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The Courts It's funny.  Laugh.

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 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 @07:27PM (#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.

  • 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 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.

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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