7 August 2004
Worse, they called him a lawyer
A California attorney, claiming he was the subject of abuse on Yahoo! message boards, is assembling a class-action lawsuit against Yahoo! on behalf of Californians who have been similarly picked on. Apparently the cruel words came fast and furious:
[Stephen] Galton is a partner in the firm of Galton & Helm, which specializes in insurance law. He registered to use Yahoo message boards in early 2004 in order to respond to a negative late-2003 post about one of his clients, which he did not identify in the suit.
After Galton posted his response, under the screen name "stephengalton," he was subjected to name-calling by various other users of the message boards.
One user, a person using the screen name "mumioler" who had posted the original messages about Galton's client that started the dispute, wrote a series of new messages calling Galton a "shyster" and an "overly robust geezer that makes a living walking behind the elephant with a shovel."
Other users also took personal shots at Galton, and he filed suit in April of this year against them. At the same time, he sought their personal information via a subpoena from Yahoo. The company, the suit said, responded with incomplete or inaccurate information.
I used to get called names a lot when I was a kid, and when I was a kid I used to try to make them stop. I outgrew it. Galton didn't.
And Galton will probably have a hissy fit over his new prominence in the search engines, too.
This reminds me of an incident twenty-odd years ago in which Car and Driver ran a column which castigated the legal profession for various offenses against motoring enthusiasts. An attorney wrote in to cancel his subscription in protest; the magazine printed his letter, along with the following response:
Perhaps you'd be interested in subscribing to our sister publication Ambulance and Chaser.
All by itself, that was worth a three-year renewal.Posted at 9:28 AM to Wastes of Oxygen
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