International Law Firm 0 — 1 The Internet
A cease and desist letter sent by Jones Day to a blogger who used its logo in a satirical post about one of the firm’s partners seems to have backfired.
The intimidating missive, which references Jones Day’s “over 2,500 lawyers in offices on five continents” in its first line, demands the immediate removal of the logo from Kevynorr.com, a blog devoted to criticising the actions of Jones Day Washington DC partner Kevyn Orr.
Orr is currently combining his job with a role as the “emergency financial manager” of cash-strapped city Detroit, and the blog accuses him of re-organising Detroit’s finances in the interests of banks rather than the public.
The letter also threatens litigation against the anonymous blogger if the wishes of the writer — Jones Day’s Robert Ducatman — aren’t complied with. It concludes scarily: “Your conduct will be closely monitored”.
However, rather than being cowed, the blogger opted to publish Jones Day’s letter online. It can be read in full below.
This drew the attention of respected US non-profit the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which last week wrote back to Jones Day on behalf of the blogger. Its letter — also re-published below — accuses Jones Day of getting the law wrong, with the “placement of the Jones Day mark under the tag line ‘Detroit’s Economic Coup D’etat has been brought to you by’…an obvious parody of corporate sponsorship.”
The letter proceeds to inform the firm that the blogger will not comply with its request, before accusing it of bullying:
“It is difficult to escape the conclusion that this was a calculated attempt to confuse and intimidate a person you expected to be unfamiliar with the law,” writes author Dan Nazer, an in-house lawyer at EFF.