Archive for the ‘Mark W. Bennett’ Category

Revenge Is A Link Best Served Cold

October 15, 2013

Engraving by Gustave Doré illustrating the Erinyes, chthonic deities of vengeance and death (via Wikipedia/Wiki Commons)

I have been remiss in not writing about a recent debate in the Blawgosphere regarding the constitutionality of recent anti-revenge porn legislation, spearheaded by Professor Mary Anne Franks of the University of Miami School of Law. Given the theme of this post, I leave it to the reader to “Google it yourself” to find out the historical background to the criminalization of revenge porn movement and mainstream media coverage.

What I’m more interested in for present purposes, is the developing story concerning the lack of “dissenting opinions” and critiques of the Franks Model of Revenge Porn Criminalization, highlighted over at the Law Prawf Collective known as “Concurring Opinions”. Read an interview of Franks on Revenge Porn over at Concurring Opinions here.

Enter Scott Greenfield, the author of Simple Justice who has painstakingly analyzed and critiqued the legislative model to criminalize revenge porn on a number of levels, specifically, highlighting the criminal law and First Amendment problems inherent in Franks’s model law.  Greenfield writes,

Flawging A Dead Horse

December 29, 2011

2011 was a banner year for Flawging.

For those who don’t know what a Flawg is; well, it isn’t a Blawg (or law blog).

Back in January of this year, I wrote a post called ” My Gift to the Social Media Law Marketers: The Flawg” where I offered the following definition:

Flawg”: noun. A legal blog without any substantive legal content that is created, monetized and promoted exclusively for profit. A Flawg will often contain posts about the latest legal tech gadgets, or the how to gain new clients through the awesome power of the internet, in the absence of anything remotely legal to discuss;

“Flawger”: noun: someone who flawgs. Usually, a non-lawyer/social media law marketer, (but also a disbarred/suspended/unemployed/underemployed/retired/or failed lawyer who quit) who writes blawg posts about how to write blawg posts, SEO, ROI, iPads, cloud computing, top ten lists, and enjoys attending law marketing conferences and twittering about using #hashtags.

Soon after, the elder statesman of the UK Blawgosphere, CharonQC (Mike Semple Piggot) took the idea one step beyond in his ‘Postcard from The Staterooms: Law blogs – but no *Flawging*?’ and wrote:

I’m not interested in the ‘Flawgs’ – blogs which merely highlight the brilliance of the law firm along the lines of *I was sorry to hear that Mount Etna killed thousands in Pompeii in AD 79 (substitute the latest disaster to taste)  – meanwhile, if you need advice on conveyancing, personal injury or will drafting etc etc …contact us at…*

Brian Inkster continued the debate in his post: “I Blawg. You Flawg. Period?

What then, does the Canadian Blawgosphere have to say about Flawging? What then, indeed.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch. 

It seems that Canadian law bloggers are an indifferent lot. The harsh truth is that most of the Canadian law blogs, new and old, are not worth the time to read. There are exceptions, of course, including Erik Magraken, Dan Michaluk and his colleagues, Veronique Robert, Lee Akazaki and Chris Jaglowitz, to name a select few.

Those lawyers I have met in the past at Blawger Meet-ups held some promise, but many have clearly aligned themselves with a former “investigative consultant” turned law marketing expert , whose online predatory conduct resulted in him getting banned from various sex worker website forums and added to a national sex worker blacklist.

Despite my cautionary post, one long-time Canadian blawger deigned to wade into the ethical trenches, going so far as to heap fulsome, treacly praise on an admitted defamer and cyber-harasser as a “builder of Toronto’s burgeoning law blogger community” as part of his #Clawbies2011 Award nominations.

Good grief.

If a certain “corner of the internet” has its way, the Canadian Blawgosphere will become a self-contained Flawgosphere, replete with self-congratulatory, Happyspheric ™ (Mark W. Bennett)  posts about iPaddery, Cloudy Computing With A Chance of Meatballery, etc. As another instant leading Canadian lawyer, who keeps asking “why can’t we just all get along” puts it:

Crowdsourcing complex legal questions discussing legal philosophy in a respectful and open exchange is a best case scenario for me because it would foster the greatest forms of creativity and collaboration, something we already see happening in the tech, communications and business sectors.

Yes, yes, it’s great to get along with everyone. Up With People!

I prefer the credo: Up Yours, People! If the Canadian Blawgosphere is to thrive and survive, it’s time that we all took a long look in the mirror and stopped turning a blind eye to blatantly discreditable marketing tactics and unethical practices.

The vast majority of lawyers are not independently wealthy; they too have families to feed and clothe and mortgages and bills to pay. Advertise all you want. Congratulate those who deserve the recognition. Just, please, please don’t start writing posts like this one:

Testicular Fortitude and Free Speech

August 5, 2011

Among various iterations, The Urban Dictionary defines “Testicular fortitude” as:

“A more academic English translation of the Spanish word “cojones”, that originally stood for testicles, two spheric glands part of the reproductive system of males, also commonly known as balls.To have testicular fortitude is to show strength, courage and sagacity in challenging situations. The story of how strength and courage is related to two nuts encased in shriveled skin hanging from between a man’s legs is a fascinating story that i don’t have the time to go into right now.

You can’t win with reserve and lassitude
And you can’t face the unforgiving multitude
Without the manly trait of testicular fortitude”

Strength. Courage. Sagacity. Principled words or words about principles.

Some will be amused (and likely others disgusted) by a recent story circulating the blawgosphere about freedom of speech and the aforementioned male genitalia. (more…)

Ghostwriting, Ghostblawging and Ghostbusting

August 3, 2011
Logo used by the "Ghostbusters" in t...

Image via Wikipedia

Via an August 2nd, 2011 press release from the University of Toronto-Faculty of Law Blog: Academics fronting ghostwritten medical journal articles as ‘guest authors’ should be charged with fraud, say UofT law professors:

Ghostwriting and guest authoring in industry-controlled research raise ‘serious ethical and legal concerns, bearing on integrity of medical research and scientific evidence used in legal disputes’

Here is the SSRN abstract to the article by Professors Simon Stern and Trudo Lemmens (University of Toronto-Faculty of Law) entitled “Legal Remedies for Medical Ghostwriting: Imposing Fraud Liability on Guest Authors of Ghostwritten Articles”: (more…)

The Rakofsky Effect

May 18, 2011

Over at Defending People, Mark Bennett is curating a Compendium of Rakofsky v. Internet Blog Posts to keep readers (and putative defendants) updated in the Rakofsky v. The Internet defamation lawsuit commenced by [insert pejorative here] Joseph Rakofsky and his multi-jurisdictional law firm, Rakofsky Law Firm.

Apparently, Rakofsky also had a website (the link is to an archived version saved by Mark Bennett- h/t to commenter David Shulman) advertising his legal services in Connecticut. This may pose a problem given that the Connecticut Judicial Branch has no record of a CT licensed attorney named Rakofsky:

Since I neither practice in Connecticut, nor am I admitted there pro hac vice, I defer to CT licensed attorneys to opine on whether advertising one’s legal services in a state where one is unlicensed is kosher. I do not know whether Rakofsky’s associates/partners/colleagues have pro hac vice status in CT, but none of them are licensed to practice in CT (run the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Attorney/Firm Inquiry to satisfy yourself).

Meanwhile, my fellow defendant and esteemed colleague, Eric Turkewitz at the New York Personal Injury Law Blog, throws down the proverbial gauntlet in his reply post: Joseph Rakofsky — I Have An Answer For You. 

While my Latin is admittedly rusty, the sage advice that Turkewitz graciously offers to Joseph Rakofsky and his attorney, Richard Borzouye, Esq. may also be loosely translated to: 

Vade in alvum in motu abstracta atque casside in aures.

Finally, as more blawgers continue to join the fray by expressing their opinions and being added as defendants in the Rakofsky v. The Internet litigation, I leave you with this variation of the Streisand Effect, which I have coined as the “Rakofsky Effect”:

UPDATED: Please also read Mirriam Seddiq’s thoughtful post at Not Guilty: “Chiming In”.

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