The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

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.

McGehee is properly scornful:

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

TrackBack: 1:28 PM, 10 August 2004
» Hilarious from Nothing in Particular
Links to a very funny blog post....[read more]

Hey, I don't care a thing about Car and Driver, but that was nearly enough for me to subscribe. Hilarious!

Posted by: Jan at 8:54 PM on 7 August 2004

Wow, suing for relatively anonymous online abuse.. Buncha wankypants wouldn't have survived even a lame flame board in the BBS days.. Anyway, do the courts have time for real trials anymore, or is it all "I Go Fat From Burgers" crap in there now?

Terkish Payne, if people would get *jobs* then unemployment *and* craptastic lawsuits would both go down...

Posted by: Terkish Payne at 11:55 PM on 7 August 2004

Yea, verily. In the late 80s and early 90s, if you weren't being reduced to tears, your adversary wasn't trying very hard.

Posted by: CGHill at 11:02 AM on 8 August 2004

Doesn't this case perfectly illustrate the thinking that predominates in the legal profession - that all problems can be resolved with a lawsuit? It also demonstrates another characteristic of lawyers - that many are wussies.

Posted by: Interested-Participant at 7:02 PM on 8 August 2004