Patterico's Pontifications

8/10/2012

Former L.A. Times Reporter Chuck Philips Threatens a Baseless Copyright Lawsuit Against Patterico In Attempt to Get Embarrassing Letters Removed from the Internet

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Scum — Patterico @ 7:51 am

Is disgraced former L.A. Times reporter Chuck Philips trying to use specious legal claims and toothless workplace threats to wipe evidence of his biased reporting off of the Internet?

You be the judge.

I received this over a week ago:

Dear Sir:

Please be aware that your reproduction of the handwritten or typed letters of Chuck Philips to individuals violates his copyright and trademark. Violation of Mr. Philips’ copyright and trademark can head to fines in excess of 100,00 per instance.

As a courtesy, we will give you 72 hours to remove this material from your website. I have advised Mr. Philips to take legal action against you and your website should you not cease and desist within this time frame.

Cordially yours,

AC Carlson

“In excess of 100,00″ — wow, that sounds like a lot! It would sound like even more if there were three zeroes after the comma, the way one normally writes numbers.

So what is this about? The “cordial” Mr. Carlson doesn’t say, but I believe the posts he is referring to are here and here.

In brief, Mr. Philips was reporting about criminal cases against (now convicted criminal) Anthony Pellicano for the Los Angeles Times. Philips has always seemed unnaturally friendly to Mr. Pellicano, and the letters — written to prison inmates who were potential witnesses — seemed to suggest story lines that would benefit Mr. Pellicano. In other words, Philips did not write the inmates to ask: “What happened?” Instead, he wrote letters that set out various scenarios that would be helpful to Pellicano’s defense, and asked the inmates, “Is that what happened?”

In one letter, Philips presented an inmate with a scenario of misconduct by FBI agents who had conducted a search of Pellicano’s office, and reminded the inmate that the agents were “the same officials who charged and prosecuted your case.” He told the inmate that “[i]t is obvious to me that the government is not being candid” and opined that Pellicano’s rights had been violated. Philips told the inmate that he believed the inmate’s recollection could “sink this case” against Pellicano.

Just another day at your always objective Big Media corporation!

You can read the letters at the links. (Yes, more than 72 hours later, they are still there.)

In short, Philips acted as a partisan advocate for Pellicano, rather than as an objective reporter.

And at the same time, he was reporting on Pellicano’s case for the Los Angeles Times.

I broke the story of Philips’s astoundingly biased reporting in the posts linked above. If Philips had not already been fired, one wonders if these posts would have resulted in the same action.

Are we truly to believe that Philips wants to retain the right to publish these letters on his own? Or is he using copyright to try to hide letters that are professionally embarrassing to him, because they reveal how he operates as a journalist? The answer to that rather rhetorical question comes in a follow-up that Carlson sent to my lawyer Ron Coleman:

Please be advised that, moreover, as a matter of ethics, your publication of these letters by the author may interfere with the prosecution of ongoing criminal cases in New York, adversely impacting these prosecutions. We certainly hope that an individual who associates himself with the DA’s office in law enforcement would be aware of the untoward consequences of his actions and show appropriate judgment. It appears, at the very least, unseemly for an individual associated with law enforcement to be involved in the dissemination of this sort of prejudicial information. In this connection, it may be of some assistance for your client to review the ongoing cases of the US v. James Rosemond of which Mr. Frey should be aware, given his stated expertise. Certainly your client would not want to interfere with this prosecution. We will assume that now that we have made you aware of these ethical issues, your client will remove these materials as a matter of prudent judgment and so further investigation and complaint will not be necessary.

Ah, the old workplace threat! Are Neal Rauhauser and Brett Kimberlin behind this?

For the record, I have received absolutely no contact from any prosecutor asking me to take down the posts with Philips’s letters, nor can I imagine why they would. Also, for the record, everything I say on this site is said as a private citizen. The disclaimer is over there on the right sidebar, right under that Amazon widget.

There is no ethical issue. What there is, is a thuggish attempt to use baseless legal threats and threats to complain to my workplace — all to force me to remove posts that show Philips was trying to push a pro-Pellicano story line while he was writing for the Los Angeles Times.

How big a story is this going to become? I guess we’ll see, won’t we?

In the meantime, my thanks to my lawyer Ron Coleman, who always has my back. You can read his entire exchange with Mr. Carlson here.

112 Comments

  1. Violation of Mr. Philips’ copyright and trademark can head to fines

    Head to fines? Pretty sure he meant “lead to fines”. AC Carlson doesn’t sound like a competent attorney.

    Comment by Chuck Bartowski (3bccbd) — 8/10/2012 @ 7:54 am

  2. Ron is good people. He must be hurting himself laughing at the fact that this “Carlson” is so ignorant of actual copyright law as to write such an incompetent letter. “Fines” … ROFL. There are no “fines” in copyright law for infringement.

    Incompetence in a cease and desist letter always takes out all the intimidation factor.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 8/10/2012 @ 7:57 am

  3. There is an ethical issue… but Pat isn’t the one with that issue. ;-)

    Comment by Karl (7dc230) — 8/10/2012 @ 7:59 am

  4. He don’t know you too well, do he?

    Comment by aunursa (7014a8) — 8/10/2012 @ 8:03 am

  5. Wow. It’s like all the jerks in the world got a playbook or something.

    They all go after jobs. They try to take a family’s means away from them. To stifle criticism and honest reporting, the people who looked like thugs use tactics that prove they are thugs.

    When the thugs lose their jobs (it happens rarely because they usually do not have jobs), it saddens me to see self destructive behavior cause a downward spiral. It’s like there’s an empathy node in my brain, and it just didn’t develop in the brains of all these scumbags.

    If I knew who at Patt’s workplace handles all these complaints, I’d be tempted to send them flowers simply for having to deal with so many baseless attempts to silence a good person. That has to get old.

    Comment by Dustin (73fead) — 8/10/2012 @ 8:04 am

  6. “100,00″ is the new e1eventy!!!

    Comment by Icy (84536b) — 8/10/2012 @ 8:16 am

  7. So . . . WHAT does Pellicano have on Philips, anyway?

    Comment by Icy (84536b) — 8/10/2012 @ 8:18 am

  8. a lawsuit for reals?

    oh.

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 8/10/2012 @ 8:37 am

  9. …from the law firm of Coppiyn and Pastin.

    Comment by fvd (eb0eb3) — 8/10/2012 @ 8:37 am

  10. Well as my old drill sarge used to say–Screw ‘em if they can’t take a joke.

    You obviously can. And that letter from Phillip’s attorney was a joke–unintentional of course. But maybe Phillips picked a lawyer who matched his level of competence. A journalist should not be a “novelist”. That sort of stuff still lingers on at the Times–witness Michael Hiltzik’s survival there.

    Comment by Comanche Voter (29e1a6) — 8/10/2012 @ 8:44 am

  11. I always wondered what happened to Mr. Carlson in the days after WKRP.

    Comment by Hal Duston (983c6e) — 8/10/2012 @ 8:49 am

  12. I’m wondering if Chuck Philips noticed other thugs using these tactics and calculated that piling on at this time might give his weak claims more power.

    I hope this is not the case, but why did he wait so long? Probably because (as I see it) his claim is very weak.

    Comment by Dustin (73fead) — 8/10/2012 @ 8:57 am

  13. You know the economy is bad when a partisan-hack journalist is attempting to scrub his record in order to find gainful employment!

    If Tommy Xtopher loses his Mediaite gig he’ll be on the dole forever.

    Comment by Icy (84536b) — 8/10/2012 @ 9:03 am

  14. Mr. Philips, a woman named Steisand is on line one. She wants to warn you about some sort of unintended consequences:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

    And since I wondered who this guy is/was, I gargled it:

    http://www.laweekly.com/2011-06-23/news/chuck-philips-demands-l-a-times-apology-on-tupac-shakur/

    I think he’d be trying to figure out a way to improve his reputation…not remind people of why he is a former reporter. Might be only one thing worse than being a reporter…and that’s being a disgraced one. When those guys toss you from their tribe, you have really hit the skids.

    Comment by ukuleledave (c59551) — 8/10/2012 @ 9:04 am

  15. I copied this, don’t ask me for the source I have anterograde amnesia:

    Make a copy of his letter. Enclose it with this cover letter:

    Dear Mr. Carlson:

    I received the enclosed on _______. I thought you might want to know that some a*****e is signing your name to stupid letters.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 8/10/2012 @ 9:08 am

  16. what’s the difference between “ceasing” and “desisting” anyway nobody tells me anything

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 8/10/2012 @ 9:18 am

  17. “desisting

    present participle of de·sist

    Verb: Cease”

    I’m amused by this.

    Comment by Dustin (73fead) — 8/10/2012 @ 9:20 am

  18. in excess of 100,000

    That reminds me of the Seinfeld when Kramer had to pay 2 million Lira for a villa in Tuscany from Cicio…

    Comment by Jay (4f25cc) — 8/10/2012 @ 9:25 am

  19. nk, general counsel of the Cleveland Indians in the ’70′s if memory serves.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 8/10/2012 @ 9:40 am

  20. Didn’t he hear the one about letting sleeping dogs lie?

    Comment by AZ Bob (7d2a2c) — 8/10/2012 @ 9:45 am

  21. Providing a scenario to a witness and then asking “Is that what happened?” sounds suspiciously similar to suborning perjury.

    Comment by Stogie (466903) — 8/10/2012 @ 9:46 am

  22. what’s the difference between “ceasing” and “desisting” anyway nobody tells me anything
    Comment by happyfeet — 8/10/2012 @ 9:18 am

    – The Divine Miss Sarah’s lawyers will explain it to you at the hearing.

    Comment by Icy (84536b) — 8/10/2012 @ 9:52 am

  23. Is AC Carlson a real name? Isn’t that the guy from WKRP in Cincinatti?

    Comment by Johnboy (fdc8a7) — 8/10/2012 @ 9:53 am

  24. AFAIK, the lawyer has a point. The letter writer retains copyright of letters written to other people, even if the correspondent has the letter. So, for example, if someone has a letter from JRR Tolkein in which he rubbishes his own creation of Middle Earth, his estate could sue to prevent its publication.

    Depending on the situation, Patterico may be covered by one of the Fair Use exceptions to copyright law. But the initial claim is not entirely specious.

    Comment by StrongDreams (c60594) — 8/10/2012 @ 9:54 am

  25. StrongDreams, the claim is frivolous on its face, the letter had no commercial value, it was published for the purpose of commentary and the letter writer was illiterate and ignorant of the basic principles of copyright law. one of my paralegal students would write a better letter.

    Comment by SPQR (485b3e) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:03 am

  26. I was once threatened with a lawsuit by an employee we had fired for forging my partner’s name on a series of letters intended to support a personal injury suit by the employee’s mother. A couple of years later, she got turned down for a job when she listed us as references (why ? I can’t imagine). I then got this threatening letter. As it happened, I had kept the forged letters, which were addressed to the same lawyer ! He was a cousin and it was a family scam. A letter to the state bar ended the correspondence.

    Some people are so dumb, you wonder how they remember to breathe.

    Comment by Mike K (326cba) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:09 am

  27. Ah, the old workplace threat! Are Neal Rauhauser and Brett Kimberlin behind this?

    Ya think? :)

    Comment by Dandapani (7b3f31) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:11 am

  28. SPQR,
    Maybe I’m thinking of a different definition of the word frivolous. The letter is doomed to failure because of the availability of at least two defenses under Fair Use, as you point out. And the defamation and trademark claims are frivolous. But the letter writer does hold copyright in those letters.

    Comment by StrongDreams (c60594) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:16 am

  29. Sorta kinda makes me think of…
    Michael Corleone: Tom, wait a minute. I’m talking about a cop that’s mixed up in drugs. I’m talking about a – a – a dishonest cop – a crooked cop who got mixed up in the rackets and got what was coming to him. That’s a terrific story. And we have newspaper people on the payroll, don’t we, Tom?
    [Tom nods]
    Michael Corleone: And they might like a story like that.
    Tom Hagen: They might, they just might.
    Michael Corleone: [to Sonny] It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.

    Comment by Frank (b83c9b) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:18 am

  30. SD, I listed two factors in a fair use claim. This instance really meets all four factors IMO,

    Comment by SPQR (485b3e) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:19 am

  31. Copyright requires more than authorship. Minimum, original literary work.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:21 am

  32. StrongDreams and/or SPQR,

    I’m not knowledgeable about copyright laws. Would Phillips own the copyright or would his employer, the LA Times, if he wrote a letter as a part of his job as a reporter and used the information obtained to write articles for the LA Times?

    I’m not saying that happened here but I’m curious if that would make a difference if it did.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:22 am

  33. Good point, DRJ. Probably LAT as work for hire, assuming ordinary employment and no other contractual clauses on the topic. He needs to prove standing as well. LOL

    Comment by SPQR (485b3e) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:26 am

  34. points to DRJ.

    Comment by SPQR (485b3e) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:27 am

  35. nk, not really. You retain copyright to your comment on this site, for example (see the boldly linked policy below).

    DRJ, good point. It might be considered a work for hire. That would probably depend on whether Philips’ contract with the LAT gave LAT copyright of his “work product” or just the final articles he may have written. However, Fair Use would still protect Patterico.

    Comment by StrongDreams (c60594) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:28 am

  36. Glenn Reynold’s reaction:

    “I mean, how dumb do you have to be these days to think Hey, threatening Patterico is a good way to make this thing go quiet?”

    Comment by AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:41 am

  37. Dear Counselor Carlson,

    Your client, Mr. Phillips, did not write that.

    Signed,

    Barack

    Comment by Elephant Stone (65d289) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:41 am

  38. Gosh, I’d forgotten all about those stories from a few years ago. Nice to revisit them.

    Good times….good times.

    Comment by Pious Agnostic (7c3d5b) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:44 am

  39. So Chuck Philips has a trademark? On what, his name? Trademarks are much harder to obtain than copyrights, and have to be labeled with a “TM” or a circled “R” next to the trademarked term.

    Comment by PapayaSF (edee9c) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:45 am

  40. INAL, but I thought all correspondence to prisoners was subject to search. Couldn’t that be presumed to place it in the public domain?

    Comment by xbradtc (50d538) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:51 am

  41. AV-ratings are kind of obsolete. And IMO kinds puffed up always. That was a stupid detail to put in.

    Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:55 am

  42. At least he didn’t threaten with Charles Carreon. OR DID HE?

    Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:56 am

  43. Ok. Sorry for the long cut and paste.

    § 102 . Subject matter of copyright: In general28
    (a) Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Works of authorship include the following categories:

    (1) literary works;

    (2) musical works, including any accompanying words;

    (3) dramatic works, including any accompanying music;

    (4) pantomimes and choreographic works;

    (5) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works;

    (6) motion pictures and other audiovisual works;

    (7) sound recordings; and

    (8) architectural works.

    (b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:58 am

  44. Give me a minute to find the constitutional limitation.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:59 am

  45. There is no AC Carlson practicing law in California, legally that is. Where is this guy supposed to be practicing?

    Maybe it is another sock puppet having nothing to do with Mr. Phillips?

    Comment by AZ Bob (7d2a2c) — 8/10/2012 @ 10:59 am

  46. So..”100,00″ what? Pesos? Drachma? Rubles?

    Comment by Hucklebuck (fcfdb2) — 8/10/2012 @ 11:02 am

  47. To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 8/10/2012 @ 11:03 am

  48. Give this lawyer some respect. He is with the prestigious firm Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe.

    Comment by Mkelley (02b9d9) — 8/10/2012 @ 11:19 am

  49. Maybe he’s a Swede. They use those silly commas.

    Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 8/10/2012 @ 11:25 am

  50. I found during a recent trip to Italy that the , is used instead of a decimal point while a period is used instead of the comma that we use here.

    For example one thousand dollars would be written as $1.000,00 This means that we would write the amount that he asked as $100.00 (one hundred dollars).

    Comment by Sabba Hillel (7679e5) — 8/10/2012 @ 11:25 am

  51. I just went to Ikea yesterday, so I’m naming him

    ÅSBJÖRN Canutus.

    Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 8/10/2012 @ 11:33 am

  52. xbradtc, no. Since the ’76 revision, no copyrightable work goes into the public domain unless intentionally so dedicated by the author.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 8/10/2012 @ 11:33 am

  53. If he actually sues, would the letters be introduced in court? Do you really want to protect your copyright by proving that you are the original author of an attempt to suborn perjury?

    Comment by willis (dee9e7) — 8/10/2012 @ 11:36 am

  54. “A.C. Carlson”
    It’s got to be a spoof.
    Arthur “Big Guy” Carlson, General Manager of WKRP in Cincinnati.
    If Big Guy was a lawyer, he would write such a letter, unless Jennifer tore it up before he could mail it.

    Comment by AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92) — 8/10/2012 @ 12:07 pm

  55. Jennifer would have to tear it up, because Dr.Johnny Fever would read it on the air if he found it!

    Comment by htom (412a17) — 8/10/2012 @ 12:22 pm

  56. Where is Jennifer now days? I’ve not heard of her since she left the Bandit or was that Paul Crewe?

    Comment by PCD (1d8b6d) — 8/10/2012 @ 12:29 pm

  57. In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.

    Which is why A C Clarke didn’t have the rights to the comm satellite, nor Heinlein to the waterbed or remote manipulator arm.

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 8/10/2012 @ 12:46 pm

  58. Sadly, Gordon Jump died in 2003, so it isn’t him.

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 8/10/2012 @ 12:49 pm

  59. Screen Caps for everyone!

    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 8/10/2012 @ 1:50 pm

  60. @50

    Yeah, I was going to speculate that Carlson might be European. There still should be some sort of indication as to 100 what, though.

    Patterico, if Phillips is willing to accept 100 “influence” (a measure of reward in the City of Heroes MMOG) per instance, I’d be glad to donate if you want to settle.

    Comment by malclave (1db6c5) — 8/10/2012 @ 1:58 pm

  61. what’s the difference between “ceasing” and “desisting” anyway nobody tells me anything

    Comment by happyfeet — 8/10/2012 @ 9:18 am

    The “cease” and “desist” each cost $3.98 if you buy them separately, but it’s only $5.98 if you get the meal deal, unless you SuperSize which is $0.59 more.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 8/10/2012 @ 2:09 pm

  62. Comment by Dustin — 8/10/2012 @ 8:04 am

    Wow. It’s like all the jerks in the world got a playbook or something.

    What do you mean “like” they have a playbook??

    This very much looks like the playback Brett Kimberlin is using, complete with inaccurate law.

    But I wouldn’t say all jerks, just some loosely connected ones.

    Now here we have a Pellicano connection.

    I just wonder what woke him up. Why is this important now?

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 8/10/2012 @ 2:14 pm

  63. Chuck Philips WAS friendly with Anthony Pellicano and, in fact, admitted to the NY Times that he had long used Pellicano as a news source.

    In fact, Philips and Jim Newton (the lawyer Karlene Goller’s husband) had the most bylines of any reporters at the newspaper where Pellicano was quoted or mentioned. Newton kept a Christmas gift on his desk from Pellicano and had visited Pellicano’s office where the taping was done.

    After I was threatened, Goller told me she wanted Pellicano to help. I said no. She told me the paper had a good relationship with Pellicano. Editor John Carroll said no. Then, unbeknown to me or law enforcement (and Carroll??), Philips told the NY Times that he, in fact, did call Pellicano after the threat on my life at Goller’s behest.

    Philips was the only reporter in the country (and the L.A. Times was the only newspaper to allow it) to go after the ethics of the U.S. Attorney prosecuting Pellicano. Gee, I wonder why.

    Philips also had a jailhouse interview with Pelicano that was not recorded. Why? Golly gee willikers, how could THAT have occurred? DUH.

    It was reported that Philips also attended Pellicano’s wedding and was the only reporter there not taking notes. He did not cover the wedding for the newspaper.

    I see some similarities with another case:

    In 2008, R&B singer Waymond Anderson, alleged that Chuck Philips visited him in prison and passed several notes wrapped in plastic from Suge Knight. (Anderson is a convicted murderer and his veracity has been called into question by law enforcement). However, the L.A. Times wrote about it.

    The Times revealed in the same story on August 1, 2008 that Philips had been keeping in regular touch with the Anderson family AND the paper duly noted: “though he has not been covering the hearing for the newspaper.”

    Trademark and Copyright? While he was under the employment of the L.A. Times writing and reporting as an employee of the L.A. Times? Oh, that’s a good one!

    Comment by Anita Busch (1c1971) — 8/10/2012 @ 2:16 pm

  64. It’s jargon. A real “cease and desist” is a complaint for injunction and other relief filed and served alongside a motion for TRO/Preliminary Injunction.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 8/10/2012 @ 2:16 pm

  65. Comment by Anita Busch — 8/10/2012 @ 2:16 pm

    Trademark and Copyright? While he was under the employment of the L.A. Times writing and reporting as an employee of the L.A. Times? Oh, that’s a good one!

    But this wasn’t written for the New York times.

    I think the precedent he has in mind if J.ZD. Salinger.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salinger_v._Random_House

    http://openjurist.org/811/f2d/90
    http://openjurist.org/818/f2d/252/salinger-jd-v-random-house-inc

    It’s jargon. A real “cease and desist” is a complaint for injunction

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 8/10/2012 @ 2:35 pm

  66. As the saying goes:

    If the facts are on your side, pound the facts into the table. If the law is on your side, pound the law into the table. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table.

    To which we can add, if it’s completely hopeless, pound the keyboard.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 8/10/2012 @ 2:38 pm

  67. For example one thousand dollars would be written as $1.000,00 This means that we would write the amount that he asked as $100.00 (one hundred dollars).

    Comment by Sabba Hillel — 8/10/2012 @ 11:25 am

    Actually, that is written as $1,000.00 not as $1.000,00. The comma is used to break up series of 3 from right to left, and the period is to denote the break and what follows is the 2 decimal place for the amount of cents. If you do not have cents involved, it could be written as $1,000

    Comment by peedoffamerican (ee1de0) — 8/10/2012 @ 3:10 pm

  68. You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, dude.

    Comment by Jack (520565) — 8/10/2012 @ 3:23 pm

  69. I presume the letterhead of Mr. Carlson was more explicit about his name and practice than we see here.

    So who is this goombah?

    Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 8/10/2012 @ 3:37 pm

  70. Or goofy swede?

    Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 8/10/2012 @ 3:38 pm

  71. PeedoffAmerican, there are a number of countries, (including Sweden!) that use a comma instead of the decimal point.

    Italy does and France does and some czechy countries do and maybe Brazil… there are lots.

    Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 8/10/2012 @ 3:40 pm

  72. peedoff, Sabba was speaking of the european method, not the US method. (He was typing of what he saw in Italy. I’ve seen the same in France).

    In US, we would write it as 1,000.00
    In many EU countries, they would write that as 1.000,00

    Comment by ChimpZilla (4cbcb0) — 8/10/2012 @ 3:42 pm

  73. So $1,000.00 in France where the ladies wear no pants, would be 1.000,00.

    Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 8/10/2012 @ 3:44 pm

  74. So sorry, my bad. But what the hell does the way they do things in France, Italy, or Terrorististan have to do with a letter from a lawyer that is in the US of Freakin’ A? I couldn’t give a crap less how it might be done in any backwater cheese-eating-surrender-monkeyland when it has absolutely no relevance to how a supposed attorney wrote it in a cease and desist letter here in the US of Freakin’ A.

    Comment by peedoffamerican (ee1de0) — 8/10/2012 @ 3:57 pm

  75. In many EU countries, they would write that as 1.000,00

    Comment by ChimpZilla — 8/10/2012 @ 3:42 pm

    Italy does and France does and some czechy countries do and maybe Brazil… there are lots.

    Comment by SarahW — 8/10/2012 @ 3:40 pm

    In many EU countries, many areas of those countries also don’t have indoor plumbing. Some of them also have chickens and pigs that roost inside their houses too. Hell in France a lot of the women don’t shave their pits. In Germany most of the women don’t shave their legs!

    But still, what does it have to do with a supposed attorney here in the USA? Should we emulate them?

    Comment by peedoffamerican (ee1de0) — 8/10/2012 @ 4:04 pm

  76. peedoff,

    No one is saying that’s the “right” way… we’re merely offering an explanation of why he wrote it like that.

    Comment by malclave (1db6c5) — 8/10/2012 @ 4:16 pm

  77. malclave – I suspect he might be from abroad, this Mr. Carlson. That or less careful than some with his monetary figures.

    Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 8/10/2012 @ 4:19 pm

  78. It’s like a little clue.

    Comment by SarahW (b0e533) — 8/10/2012 @ 4:20 pm

  79. peedoff,
    Someone was commenting that the “attorney” in question could be foreign, thus 100,00, which would be 100.00 to those in the US.
    More likely he meant to write 100,000. However, we like to discuss all the possibilities in here (and make fun of bad legal threats).

    Plus, what’s with the xenophobia? I’m not sure if you’re a troll, or honestly feel that way. (I hope you’re just trolling, but I’ve seen enough people online who would echo your sentiments seriously).

    Comment by ChimpZilla (4cbcb0) — 8/10/2012 @ 4:43 pm

  80. a journey of a 100,00 steps begins with bail money

    Comment by pdbuttons (a9b91c) — 8/10/2012 @ 4:52 pm

  81. SarahW,

    It doesn’t have to be “or”. He could be foreign AND less careful than some with money… like the PIIGS.

    Comment by malclave (1db6c5) — 8/10/2012 @ 5:19 pm

  82. His word processor might have “fixed” his “error” of typing 1,000.00 as well.

    Loni Anderson (local girl at one time) has married for the fourth time, a musician, I don’t remember who.

    Comment by htom (412a17) — 8/10/2012 @ 5:51 pm

  83. “In excess of 100,00″ — wow, that sounds like a lot! It would sound like even more if there were three zeroes after the comma, the way one normally writes numbers.

    Maybe he’s a Euro — He actually means in excess of US$100

    Comment by IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (aacc3d) — 8/10/2012 @ 7:00 pm

  84. “We will assume that now that we have made you aware of these ethical issues, your client will remove these materials as a matter of prudent judgment and so further investigation and complaint will not be necessary.”

    Isn’t this last sentence extortion? What’s the difference between that sentence and “Hey mac, cough up $100,00 or I give your wife the dirty pictures of you and your girl friend”?

    Call the cops, call the Bar Society, get this creep disbarred and charged.

    Comment by Fred Z (b8d9d1) — 8/10/2012 @ 7:18 pm

  85. More reason for eschewing a ‘good reputation’ from the get go.

    Wise guys and dirt bags one and all.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 8/10/2012 @ 7:58 pm

  86. Maybe this guy, Mr. AC Carlson can help out Fareed Zakaria. He be needing a lawyer.

    Comment by elissa (7bf275) — 8/10/2012 @ 8:20 pm

  87. I’ve always thought how empty-headed and counter-intuitive every thought Zakaria shared was on ANY subject.

    Little did I know he steals them.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (8e0c51) — 8/10/2012 @ 8:25 pm

  88. When asked if he is a plagiarist, Mr. Zakaria replied “it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

    Comment by malclave (1db6c5) — 8/10/2012 @ 8:25 pm

  89. Loni Anderson (local girl at one time) has married for the fourth time, a musician, I don’t remember who.

    Comment by htom

    Married teh Kenny G?

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (8e0c51) — 8/10/2012 @ 8:26 pm

  90. If she married teh semi-legendary Al Kooper, she’d be Loni Anderson-Kooper.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (8e0c51) — 8/10/2012 @ 8:27 pm

  91. Col.,

    I think that’s the problem with a lot of so-called journalism today. The reporter or columnist takes something pre printed like a business PR piece or an already written glob of propaganda emailed from a “public interest group” or a candidate’s campaign flack–makes tiny style changes– and ships it out to his paper or magazine under his own byline. Obviously, the PR person/flack just got exactly what she wanted, which was her narrative out in print by a professional journalist. The flack ain’t gonna complain about plagiarism–she was begging for it. The reporter gets so comfortable with this easy peasy no-thought-required game with no repercussions that he gets sloppy and starts to do the same slight alteration trick, but now with with another journalist’s work. Oopsie!

    Comment by elissa (7bf275) — 8/10/2012 @ 8:53 pm

  92. yep, I think what you’re saying is definitely the case, elissa. Not many journalists or real reporters out there any more. No pride in their chosen profession or much of a work ethic to speak of any more, so they may as well be “mailing it in”.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (8e0c51) — 8/10/2012 @ 9:14 pm

  93. elissa, sometimes they don’t bother to just copy from a press release intended to be copied, they just copy others’ work outright. And bungled, incompetent and lie-filled work at that.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 8/10/2012 @ 9:17 pm

  94. THREADJACK:

    NBC is reporting that Paul Ryan will be announced as Romney’s VP nominee.

    Comment by JVW (edec8d) — 8/10/2012 @ 9:24 pm

  95. Mr. Carlson doesn’t actually claim to BE a lawyer, I don’t think. (I don’t know what impression any letterhead he used might have made.) but his letters just show him a person interested in Chuck’s concerns. He has given advice to Chuck, he says, but lots of friends and associates give advice both welcome and unwelcome, solicited and unsolicited, good and lousy, without being lawyers at all.

    It’s so kimberlinesque.

    Ermahgerd jerlhers Leryer!

    Comment by Sarahw (b0e533) — 8/10/2012 @ 9:49 pm

  96. What was the name of the Ambulance chasing lawyer on the Simpson ‘Lionel Hutz’

    Comment by narciso (ee31f1) — 8/10/2012 @ 9:51 pm

  97. Loni Anderson (local girl at one time) has married for the fourth time, a musician, I don’t remember who.

    – Four years ago, now.

    Comment by Icy (c91e24) — 8/10/2012 @ 9:56 pm

  98. AC Carlson is an up-and-coming counselor-at-law in Mumbai. Please stop making fun of him. His cousins work in the phone center for Windows Tech Support. They call you every week or so and ask you to turn on your computers.

    Comment by 49erDweet (33ac75) — 8/11/2012 @ 12:56 am

  99. I presume the letterhead of Mr. Carlson was more explicit about his name and practice than we see here.

    So who is this goombah?

    There is no letterhead. This is all email, all amateurish. Citation to irrelevant statutory sections, incompetent grammar, worse legal analysis . . .

    Let’s just say that my wondering aloud whether this is a Kimberlin/Rauhauser production was only half in jest.

    Bottom line: do I appear to be worried? No? Good, because I’m not. At all.

    Comment by Patterico (7dfa08) — 8/11/2012 @ 2:56 am

  100. Were these inmates potential witnesses?

    Comment by Beto (7a12ae) — 8/11/2012 @ 5:30 am

  101. Plus, what’s with the xenophobia? I’m not sure if you’re a troll, or honestly feel that way. (I hope you’re just trolling, but I’ve seen enough people online who would echo your sentiments seriously).

    Comment by ChimpZilla — 8/10/2012 @ 4:43 pm

    Call me a troll? I have been commenting on this site off and on for eight years. Haven’t seen your handle until recently, Chimpy.

    As for xenophobia, you are just plain nuts. I see no reason to emulate or even give credence to what other nations have done as they are mostly failures. This is the US of Freakin’ A, and we don’t need any foreign solutions to OUR problems because, if it wasn’t for the USA, most of these other countries would not exist and enjoy what freedoms that they do have.

    I am not saying that we are perfect, but without the USA, the Euroweenie countries would be under Nazi rule if we hadn’t supported England and the USSR with lend lease until we entered WWII. And then would have been under USSR totalitarian rule if we had not helped to rebuild those countries and then stood against the Soviets afterwards.

    It’s not xenophobia whatsoever! This country was founded to be different from the tired, old, and corrupt regimes of Europe, and it seems that we only get into trouble when the elite in this country want us to be more like our “more enlightened” Euroweenie cousins.

    Comment by peedoffamerican (606d27) — 8/11/2012 @ 11:22 am

  102. While the USA might not be perfect, WE have made it possible for more people to live in freedom in the USA and around the world than any time in history.

    Comment by peedoffamerican (606d27) — 8/11/2012 @ 11:26 am

  103. After reading this my hunch was that the LA Times author is trying to hide his questionable activities behind a lawyer in a tax haven outside the US. The LA times author has realized that he can’t stand up well under truth or scrutiny

    Comment by jd2 (955f76) — 8/11/2012 @ 11:27 am

  104. Wikipedia usually gets these things right — On May 17, 2008, Anderson married musician Bob Flick, one of the founding members of the folk band The Brothers Four.[2][3] The couple had met at a movie premiere in Anderson’s native Minneapolis a few years after Flick’s group hit No. 2 on the pop charts with “Greenfields” in 1960.

    Comment by htom (412a17) — 8/11/2012 @ 2:13 pm

  105. Patterico, via email? What utter clownish behavior.

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 8/11/2012 @ 2:20 pm

  106. peedoff: The xenophobia and possible trolled that I commented on is the way that you referred to European countries.

    I have no desire either to see the US follow the trends of the EU politically (and would like to see the country reverse the trends of liberalism that we have seen lately). I only commented on the way that some other countries write out their numbers. You seemed to take it personally that other countries use different notations for decimal numbers. No one was advocating that the US change to that, some were more suggesting (probably jokingly) that the idiot who wrote patterico may be foreign (and bluffing).

    In short, you made a big deal out of what basically started as a sarcastic observation of a mistake Carlson made…

    Comment by ChimpZilla (4cbcb0) — 8/11/2012 @ 3:11 pm

  107. I don’t believe that the guy is a Euroweenie at all, some people were just pulling speculation out their butts that he is. It was written as fines in excess of 100,00 per instance, not as 10.000,00 or any of the other examples they gave. He undoubtedly meant to write it as 10,000 dollars. That is why I commented about the way it is done in the USA.

    It just shows that this guy is either a piss poor attorney with a piss poor, lackadaisical way of correspondence, or just posing as an attorney. Either way, I wouldn’t be, and see that Pat is not either, concerned about someone that is apparently incompetent. Definitely wouldn’t want him representing me in any type of action. Furthermore, he also mentions and trademark. Now praytell, just what trademark did Pat infringe?

    By the way, keep your stupid troll remarks and bigoted xenophobia comments to yourself until you are better known here. Someone that comes in and starts calling longtime commenters trolls, is the biggest TROLL of all.

    Comment by peedoffamerican (8888b7) — 8/11/2012 @ 5:41 pm

  108. what the hell are you two pissing and moaning about?

    Comment by SPQR (26be8b) — 8/11/2012 @ 5:56 pm

  109. peedoff,

    I would hazard a guess that most who were “pulling speculation out of their butts” were more making fun of his mistakes than seriously considering him to be European. (My personal opinion is that he meant to type 100,000 but left off the final zero). I don’t think many, if any, think the guy is a threat.

    Your method of commenting seems to be purposefully calculated to invoke emotive responses and to be inflammatory. More often than not, those who communicate in this method tend to be trolls. Insulting other countries does appear to be xenophobic. If I misread either of those, I do apologize.

    Comment by ChimpZilla (4cbcb0) — 8/11/2012 @ 7:44 pm

  110. Amazing things here. I am very happy to see your post. Thank you so much and I’m taking a look forward to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

    Comment by Properties1|Homes2|Houses3) (50d994) — 8/11/2012 @ 9:18 pm

  111. Insulting other countries does appear to be xenophobic. If I misread either of those, I do apologize.

    Comment by ChimpZilla — 8/11/2012 @ 7:44 pm

    Telling the truth is now insulting? WTF? I guess that I would be xenophobic for mentioning that Thailand is well known for its condoning of underage prostitution that many foreigners travel there to participate in. Then color me xenophobic then. I criticize what is done in this country also. Do you have a word for that? I do, it’s called Patriotism with a capital P.

    I don’t think that word means what you think it means! I do not fear them, but I do loathe many of the things that their governments do, and that most of the liberals in this country want to emulate! Hell, I loathe many of the things that are currently occurring in this country, mostly caused by the liberals.

    I hate the direction that this country has taken in the last fifty years from being a strong nation of morals and fiscally sound, to one that becomes accepting of every perverse ideology and fiscally unsound policy that comes along.

    I had an argument with my dad about thirty years ago about Christians being ridiculed and persecuted in this country simply for maintaining and professing their beliefs. He said that it could never happen, I said it would. God rest his soul that he died before he could see it happen as it is now.

    Now we see companies being threatened by government officials to deny them business licenses, just for stating that they support the biblical definition of marriage, people being persecuted and arrested for having bible studies in their homes, or being arrested for handing out Christian literature at or near gay pride events. Even so far as being arrested on the steps of the Supreme Court for preaching the Gospel in a respectful manner. What has this country become and is becoming because of the desire to emulate the European model that we rebelled against?

    If God does not judge this nation, and do it soon, He will owe an apology to Sodom, Gomorrah, and all the cities of the plain. Read Revelation 18. If we are not the Whore of Babylon mentioned, we are becoming most like her, and will be judged accordingly.

    I fear what my beloved country is becoming by emulating the worst of other countries. It has started since the notion that whatever feels good-do it, has become our rationale.

    Comment by peedoffamerican (8888b7) — 8/11/2012 @ 9:25 pm

  112. And Pellicano is still in prison. So this must not have worked.

    Comment by kateC (71f860) — 8/13/2012 @ 9:16 pm

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