Is Academic Advantage a Scam? Opinions may differ. You be the judge (assisted by Boing Boing and Google).
If correctly reported, their lawyers’ actions certainly appear to leave much to be desired.
Boing Boing has been on the receiving end of one or two stupid legal threats in our day but this one from the firm of Lazar, Akiva & Yagoubzadeh takes the cake, the little cake topper, the frosting and all the candles, as well as the box and the cake-stand and the ornamental forks.
Note too this comment about that by Jonathan Zittrain, not to mention other fine comments over at Boing Boing.
Update (1/21): Seems Academic Advantage fired their lawyers. See Company Fires Law Firm Because of Firm’s Unfounded Legal Threat on Company’s Behalf.
LMAO…adding fuel to the fire are we? I have always said that the alleged advantage offered by academic institutions may be over sold to the point of possibly being a scam.
But seriously, this does appear to have been pretty bad. As someone who has sent and received LOTS of take down notices for clients, this is the worst I have ever heard of. But should, as Mr. Zittrain suggests, the California Bar be notified? I don’t know the rules of the California Bar, but lets assume the Florida Bar rules apply for a moment – how would this be a violation of the Bar Rules? The only way that this jumps out as a Bar violation would be if the client did not approve of the letter going out. But if the client instructed the lawyer to send the letter, I don’t see the Bar violation off hand. Instead, it just looks like REALLY bad lawyering.
“Really bad lawyering” can be the subject of an ethical complaint in the three jurisdictions where I am licensed. I think that it is worth the time to complain to the bar.
Well, yes, “really bad lawyering” is a Bar violation if it hurts your client. But is it a Bar violation if it doesn’t hurt anyone but the lawyer (like this letter)?