Perhaps The Marketeer Thought I Had Changed My Mind. I Haven't.

Law Practice, WTF?

Back in January I told you the tale of a marketing cockroach. Let's continue to call him Mr. Feculent Q. Pus-Crust of the Society For Cornholing Unsuspecting Children, thought that is not quite his name, and his business also has a more generic title known to attorneys in the area.

Back in January, I expressed my opinion that an unsolicited email headed FELONY ARREST, containing a solicitation for the SFCUC's database of potential criminal cases, was deceptive and disreputable. I expressed disquiet with this practice, both here on the blog and in an email to Mr. Pus-Crust. He became quite angry and threatened me with suit. Among other things, he hotly denied that he had spammed me:

#1 Automated emails: I certainly don't do automated emails; frankly I don't even know how to do one and therefore have never done one in my life. Moreover my 6 day a week work schedule will attest to that fact as well. Further corroboration is in the literally dozens of meticulous hand written notes on legal pads for each territory that I get involved in. I maintain these for years.

And then I never heard from him again.

Until today.

Imagine my surprise to receive an email from him with the title "FW: intent to distribute," which I believe is once again calculated to appear like an email from a potential client, one charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

Dear Kenneth,

As you can see, no one captures more pre-screened (for financial capability) criminal defense matters in Southern California.

If it looks like a fit, we can discuss the rights to this protected territory.

Cordially,

[Feculent Q. Pus-Crust, Cockroach Marketeer]

The rest of the email was a vomited-forth capture of a series of entries from their database of potential client inquiries, showing just titles like "accused of lewd and lucidious [sic] acts." I clicked on one of the cases to confirm that it led to a database, but did not review any cases, because I have no intention to use the "service." (Note: I have grave concerns about any model that solicits potential clients to post a description of their case on a website to solicit attorneys, because clients often admit things they shouldn't when they do so, which is a bad thing.. In this instance, I haven't looked at the web site in question, so I don't know if this company is taking steps to protect the interests of these potential clients from unwise disclosures. I sure hope they are.)

Anyway, I sent Mr. Pus-Crust a response:

Mr. Pus-Crust:

Apparently you don’t remember that you threatened me with a lawsuit for criticizing your spamming a year ago.

Remove me from your spam list forthwith.

Ken White

He responded:

Oh that’s right. You’re the guy with so much time on his hands and skill in jumping to conclusions. Now I remember.

I responded back:

Gosh, since you so lovingly hand-craft each solicitation, instead of spamming, it must have required quite a collapse of memory for you to forget our prior exchange.

Have you tried Ginkgo Biloba?

So: I think it's fair to say that neither Mr. Pus-Crust nor I have experienced a change in our essential character since January.

So. This raises a question. In January, in angry denial of my suggestion that he had spammed me, Mr. Pus-Crust asserted "I certainly don't do automated emails; frankly I don't even know how to do one and therefore have never done one in my life." His latest email to me raises some questions:

1. Did Mr. Pus-Crust start sending automated emails after that exchange, explaining why he sent a solicitation to someone he had previously angrily accused of defamation and threatened to sue?

2. Or did Mr. Pus-Crust hand-craft this email, but forget that he was sending it to someone he had angrily threatened to sue 10 months before?

3. Or does Mr. Pus-Crust have an eccentric definition of "automated?"

4. Or is Mr. Pus-Crust lying about not sending automated emails?

I don't know, though I think an observer can draw inferences from the evidence. All I know is that ten months after I told Mr. Pus-Crust that his unsolicited email was unwelcome and I viewed it as deceptive, and ten months after he got very angry and complained about my "unprofessional, shrill and reckless email" and my "false and defamatory comments on [my] blog," Mr. Pus-Crust sent me another unsolicited marketing email with another title I view as deceptive.

You might be asking why I'm not naming names. It's for specific legal and strategic reasons. Stay tuned.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Megan  •  Nov 30, 2012 @1:37 pm

    "You might be asking why I'm not naming names. It's for specific legal and strategic reasons. Stay tuned."

    That, and Feculent Q. Pus-Crust is quite likely far more entertaining than the individual's actual name.

  2. Christopher  •  Nov 30, 2012 @1:41 pm

    I worked in telemarketing (awful, hated job and profession) before quiting and going after my masters in marketing. I would often copy and paste text into a new email for a client. I wouldn't do it before we'd spoken, and I'd sure as hell try to be a little more personal and less deceptive, but I'm betting I know how this guy defines hand written. He uses an excel sheet of contacts stolen from websites, listings, etc., probably the california secretary of business listings, and will "handwrite" each email by changing a name and a business title.

  3. Kilroy  •  Nov 30, 2012 @2:05 pm

    What is an automated email? Sounds like the guy writes his own emails and then manually hits "send" to hundreds and hundreds of attorneys. So not really automated, but still spam.

  4. AlphaCentauri  •  Nov 30, 2012 @2:22 pm

    The rules of spam:
    1. Spammers lie.
    2. If a spammer appears to be telling the truth, see rule #1.
    3. Spammers are stupid.

    (More rules and corollaries at http://bruce.pennypacker.org/2005/02/28/the-rules-of-spam/ )

  5. naught_for_naught  •  Nov 30, 2012 @2:36 pm

    " Stay tuned."
    …with rapt excitement.

  6. dfbaskwill  •  Nov 30, 2012 @2:49 pm

    Popcorn at the ready. Give him Hell on Earth.

  7. Dan  •  Nov 30, 2012 @3:06 pm

    Confession: I integrated "feculent" into my regular lexicon after the original January 2012 post.

    I certainly hope these "specific legal and strategic reasons" are entertaining for me, and highly damaging to Mr. Pus-Crust's business model.

  8. Dan Weber  •  Nov 30, 2012 @3:08 pm

    He became quite angry and threatened me with suit.

    popcorn

  9. Anglave  •  Nov 30, 2012 @4:23 pm

    @Dan

    idiolect

    Not trying to be snarky, you seem to enjoy words. Thought I'd toss you that one to replace "lexicon".

  10. AlphaCentauri  •  Nov 30, 2012 @4:44 pm

    Well, if he sent that email to anyone else, every single Google hit for "pre-screened (for financial capability)" leads to Popehat.

    Looking at it from the client side, I found an example of a site soliciting potential clients, with a helpful pulldown menu for them to say whether they can pay or not. (There's your pre-screening for you.) And the form is transmitted unencrypted (there's no https), a pretty egregious privacy violation:
    hxxp://www.1000attorneys.com/california-attorney-referral.php

  11. KronWeld  •  Nov 30, 2012 @6:44 pm

    Not Germane to this post, but interesting to read anyway. Another lawyer brought to task over their misunderstanding of copyright law.

    http://boingboing.net/2012/11/30/techdirt-schools-a-copyfraudst.html

  12. Z  •  Nov 30, 2012 @8:11 pm

    "Mr. Feculent Q. Pus-Crust of the Society For Cornholing Unsuspecting Children"

    So I gather you're not all that fond of the gentleman?

  13. Analee  •  Nov 30, 2012 @8:57 pm

    Mr. Pus-Crust keeps using that word "automated." I do not think it means what he thinks it means.

    Also he probably eats paste.

  14. G Thompson  •  Nov 30, 2012 @10:18 pm

    Are you telling me that in the USA potential clients can go onto some "legal' database and tell all that they have been accused of in a case in their own words and seeing as these databases, due to not being run by attorneys (and especially not ones that have these individuals as clients) are therefore able to be accessed by subpoena, no legal privilege defence, giving prosecutions lots of interesting admissions?

    WOW! Who'd want to be a defence solicitor when its so easy to prosecute! *facepalm*

    Though Ken, the phrase "accused of lewd and lucidious [sic] acts" might not be a bad thing.. Think of it.. how cool would it be to have actual LUCID clients and lewd ones too? woot!

  15. Matthew Cline  •  Dec 1, 2012 @6:49 am

    So I gather you're not all that fond of the gentleman?

    Why, whatever gave you that idea?

  16. David Aubke  •  Dec 1, 2012 @8:18 am

    @AlphaCentauri

    I dunno, that 1000attorneys site seems legit to me. Maybe you didn't notice that guy's bow tie?

  17. AlphaCentauri  •  Dec 1, 2012 @8:25 am

    My bad. Clearly, he has serious geek cred. Must be some new encryption protocol I've never heard of.

  18. AlphaCentauri  •  Dec 1, 2012 @8:38 am

    Same company owns 800usalaw.com, by the way. No https there, either.

  19. Bill  •  Dec 2, 2012 @5:45 pm

    He should be fed to the ponies

  20. Keith  •  Dec 3, 2012 @1:50 pm

    Stop trying to kill the ponies, you.