Don’t cry over bad reviews

We all know how bad it hurts when someone negatively comments on your work, but don’t they say “learn from your mistakes”, not “attempt to burry them in an enraged public display”?

Well, law professor Karin Calvo-Goller didn’t get the memo.

After writing a book entitled Trial Proceedings of the International Criminal Court: ICTY and ICTR Precedents; fellow law professor Thomas Weigend responds with a critical and somewhat negative review. Calvo-Goller’s reaction? Quite negative as well.

Rather than accepting that others views often differ from your own, she demanded that Weigend suppress the review for fear it would negatively impact her reputation.  When her request was declined, Calvo-Goller brought him to court on the grounds of criminal libel.

Whew, her feelings were really hurt.

What did Calvo-Goller do wrong in this situation?  Rather than covering up the fact she may or may not have written a credible ICC “Trial Proceedings” book, she illuminated the fact that she may or may not have written a credible ICC “Trial Proceedings” book.


Bank screws up; tries to sue Google so word doesn’t get out

Rocky Mountain BankA small bank in Wyoming made a double-oops last month.  They sent some sensitive information to the wrong Gmail address, but also included a document that shouldn’t have been sent at all.  They didn’t want their customers to learn of the breach, so they’ve sued Google.  Huh?

A customer of the Rocky Mountain Bank asked to have some loan documents sent to one of their representatives.  The bank sent the documents to someone with a similar e-mail address, and also included an attachment that held informtion on 1,325 other customers — names, tax ids, social security numbers, etc.  Amusingly, the bank employee then “tried to recall the e-mail without success”.  Yeah, I don’t think so.  You can read details about the breach here (PDF).

So far, Google is holding strong.  They say they won’t comply with a court order, even after which their policy is to notify an account holder and give the person a chance to object to the disclosure of their identity.

This is really so simply it’s stupid — if you want to keep a low profile, don’t sue Google.

How to look bad: File a bad lawsuit, lose, then appeal anyhow

Sedgwick-Claims-Management-Services-logoSedgwick Claims Management looked bad, then worse, now awful.  A guy was upset with the company so he took some pictures of Sedgwick and put them on fake “wanted” posters.  Sedgwick responded by hiring a big national law firm (Lord Locke) to go after the guy, who chose to defend himself.  Sedgwick lost the case, because the judge ruled it was (rightfully) fair use.

Not content with looking foolish in court once, Sedgwick is going back for more.  They’ve appealed the ruling and, as Eric Goldman states, they have “extra time to bask in the glow of the Streisand Effect”.

A moldy apartment, a tweet, and $50,000

amanda-bonnenThis one is a perfect example of the Streisand Effect — a company that has a small problem, they try to hide it, and it explodes!

A woman in Chicago, Amanda Bonnen, was having some problems with her apartment so she sent the following Tweet:

“Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it’s okay.”

Horizon Realty responded not by looking into the situation, but by suing the woman for more than $50,000.  This is apparently in line with their standard procedures, as TechDirt discovered in the Chicago Sun-Times.  According to Jeffrey Michael, they’re a “sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization”, in an effort to preserve their good reputation.  Really?  You preserve your good reputation by ignoring tenant complaints and suing them?

We haven’t even gotten to the best part yet.  Ms. Bonnen has a grand total of 20 Twitter followers.  Twenty. 2-0.  That’s it.  It’s not like her complaint was being heard by very many people.  Most people don’t read every tweet in their stream anyhow, so maybe 10 or 12 saw it?  Now how many people know about it?  To start with, we have the readers of TechDirt, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Inquisitr, Digg, the Chicago Tribune, the Associated Press and many, many others.

Now Horizon is backpedaling as fast as they can, but they still plan to sue:

“We look forward to presenting our side of this matter before the court and putting the unfounded accusations of a single, former tenant behind us…”

An accusation that virtually no one would have seen if they hadn’ t been so lawsuit-happy.  Oops.

The Borings can go back to being boring

Almost a year after they sued Google for including their home in StreetView, the U.S. District Court has dismissed the lawsuit that Aaron and Christine Boring had brought against Google.

As expected, this lawsuit has done two things:

  • Shown even more people their house (which they claim has lowered the value — stop blaming it on the housing market crash).
  • Given then $0 as a result.

More details can be found on Mashable.