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Man Who Tangled With The Oatmeal Ordered To Pay $46k 68

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-have-we-learned dept.
Last summer we followed the odd case of lawyer Charles Carreon, as he went after Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal webcomic, with legal threats. Carreon had been hired by FunnyJunk, a website Inman accused of stealing his comics. Carreon demanded $20,000 in compensation for Inman's "false accusations." Inman declined, and then used the publicity to solicit over $200,000 in donations, which he gave to charity after sending Carreon photographs. Carreon dropped the suit against Inman, but the saga continued. A satirical website was set up about Carreon, which caused him to invoke the legal system again. The article documents the absurdities, which included further legal action and a song. Now, however, Carreon is reaping what he has sown; a judge has ordered him to pay over $46,000 for his role in the legal circus.
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Man Who Tangled With The Oatmeal Ordered To Pay $46k

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  • by DWMorse (1816016) on Friday April 12, 2013 @06:52PM (#43436693) Homepage
    Now we can call it a "Justice System" again.
    • by femtobyte (710429) on Friday April 12, 2013 @07:02PM (#43436769)

      Only once it demonstrates the ability to carry out justice systematically, rather than just isolated accidents of sensibility.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 12, 2013 @07:07PM (#43436793)

        Only once it demonstrates the ability to carry out justice systematically, rather than just isolated accidents of sensibility.

        Oh sure, and while you're at it let's ask for a pony and cold fusion.

        • by Dutchmaan (442553)
          ...flying cars and hoverboards!
          • ...flying cars and hoverboards!

            ...and those two things would bring a LOT more lawsuits. Everyone's happy!

        • Oh sure, and while you're at it let's ask for a pony

          Be careful what you ask for, or you might end up with the periphery fandom of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

          and cold fusion

          Be CFML [wikipedia.org] what you ask for here too.

      • Well, another isolated act of sensibility is in the process of concluding out in California (http://www.popehat.com/tag/prenda-law/ for background on it). Maybe things are finally starting to make sense?
      • by bfandreas (603438)
        "Justice System" is a bit of a misnomer because it isn't there to deal out justice. It's there to ensure order. What order is is defined in laws. Since laws are generally broadly phrased, a judge will always try to rule in the spirit of the law and what is constitutional.

        If there were a law "thou shalt be fucked by a bear each sunday" and you refuse a bear then you might be up for a tough time. Unless you get a judge with balls(metaphorically speaking) who points out that this law is unconstitutional and
        • by femtobyte (710429)

          "Bad laws" are one potential way a "justice system" can operate unjustly. However, the US justice system shows other systematic failings. For example, what if everyone who was rich enough could afford a lawyer to get them off the hook for weekly bear-fucking on a technicality, so only the poor got bear-fucked every week? What if roughly equal proportions of light-skinned and dark-skinned people avoided bear-fucking, but police arrested a much higher proportion of dark-skinned people (even higher than the to

      • That word doesn't mean what you think it does:

        That word doesn't mean what you think it does.

        "Sensibility refers to an acute perception of or responsiveness toward something, such as the emotions of another. This concept emerged in eighteenth-century Britain, and was closely associated with studies of sense perception as the means through which knowledge is gathered. It also became associated with sentimental moral philosophy." - Wikipedia.

        • by femtobyte (710429)

          My word choice of "sensibility" was selected for connotations both from ("incorrect") association with "common sense," but also with reference to care and compassion for impacts on the human subjects of the justice system. My concept of "justice" can ultimately not be abstracted from accountability to the pain and suffering of those oppressed by the cruelty of a "looks fine and just on paper" system.

          Specifically, consider these definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary:

          3. Mental perception, awareness of something.

          11b. Mindful of a person.

          4a. Emotional consciousness; glad or sorrowful, grateful or resentful recognition of a person's conduct, or of a fact or a condition of things.

          6. In the 18th and early 19th c. (afterwards somewhat rarely): Capacity for refined emotion; delicate sensitiveness of taste; also, readiness to feel compassion for suffering, and to be moved by the pathetic in literature or art.

    • by jfengel (409917) on Friday April 12, 2013 @07:09PM (#43436805) Homepage Journal

      It actually specifically disclaims any interest in dispensing justice. Ask any lawyer or judge: they'll make clear that their goal is to ensure compliance with the law, and that there is little to no room for being "just".

      The Supreme Court "Justices", in particular, like to imagine themselves as "calling balls and strikes", regardless of whether the resulting judgment matches anybody's notion of justice.

      There is one dimension of justice in everybody following the same law, but only one of many. And given that the law is frequently vague or contradictory, such that even the judges disagree on the "balls and strikes" they're supposedly calling, it seems to me that in many cases it's the least just of those dimensions.

      I would propose that the next time a "Justice" declares himself to be "calling balls and strikes", that we rename his title to "Umpire", as "justice" is orthogonal to his self-defined description.

      • It actually specifically disclaims any interest in dispensing justice.

        Ask not for justice, lest you too be judged!
      • by Spent2HrOnAName (1925474) on Friday April 12, 2013 @10:23PM (#43438023)
        This is an incredibly shortsighted view, and I find it alarming that it has been modded up.

        there is little to no room for being "just" ... The Supreme Court "Justices", in particular, like to imagine themselves as "calling balls and strikes", regardless of whether the resulting judgment matches anybody's notion of justice.

        The reason they have to do follow the law without imposing their arbitrary whims on the people that come before them, is that the law is BY DESIGN written by people who have to stand for reelection after they pass the laws (yes, there's the issue of whether our representatives actually represent us, and whether outside factors such as big money unduly influence elections, but it's not particularly relevant to the principle that's being questioned here).

        There is one dimension of justice in everybody following the same law, but only one of many.

        The idea of laws applying equally to everyone is a HUGE DEAL. It's the practical application of the whole "all men are created equal" thing.

        Judges following their own notion of "just," and disregarding the law in cases where they felt it was unjust, would cause a lot of decisions that you would certainly find horrendous. As it is, judges face very little accountability. The supreme court justices are appointed "in good behavior," which is usually interpreted as "lifetime appointment, with the option to impeach them if they start acting completely horrible." So there's a very good reason why their job descriptions leave very little wiggle room to do whatever they feel like. Yes, the supreme court frequently makes decisions that I find appalling, but at least they have to back it up based on law and precedent. In the system you're yearning for, they wouldn't even have to do that, if they felt that "justice" (whatever they felt like that meant that day) demanded it.

        I would propose that the next time a "Justice" declares himself to be "calling balls and strikes", that we rename his title to "Umpire", as "justice" is orthogonal to his self-defined description.

        Call them "Umpire" if you want, but under your proposed system, we'd have another title for them - monarch.
        I can't believe I have to spell this out, since it's high-school-civics-level stuff

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Call them "Umpire" if you want, but under your proposed system, we'd have another title for them - monarch.
          I can't believe I have to spell this out, since it's high-school-civics-level stuff

          He was criticizing the notion of there being "justice" involved. He did not propose any system.

        • The idea of laws applying equally to everyone is a HUGE DEAL. It's the practical application of the whole "all men are created equal" thing.

          Yeah, which the OP said - it is one aspect of justice. The others are, of course, that that universal law must itself be just. Also, that it be universally applied before it gets to the courtroom (no selective enforcement).

      • by Anonymous Coward

        What's amazing about this statement is that the word Justice as handed down to us from Latin meant nothing more than accurate application of the law.

        "Jus" is Latin for "law".

        Only recently has "justice" been taken to mean "social justice", or simply "righteousness".

        See also What if there's no such thing as Chaotic Good [blogspot.com]

        or http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/06/rawlsian-god-cryptocalvinism-in-action.html

      • I would propose that the next time a "Justice" declares himself to be "calling balls and strikes", that we rename his title to "Umpire", as "justice" is orthogonal to his self-defined description.

        And set his pay scale accordingly.

        • by jfengel (409917)

          They might actually appreciate that: the top umps in Major League Baseball make $300k, while SCOTUS salaries top out at $223k (and that's for the Chief; the others make $10k less).

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      It's like the Justice League, but not as awesome.

      • by Culture20 (968837)
        They have better powers than Aquaman.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Dude, Aquaman is underrated. He is totally bad-ass.

          The guy can mind-control Cthulhu. Can you mind-control an elder god?

          If you can as proof, please send such entity to 1346 Eisenfaust Lane....

    • by Rich0 (548339) on Saturday April 13, 2013 @08:50AM (#43439861) Homepage

      Justice?

      Carreon starts this huge litigation fight. He takes steps to cost some guy's employer a lot of money in the hope that one of this enemies would lose his job. I'm sure that didn't help the next time he was up for a review/promotion.

      After tons of pain and hardship for everybody involved a judge forces Carreon to pay maybe 2/3rds of the opposing counsel's legal fees.

      This isn't justice - all this did was prove Carreon's point. If you don't give in early, expect to lose a lot of money in court. Sure, the court saw to it that they didn't lose as much as they could have, but this whole case was still a loss to them. Sure, Carreon lost some money too, but this was a fight of his choosing and presumably those who get into such fights do so willing to lose.

      Bottom line is that if you tick off somebody who has a lot more money than you the courts will NOT be your friend. The best you can hope for is a Pyrrhic victory, like this one.

    • I am not sure you can call it justice. The judge didn't recommend he be disbarred.
  • Now stop the carry on Carreon
  • More like "Charles Carrion", am I right? *runs*

  • by meglon (1001833) on Friday April 12, 2013 @07:14PM (#43436833)
    ....Hollywood could come up with.
  • and point him to the Wikipedia page on the Streisand Effect ... oh, wait, here it is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect [wikipedia.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 12, 2013 @07:27PM (#43436917)

    Litigious lawyers are a scum of the earth profession, the maggots of civilized society. It's a white collar world today, but in earlier times they would have been cutthroats and pickpockets. Any sense of social responsibility is completely absent in their world.

    Unfortunately, judges are lawyers too and so it's very rare to see them admonish bad faith litigation, and even when they do, the lawyers responsible are almost never penalized sufficiently to discourage further abuses in their professional life. Even this $46k fine is undoubtedly petty cash for the person concerned.

    The legal system is an operational mess, with no internal negative feedback to keep its systems under control.

  • Lawyer, Ever. If he was a criminal attorney his client, up for shoplifting charges, would end up in the electric chair.
  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Friday April 12, 2013 @07:45PM (#43437027)

    douchebag n. fr. "douche", fr. French, fr. Italian "doccia"
    1. An object used for vaginal hygeine.
    2. Charles Carreon.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They are largely reviled by society, but fulfill a vital role in the ecosystem by disposing of carreon.

  • Charles Carreon (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mullen (14656) on Friday April 12, 2013 @08:16PM (#43437299)

    I'm not a lawyer, so don't take legal advise from me, however, I have been following this story from the beginning and there are two things I get from all of this is: don't piss off the Internet and Charles Carreon is possibly a really bad lawyer.

    He and his wife (To a lessor extent), have taken a blog posting by person with a serious and legitimate issue with someone stealing his hard work and managed to fold it into a substantially career damaging blunder. Every time Charles Carreon speaks, I just dislike him more and more and would advise him to hire him as a lawyer. How he continues to get any more cases is really beyond me. Two seconds with Google would demonstrate that this guy is possible off his rocker or a really bad lawyer.

  • One of those rare times when I laugh (kk, may be chuckle ) at slashdot XD

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