Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Empire Strikes Back



The cease and desist emails are starting to pour in:

"Tom-

You really need to remove the comments that note first and last names. Your most recent entry generated some slanderous comments that include the first and last name of a certain Hudson employee. Because the writings are professional attacks, you could be looking at some legal action. Let's keep the blog in good standing.

Thanks,

Anonymous"


Over at the JDUnderground message board, the partners of a small firm (Freiberg & Peck) apparently don't want the negative opinions of former employees aired in a public forum:


"Author: Marianna
Subject: Freiberg Thread?
Time: February 11, 2008 - 8:41 pm

What happened to my Freiberg thread?


Author: Administrator
Time: February 11, 2008 - 8:45 pm

Mr. Peck asked me to delete it


Author: How?
Time: February 11, 2008 - 8:48 pm

When F&P contact you, are they nasty? Do they send "formal demands" with threats? Do you have a "relationship" with them at this point, where they just say- hey admin, do me a favor take down the postings?


Author: Administrator
Time: February 11, 2008 - 8:53 pm

They are formal and respectful but not threatening. There is no relationship.

What pisses me off most is that they make a blanket claim that the whole thread is defamatory. I do wish that they specifically pointed out exactly what language is defamatory. I am too busy to argue with them now so I don't care. But if I had the time, I would make them point out the exact defamatory language."


http://jdunderground.com

And, finally, O'Melveny Myers is alleged to have partaken in a witch hunt against their blogging employees:

http://www.abovethelaw.com/2008/02/the_omelveny_myers_witch_hunt.php#more

Are these employers justified, or is this all merely a case of an abusive boss trying to bully former employees into quiet submission? Discuss.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

My opinion is that we still have something called the First Amendment, and you have the right to speak your mind.

Now if I claimed that Julie Dailey killed and ate babies for lunch, that would be libelous. If I claimed that Lauren Gibson was stealing from clients, that would be libelous.

However, a lot of people in the Philadelphia area have been lied to, abused and exploited by Julie Dailey, Lauren Gibson, Ed Caulfield and the whole Hudson operation. That is a fact, and hundreds (thousands?) of people out there know it.

The Dechert/Vioxx and McCarter/Seroquel projects are the closest things we have to legal "sweatshops." Yes, the pay was good at Dechert, and we have plenty of opportunities to get OT and make good money at McCarter.

However, it has become increasingly obvious that the powers that be at Hudson care about only one thing-- making money off of us. From requiring 60 hours a week over there to trying to bribe us to work 70 hours a week over here, they don't seem to care all that much about the quality of the work.

From the bathroom situation (they finally opened up another, so that the 200+ of us don't have to use just one men's room and one women's room) to the fact that they NEVER protected us from Dechert's abuses to the fact that they keep cutting paid holidays and making it harder to get PTO, they do not care about us "employees."

I don't think there's anything wrong with pointing out that you cannot trust Julie Dailey or Lauren Gibson or Ed Caulfield. I am sure they are all decent people in their personal lives, but that is not the case in their professional lives. There is nothing wrong with saying that, and no threats of lawsuits are going to change that reality.

I welcome them to sue because the truth is an absolute defense. Let's put what these agencies actually do in open court. Let's reveal their unscrupulous business practices. Let's find out how much money they actually take from us every hour. Let's find out if their non-compete clauses and billing methods actually are legal. Go for it, Hudson.

Finally, I do want to say that I regret having to post anonymously. It undercuts what I have to say, and it is somewhat "cowardly." However, I am not stupid, and I'm not willing to sacrifice future and current job prospects by outing myself (I'm sure I speak for a lot of the people on this board).

Anonymous said...

The key assumption of Economics is perfect knowledge. You have to know widget x is selling for $4 here and $6 there. So, you could have a rational choice of your actions. Employers need to shut this communication line down. If employer x is know to be operating a sweatshop, then he doesn't what this information to come out.

Anonymous said...

First of all, if it's written, it's libel. If it's spoken, it's slander.

Second, I think it's probably protected speech anyway.

gigs said...

It's about time someone covered this issue. There are employers out there who would rather chill free speech than improve employee morale or do something to make their firms better.

Freiberg & Peck and firms like that can't keep the lid on their trashcan forever. I've never worked there and I don't know anyone who does (thank God I'm not an auto insurance lawyer) but it's devastating that they have so many people who hate them and the fact they monitor the internet to try to force people to remove the content.

Anonymous said...

It would seem more likely that a cause of action exists against those attempting to quell other's right to freely exchange information, rather than those honestly exchanging information.

Wouldn't some manner of tort be available, something akin to tortious interference?

You really cannot compare this to the nasty garbage done on the xo web site, but it appears that there is sabre rattling going on here....
It's sort of sick irony that those establishing the most disgraceful conditions now seek hammer those that speak out? Is this 1984 or some other totalitarian nightmare?

Anonymous said...

I doubt tortious interference would stand up. If someone was actively seeking people who were known to be applying to a certain agency, and lobbied them no to sign with them (or to breach the contract) then maybe. But providing information or experiences should be protected.

Anonymous said...

If these employers feel that they are being defamed, then let them sue....wait a minute, who's your plaintiff, again? They will not expend the resources in trying to determine who the potential plaintiffs are.

Anonymous said...

It can't be defamatory when the expression is an opinion and not a specific statement of facts.

Anonymous said...

who cares if they can win or not? Do you want to spend $10k litigating over this crap? Hudson makes 10k in like 5 seconds, you dont!

Anonymous said...

Hudson come sue us, you shifty scumbags.

Anonymous said...

who cares about this shit?

Anonymous said...

Everyone shut the fuck uuuuuuuuuuuuup!

Anonymous said...

who will sue first, Hudson Legal or the car accident law firm scumbags over at Freiberg & Peck

Anonymous said...

Both are slime.

The Black Sheep said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Black Sheep said...

As to libel, I haven't worked with the law in this field in a while, but I don't see it here. The publisher has to know it is untrue, or have a reckless disregard for the truth. In a situation like this, a case could be made for the latter one, but what is the basis for knowledge. Opinions do not necessarily need to be factually based. If you call someone like Julie Dailey morally bankrupt that is your opinion and you shouldn't be held liable for libel. If on the other hand you called Julie Dailey financially bankrupt, then you would have to defend yourself with facts.

There is also the question with a blog, who is the publisher, the blogger or the commenter. While the blogger is to a certain degree responsible for the content of his/her site, that does not mean that they have a reckless disregard for the truth in allowing a comment stating that Ed Caulfield screws chickens and sheep. For all that the blogger knows this could be true, and the commenter could have actual knowledge of such events. The commenter is the one who could become liable, though that is equally unlikely as most comments, and the most severe ones are anonymous anyway.

Incidentally, I have a couple of new posts up. One is a Valentine's Day cheers and jeers post for the Philadelphia area. Anyone who has worked in Philly please log in we could use your input. And for the first Anonymous poster (9:14) in this string, contact me. I might be interested in posting some of your views on my site in the future.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Rider & Scott Krowitz are the sleaziest NYC recruiters that I've dealt with.

Anonymous said...

YAWWWWWN....

Anonymous said...

It's Krowshitz.

Has anyone worked for Lex-Pollution lately. Is the Lex-Pollution chicken coup still in operation?

Anonymous said...

you guys have lost confidence as lawyers, but you are, so screw them and let them sue you. They won't win. They won't even try. Your still lawyers no matter how much you click.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Christ. Not this topic again. The law firms in question are so TTT that they don't even know the settled law in this matter.

INTERNET PUBLISHERS ARE TREATED DIFFERENTLY THAN TRADITIONAL PUBLISHERS WITH RESPECT TO LIBEL LAW.

So here it is: 47 U.S.C. 230. I don't have time to spoon feed it to you, so read it yourself. Then go read the cases that discuss its application. If you're an associate sent by one of these TTT firms to spy on Tom the Temp, I've done the preliminary research for you.

- Blumenthal v. Drudge
- Dimeo v. Max
- Barrett v. Rosenthal
- Donato v. Moldow
- Zeran v. AOL
- Batzel v. Smith
- D’Alonzo v. Truscello

Go to Westlaw and read those cases.

You'll inevitably run into Fair Housing Council v. Roommates.com and get excited, but since Tom the Temp doesn't employ pre-populated drop down menus that case does not apply here.

If you want to go after someone, first make sure the statements in question are libelous to begin with (doubtful) and go after the individual posters themselves in John Doe suits. Tom the Temp is immune. You'll have to subpoena them from Google. But good luck with that. Sheesh...

You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

I would venture to say that most of the people who post on this board are broke anyway......

Anonymous said...

Of course, with the recruiters taking a huge chunk of our pay in exchange for nothing....no benefits, no retirement....tons of debt...the system is broken.

I bet the Indian attorneys receive far better terms relative to their society than we do.

Anonymous said...

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2008/02/15/sound-of-the-first-year-workin-on-the-doc-review-gang/#comment-150756

WSJ law blog discussion of "document review".

Anonymous said...

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2008/02/15/sound-of-the-
first-year-workin-on-the-doc-review-gang
/#comment-150756

Anonymous said...

The thing that drives me nuts about the agencies is how much money they keep for doing very little. I understand charging a placement fee and taking a little money from our hourly wages, but they keep 1/3 or more.

Anonymous said...

they serve as a buffer for lawsuits and unemployment compensation. That's it.

Perry Mason said...

What's going on here? Fake lawyers tryint to speak about the law? You guys know nothing. Leave the practicing of law to the pros. When this case goes to trial maybe we'll hire some of you tools to do the doc review which is all you're good for.

Anonymous said...

Here is more information about Freiberg & Peck, one of the firms that monitors their employees and ex employees reviews of the firm to keep them quiet: http://jdunderground.blogspot.com/2008/02/freiberg-peck-partners-monitor-sites-to.html

Anonymous said...

If recruiters get 1/3 of your hourly wages, then I am Abe Lincoln. Are you kidding me. You get 40 an hour, billed at 60 an hour, so a recruiter would get 6.67 of the prfoit (which is what i assume you meant by a 1/3 - you mean 1/3 of a profit). So, then, a recruiter would get 6.50 an hour (rounded off) for EVERY attorney that place. So Hudson's 200 doc review attorneys will earn the recruiter(s) $1300 an hour ($52,000a week, assuming 40 hour work week)? Do you really think that's how much they make? Millions a year? C'mom!!! Dont be a moron. Stop complaing about the pay, we all make more than 85% of those we graduated with, and that 15% who make more are generally connected or did better in law school. The checks dont bounce do they? So we have to live with inferior conditions and time off. Big deal. If you hate it so much, go out and get a better job...maybe become a recruiter and make 2.5 million a year, right??

Anonymous said...

Hey, moron, the recruiter doesn't get 1/3- the agency does. If you work on a project and get paid $30, the agency bills you out at $45. They use it to pay for overhead, give the recruiter some sort of commission and then keep the rest as profits. My guess is that on the giant reviews, it is less than 1/3. Regardless, it is unreasonable, and I don't understand why there are so many apologists for the agencies on this board. Start you own, you shysters!

Anonymous said...

The agencies have it tough too - just listen to all of these whining crybabies. My goodness, who would employ you all? Are you blogging AND billing at the same time?

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