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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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  • Yay Oatmeal (Score:1, Redundant)

    by KingAlanI (1270538)

    Oatmeal (both the food type and the webcomic) is good stuff; I was on Inman's side as soon as the story broke

    • This is what it takes to get modded informative?

      I guess technically he informed as as to his thoughts...

  • Very strange. (Score:5, Informative)

    by SniperJoe (1984152) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @09:35AM (#40541521)
    Kudos to Oatmeal for winning this round, but this fight may not be over. Carreon seems to have shown himself to file odd lawsuits but being a lawyer, he isn't a complete idiot. Note that he dismissed his lawsuits without prejudice, which means that he can file them again at any time. He may just be waiting for the bad PR and public focus to go elsewhere before refiling. But kudos to Mr. Inman in the mean time.
    • Re:Very strange. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @09:40AM (#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 @09:45AM (#40541599)
      How does being a lawyer excuse him from suspicion of being a complete idiot?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        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.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          passing classwork and the bar means you have the intellect to pass those tests -- you can still very well be an idiot* (depending on one's definition of 'idiot').

          Just like most slashdotters, they can be pretty smart with technical things, but when it comes to social interactions, a lot of us are probably idiots.

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

            by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @10:43AM (#40541999)

            Case in point, Jack Thompson:

            In October 2007, Chief U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno sealed court documents submitted by Thompson in the Bar case that depicted "gay sex acts." Thompson's submission prompted U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan on to order Thompson to show cause why his actions should not be filed as a grievance with the court's Ad Hoc Committee on Attorney Admissions, Peer Review and Attorney Grievance, but the order was dismissed after Thompson promised not to file any more pornography. Thompson then sent letters to acting U.S. Attorney General Peter Keisler and U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy and Arlen Specter demanding that Jordan be removed from his position for failing to prosecute Florida attorney Norm Kent, who Thompson claimed had "collaborated" with the Bar for 20 years to discipline him.

            In February 2008, the Florida Supreme Court ordered Thompson to show cause as to why it should not reject future court filings from him unless they are signed by another Florida Bar member. The Florida Supreme Court described his filings as "repetitive, frivolous and insult[ing to] the integrity of the court," particularly one in which Thompson, claiming concern about "the court's inability to comprehend his arguments," filed a motion which he called "A picture book for adults", including images of "swastikas, kangaroos in court, a reproduced dollar bill, cartoon squirrels, Paul Simon, Paul Newman, Ray Charles, a handprint with the word 'slap' written under it, Bar Governor Benedict P. Kuehne, a , Ed Bradley, Jack Nicholson, Justice Clarence Thomas, Julius Caesar, monkeys, [and] a house of cards." Thompson claimed that the order "wildly infringes" on his constitutional rights and was "a brazen attempt" to repeal the First Amendment right to petition the government to redress grievances. In response, he sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, referring to the show-cause order as a criminal act done in retaliation for his seeking relief with the court.

            On March 20, 2008, the Florida Supreme Court imposed sanctions on Thompson, requiring that any of his future filings in the court be signed by a member of The Florida Bar other than himself. The court noted that Thompson had responded to the show cause order with multiple "rambling, argumentative, and contemptuous" responses that characterized the show cause order as "bizarre" and "idiotic."

            That's just a taste of that Thompson's madness, and boy is it delicious...

          • by Xtifr (1323)

            passing classwork and the bar means you have the intellect to pass those tests -- you can still very well be an idiot* (depending on one's definition of 'idiot').

            Technically, the phrase in dispute was complete idiot. The ability to finish law school and pass the bar shows a lack of idiocy in some domain. At worst, I don't think he can be called much more than 90% idiot. :)

            • by Gr8Apes (679165)

              passing classwork and the bar means you have the intellect to pass those tests -- you can still very well be an idiot* (depending on one's definition of 'idiot').

              Technically, the phrase in dispute was complete idiot. The ability to finish law school and pass the bar shows a lack of idiocy in some domain. At worst, I don't think he can be called much more than 90% idiot. :)

              Au contraire - it's quite possibly he wasn't 100% idiot when he passed law school and the bar, but what has happened since then (brain injury, alzheimer's, alcoholism, etc) can definitely reduce someone down to complete idiocy prior to being deemed a danger to themselves. Having witnessed such a degradation in mental capacity more than once (drugs, age, and illness and combinations - you will too with enough exposure to the elderly) makes me question whether we shouldn't have competency checks periodically

        • by Anonymous Coward

          While perhaps someone with a significantly low enough IQ couldn't do those things but in general average people can become lawyers if they have the dedication and put forth the work. Average people (IQ wise) include alot of "idiots" (as the word is used in the colloquial sense) with no common sense, having personality disorders, or maintaining only a semi-stable hold on reality. So yeah idiots can be lawyers as well as many many other things.

      • Frankly, I was wording things very carefully because based on his ridiculous previous actions, I was considering the possibility that he would attempt to sue me for libel.
    • by gramty (1344605) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @10:29AM (#40541925)

      he isn't a complete idiot. .

      Indeed, I suspect some parts are missing.

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

      by Cl1mh4224rd (265427) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @10:56AM (#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.

    • Sue Carreon for copyright infringement. Let's see, 300 comics at $150,000 each = $45-million. Maybe he'll settle for only $10-million...
    • by Kittenman (971447)

      ... being a lawyer, he isn't a complete idiot. ...

      [Citation needed]

  • WTF is the Oatmeal? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @09:42AM (#40541581)

    I have never heard of the Oatmeal, but I do know about Barbara Streisand. It makes me wonder if wonder if Charles Carreon has.

    • by PhilHibbs (4537)

      This isn't a classic Streisand Effect case - it looks like a deliberate publicity stunt by FunkyJunk which has worked in the sense that I have no heard of them, although I am not inclined to visit their site since they are clearly such jerks. Others who have heard of them through this may not have the same sensibilities as me and might enjoy visiting their site.

  • However (Score:5, Funny)

    by Chris Mattern (191822) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @09:44AM (#40541587)

    Sources say his lawsuit against the cream of wheat will proceed.

    • by BSAtHome (455370)

      Maybe that is why I always read the plaintif's name as carry-on.

      Children used to be disciplined by their parents. Looks like sending all of the players to bed without supper would be a good start. And they are all grounded for three months.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Maybe that is why I always read the plaintif's name as carry-on.

        I see it as carrion.

  • What a waste of time (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mortonda (5175) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @09:50AM (#40541643)

    For once I wash I had done the more common slashdot action and NOT read the article. 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)

    • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @10:01AM (#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.

      • by jheath314 (916607) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @11:04AM (#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.

        • 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.

          Gandhi was a lawyer.

          But then, so is Carreon.

          • All you have proved that humans have many different motives, some are good some are bad. You will find this in ALL professions, institutions, and religions.

            Tossing the baby out with the bathwater doesn't solve anything.

            We should be instead focusing on the fucktards (Carreon) that abuse the system, or removing corrupt systems.

        • The legal system is a good example of how systems run by people will never function as intended. Indeed, it is hard for someone who really knows what they are talking about to point to changes we could make (in the US) to "fix" it (though there surely are minor improvements to be made). Most of the changes people suggest (like banning software patents) are arbitrary, unnecessary, and would ultimately be unfair and ineffective.

          On paper, the justice system it looks good. But in practice it doles out justice v

          • > Perhaps if the law were simplified, more people could learn enough about it to defend themselves in court,

            That indeed is the proper solution.

            "The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government."
            - Publius Cornelius Tacitus, AD 56 â" AD 117

            The IRS is a perfect example of. A simple 10% flat tax would remove ALL the loop-holes.

            • by Sarten-X (1102295)

              The IRS is a perfect example of. A simple 10% flat tax would remove ALL the loop-holes.

              It'd also remove all the definitions and clarity of the current system. What exactly is or is not taxed in this "simple" solution? If I give a gift to my brother-in-law with cancer to cover a hospital bill, does that count as taxable income for him? If so, then I'll just pay his bills directly so he can avoid the tax. If not, then I'll also give a gift to my wife of $everything, so I avoid all my taxes. If there's a limit on what's taxable to try to promote fairness, then I'll complain that it's a needless

              • by Drishmung (458368)

                The IRS is a perfect example of. A simple 10% flat tax would remove ALL the loop-holes.

                It'd also remove all the definitions and clarity of the current system. [...]

                I could make the comment that removing all the clarity of the current system would leave the current system mostly untouched :)

                However, I mostly agree. As per Einstein's Razor "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Which seems to actually be a paraphrase of

                It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience.

                WikiQuote [wikiquote.org] Arguably the paraphrase is a nicely recursive demonstration of itself.)

                Some sots of flat tax seem to work quite well. VAT/GST with no exceptions, rather than the U.K. nightmare. [guardian.co.uk]. Poll Tax [wikipedia.org] is wonderfully simple to

              • > It'd also remove all the definitions and clarity of the current system.
                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

                > No matter how simple or complex the system, there are always people who will abuse it for their own benefit, and there will always be someone who can't understand it.
                So we should obfuscate the hell out of it so NO ONE can practically follow it. Gotc

                • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @08:40AM (#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

            • by mcgrew (92797) *

              A flat tax is a regressive tax; the poor get far less out of government than the rich. To a rich man, the cop is a protector. To the poor man, a cop is a threat. The rich man with his fleet of trucks gets far more out of the highways than the poor man with his '87 Oldsmobile.

              And you can bet that even if there were a flat tax, the rich would manage to add loopholes to it. Not being flat isn't tax's problem, the loopholes themselves are. Keep the graduated tax and eliminate all deductions and you have a simpl

        • by Sarten-X (1102295)

          I could not agree with you more. Lured by money (and the thought of looking professional with a jacket and noose^Wnecktie), I briefly studied law back in college before moving into computer science, but I've kept an interest ever since, studying anything I've encountered in nearly two decades of programming. I've delved mostly into IP and traffic law, but almost everything I've encountered seems reasonable if initially approached with the attitude of "this made sense to somebody, so I probably don't underst

      • by fightinfilipino (1449273) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @12:26PM (#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 @03:04PM (#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.

          • 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.

            Yes, but generally the reason that there's some other lawyer coming after you is because someone else (usually not a lawyer) has engaged their services to do so.

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            And other times you realise that you need a lawyer because someone's fucking you over -- for instance, you have only liability insurance and someone with no insurance at all T-Bones you with his brand new Mercedes. You need that lawyer BAD.

            Try divorcing an evil bitch without a lawyer. Try declaring bankruptcy after the divorce without a lawyer.

            And when you need a lawyer because another lawyer is coming after you, in most cases they have a good case (meaning you fucked up) or they would have told the client

        • by alexo (9335) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @03:40PM (#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

          • Well done. I would also like to add that this quote:

            every single person will find themselves in need of an advocate to protect and ensure his or her legal rights

            is frightening and wrong in its own right. He is so invested in the system that he takes this as a normal part of life. It should NOT be so common that someone finds their legal rights under attack. That happens because there are too many lawyers walking around looking for income. He probably thinks that $500 an hour is a fair price for such representation.

            I really, really liked your buzzword-in-the-making: "socialized justice"

          • by ffflala (793437)
            Well IANAL either, but I did complete law school and am studying for a state bar exam. I can't speak for others, but I will tell you (as briefly as I can) *why* I chose to study law.

            Through college I became increasingly very suspicious of the abuse of political power in the US --and also pretty ignorant about the realities of how states and the federal government operated. The nadir for me was when Bush v. Gore demonstrated that even the US presidential election can be stolen. My suspicions led me first to
      • It's certainly true that being a lawyer, as a profession, has among the worst possible reputations as far as the general public is concerned. It's guys like Carreon and Thompson that do that. I know from personal experience that there *are* good lawyers out there, men and women who genuinely motivated by a desire to seek justice. Our own family attorny is an excellent case for that. He specializes in family law, usually custody cases and I happen to know that he does easily twice the amount of Legal Aid and
    • by swalve (1980968)
      The lawyer only does what the client wants.
      • So does a soldier who blindly obeys orders.

        So does a whore.

        What is your point?

        Lawyers are trash? Point made!

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The EFF has lawyers, are they scum as well?

      • In this case, those are the same person.
        • In this case, those are the same person.

          He who has himself as a client has a fool for a lawyer.

      • The lawyer only does what the client wants.

        Not at all. Lawyers serve their own interests. I have dealt with lawyers professionally on numerous occasions, and they often give terrible advice. They will give their clients unreasonably rosy projections of prevailing, to encourage them to continue paying legal fees. They will discourage their clients from accepting a reasonable settlement. They will recommend responding to the other party using belligerent and adversarial language, when a more conciliatory tone would serve their clients interests.

        B

        • clearly your anecdotal, personally-biased evidence is all we need to come to the conclusion that lawyers are jerks. right.
        • Anybody who trusts their shyster is a fool.

          In every interaction with a land shark you need to be aware of the pro-billable hour bias they all carry around. You can no more trust them then anybody else on commish.

      • The lawyer only does what the client wants.

        Yes, but a good lawyer only does this after advising their client as to a) the law, b) precedents and c) the likely outcome based on their experience.

        "Yes, we can sue your neighbour for stress after they painted their house blue, but you will likely incur $15,000 in legal costs, you will likely lose the case and you may be required to pay your neighbour's legal fees. Do you still want to proceed?"

        "Yes, goddammit."

        "Fine. Please write me a retainer cheque for $

        • More realistic advice. 'It's a slam dunk, you will win millions. We need a small check to get started.'

          The worst write contingency agreements where they collect when they win a judgement, not when you collect the judgement. So you take their bad advice and sue a 'judgement proof' (broke) person. Shyster wins case (often default judgement), but there is no money to collect. Shyster turns around and sues client for 'their %' of the judgement.

          It's amazing more of them don't get shot.

  • by Trip6 (1184883) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @09:50AM (#40541645)
    If you haven't seen the text of the Inman suit against Carreon [popehat.com] it is required reading. Someone is going to jail for this one.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @09:55AM (#40541683)

      If you haven't seen the text of the Inman suit against Carreon [popehat.com] it is required reading. Someone is going to jail for this one.

      Apparently there's a nutcase filing frivolous lawsuits using Matthew Inman's name for that court filing. Ars Technica has more on it.

      • by canajin56 (660655)
        TFA has more on it, too. Last link.
      • by Calos (2281322) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @10:17AM (#40541835)

        Goodness, I should hope that's obvious for anyone who looks at the linked complaint. An excerpt:

        "...and Charles Carreon went biserk [sic] and irate on me and took my bowl of oatmeal and threw it in my face, Tara Lyn Carreon was originally using her feet under the table and secretly massaging my groin with her toes while mr. [sic] Carreon was trying to blackmail me, so after oatmeal splattered my face, then Tara Carreon kicked me in the groin under the table, everything swelled. Mr. Carreon also poured hot mrs. butterworth [sic] maple syrup on my head to humiliate me..."

        Yeah, totally believable. The only person "going to jail for this one" could be the nutjob who actually filed it.

      • by rs1n (1867908)
        One of the commenting websites (I forget which) noted that Carreon and his wife were upset that his email was used to sign up for porn sites. I would wager that perhaps a Carreon supporter (or he himself) may be attempting to seek retribution by doing something in the same vein.
      • by skine (1524819)

        What, you mean that Inman isn't a student at George Washington University, and his mailing address isn't a 7-11?

    • by KPU (118762)

      Signature dated 6-30-11 and stamp dated July 2 2012.

  • Nice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by canajin56 (660655) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @10:06AM (#40541755)
    I especially like the way Mrs. FunnyJunk.com rants about how obviously Inman is a murderer, or at least is morally indistinguishable from Jared Lee Loughner (the gunman in the 2011 Tuscon shooting) even if technically he hasn't shot anybody (yet). Because that's NOT defamation of character, unlike ranting about how much FunnyJunk drag their heels on removing copyrighted works, which is the most vile sort of slander imaginable.
  • ...that a guy who's last name is suspiciously close to the descriptor for animals who feed on decomposing flesh decided to become a lawyer?
    • by FSWKU (551325)

      ...that a guy who's last name is suspiciously close to the descriptor for animals who feed on decomposing flesh decided to become a lawyer?

      The decomposing animal itself is what carrion refers to, the creatures who feed on it. [/pedantic]

      Although somehow this might make it a MORE apt description of the guy's character...

  • The demands of Carreon's initial letter--extortion, in my opinion--ought to be immediately identified as an abuse of power and information asymmetry (again, in my opinion). In a functional legal system, the state bar would review his actions, possibly leading to a revocation of his license.

    As a resident of Arizona, I asked that this be looked into at http://www.azbar.org/contactus/contactusform [azbar.org].

    I believe such action would go far toward preventing this kind of behavior in the future.

  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @03:08PM (#40544105)

    My personal (and protected) opinion is that Charles Carreon should lose his law license over this for Barratry immediately, if not sooner. And let him be a lesson to all other lawyers who would consider the same course of action.

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan

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