not a guarantee that you'll always stay smart or sane.

  • by jheath314 (916607) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @12:04PM (#40542203)

    Tell that to the lawyers working for the EFF. In case you didn't notice, they did an admirable job defending The Oatmeal in this case, and your rights online in general.

    When I went through the process of registering as a professional engineer, one of the requirements was to pass an exam on legal theory (focusing mostly on contract law). Studying for that test was a real eye-opener for me. I had been expecting to be horrified by how disconnected and counter-intuitive the legal system was, but instead I was surprised by how reasonable the rules were. There is a strong emphasis on fairness, clear language, and preventing the litigants from using the legal system as a bludgeon. (Damages in a contract dispute, for example, are supposed to be calculated based on the actual cost of remediation, as opposed to "some arbitrarily large penalty.")

    Naturally, like any large and complex system, the legal system is susceptible to hacking and abuse... but for every crooked lawyer concerned only with making money, I'd argue that there are dozens of others genuinely concerned with serving society... you just don't hear about them because only the most outrageous cases make it into the news. If anything, I believe more technical and computer-savvy people should pursue careers in the legal system, to better protect the our rights in the digital age.

  • by fightinfilipino (1449273) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @01:26PM (#40542895) Homepage
    tough having to choose between modding parent as flamebait and replying in argument.

    being a lawyer is a noble profession. no one likes lawyers until they realize they are at a point in their lives where they need one. the role of the lawyer overall is to represent their client, zealously and loyally. that's likely the primary reason that the general public dislikes them: they take on the undesirable role of being an advocate for another, and this almost always means that the lawyer will be an adversary to whoever is in opposition to their client.

    but here's the thing: at one point or another, every single person will find themselves in need of an advocate to protect and ensure his or her legal rights. that remains true whether the client is a hardworking laborer or even one of the vaunted rich CEOs. in the actual world, the system can be lopsided, with wealthy persons being able to afford high-powered lawyers. nevertheless, there ARE lawyers willing to try to ensure that disparity is mitigated, if not eliminated.

    the parent post tries to paint all lawyers as people who have chosen to do evil. there couldn't be anything farther from the truth. if anything, the majority of lawyers are in the very business of making the world a better place, by defending the common person or the outcast when no one else will. lawyers make sure their clients know and understand the law. most importantly, lawyers make sure that people know and do not lose their rights. that is one of the most fundamentally HELPFUL things a person can do, especially in nations founded on the rule of law.

    parent post ignores the scores and scores of attorneys who choose to work pro bono or for non-profits or public interest firms. it just happens to be that the most visible lawyers are the loud and controversial ones. they are just that, loud and controversial, and give the less visible attorneys a bad name.

  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @04:04PM (#40544081)

    tough having to choose between modding parent as flamebait and replying in argument.

    being a lawyer is a noble profession. no one likes lawyers until they realize they are at a point in their lives where they need one.

    The problem is that too often the point where you realize that need is when some other lawyer is coming after You.

  • by alexo (9335) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @04:40PM (#40544399) Journal

    being a lawyer is a noble profession.

    Spoken like a true lawyer.

    Hmmm... Let's check your blog [fightinfilipino.net]
    i’m a first-year law student

    You could have mentioned this little tidbit of information but evidently decided not to. There may be noble lawyers out there (the EFF perhaps) but I would not hasten to include you in that group.

    no one likes lawyers until they realize they are at a point in their lives where they need one.

    That's te first reason that no one likes lawyers: the legal system is set up so that you need to retain a lawyer, and they are not cheap (Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]: Surveys suggest that fees range from $150 to $1000 per hour when billed hourly). Apparently, justice is not an affordable commodity: it is often cheaper to cave in than to fight, not just in civil cases (settling) but in criminal ones as well (plea bargains). Public defenders are so overworked and underfunded that they cannot realistically do their job and since a consequence of the adversary system is that the side with the better lawyers often wins regardless of merits, lawyers are seen as either thugs or extortionists, depending on the side they are on.

    And who do you think perpetuates such a system? Lawyers.

    the role of the lawyer overall is to represent their client, zealously and loyally. that's likely the primary reason that the general public dislikes them: they take on the undesirable role of being an advocate for another, and this almost always means that the lawyer will be an adversary to whoever is in opposition to their client.

    No, the primary reason that the general public dislikes them is, like I wrote above, the better (read: more expensive) lawyer will likely win regardless of merits in a large percentage of cases. The general public wants justice , not a game inherently biased in favour of those who learned to game the system or can afford to pay somebody to do that for them.

    but here's the thing: at one point or another, every single person will find themselves in need of an advocate to protect and ensure his or her legal rights. that remains true whether the client is a hardworking laborer or even one of the vaunted rich CEOs. in the actual world, the system can be lopsided, with wealthy persons being able to afford high-powered lawyers.

    Replace "can be" with "is extremely".

    In a perfect world, *every* lawyer that practices privately would be required to serve as public defenders similarly to the jury duty of regular citizens (and for similar compensation). A lawyer that tried to avoid that duty or did not perform it *exclusively* and to the best of their abilities would be disbarred on the spot.

    Some countries have socialized medicine and yet not a single one seems to have socialized justice. I wonder why.

    nevertheless, there ARE lawyers willing to try to ensure that disparity is mitigated, if not eliminated.

    [citation desperately needed]

    Out of the 760,000 or so practicing lawyers in the US, how many are such valiant defenders of the poor as you paint them to be? (I assume you have data to back up your numbers).

    the parent post tries to paint all lawyers as people who have chosen to do evil.

    No, they just chose to perpetuate an evil system, and profit handsomely while they're at it.

    if anything, the majority of lawyers are in the very business of making the world a better place, by defending the common person or the outcast

    Wow, you make lawyers look almost as beneficial to society as payday lenders [wikipedia.org].

    when no one else will.

    Because you monopolistic fucks

  • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @09:40AM (#40550725) Homepage

    Ahh, I see that's why we have over 10,000 of pages of the Tax Code. For clarifying that, silly me. What was I thinking. I "forgot" that over-engineering was a good thing. /sarcasm

    Yup. It covers everything from plain ol' normal income to how to tax gifts to foreign charities who are charities by American standards but not their home countries, after declaring bankruptcy. This is vitally important stuff to someone working with foreign charities and bankruptcies, but "over-engineering" to most others.

    So we should obfuscate the hell out of it so NO ONE can practically follow it. Gotcha.

    No, we should have them organized and cross-referenced into a document that can be read in sections, so nobody has to understand the whole thing at once, but can simply refer to the sections they need. You know, something like Title 26...

    Right, so you've personally read ALL 20 Volumes of Title 26 which is 13,458 pages of the Tax Code??

    No, but I've read the sections that apply to me to understand my tax situation. I'm probably not qualified to tell you your tax situation, but that's what tax preparers are for, whose training is vetted by lawyers who have (collectively) read the whole thing.

    If no, then how you do you know you are _following_ the law?

    For the exact same reason that I know I'm following California's laws for explosives: they don't apply to me. I've never dealt with explosives in California, and I've never been in the vast majority of situations described in the tax code.

    Cognitive dissonance much?

    You'll have to forgive me for not seeing the dissonance. Simplicity describes the measure of how detailed a system is, while fairness is a measure of how evenly the rules affect everyone. It's perfectly simple to say "No one under five feet tall may vote in any Presidential election" but it's obviously not fair. On the other hand, a rule of "No one may wear hats in public, except for those for whom hats are medically necessary, or otherwise required by law or an otherwise-legal mandated uniform, unless there is precipitation in excess of the equivalent of one quarter-inch of rainfall per hour, as reported by the National Weather Service" is far more complex, but fair, as it covers everyone equally and does not place undue hardship on any group of people. If the rule were simplified by, for example, removing the "medically necessary" clause, it would be less fair, because it effectively discriminates against those with skin damage or baldness, though it isn't explicitly written against them.

    Similarly, a flat 10% tax rate is very simple, but also unfair, because that percentage is the only expense that changes. There are no limits that rent must be under 5% of someone's income, or that groceries are only 15%, or that vehicle maintenance will only cost you 2% of your income annually. There is no flat tax low enough to leave enough money for a family in poverty to feed itself.

    A progressive tax is complicated, but much more fair. Each income bracket is assigned a rate that is (ideally) low enough to allow a decent standard of living (or in the case of poverty, not make things any worse), while high enough to cover the government's expenses.

    If you were in school and got a 4.0 GPA is it FAIR that you are forced to give a portion of that to someone else? That is precisely what the _existing_ tax code does.

    You mean like a group project, where my 4.0 is dependent on my fellow students getting off their ass and working? Yes, it sounds fair, because a part of the group project's lesson is management, so I am partially responsible for the work the others put in. From a different perspective, it's their hard work that lets me earn that 4.0, so it's also fair that we share the grade. I'm not sure how you're relating this to taxes, though.

    A

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