Your On-Line Reputation

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Many of you will remember the misinformation campaign uncovered by Lottakatz during the ABA competition two years ago. The campaign gave a 100 vote surge and final victory to The Legal Satyricon, a blog run by Marc Randazza.

We also previously discussed the $2.5 million award against blogger Crystal L. Cox (left). Cox was a cause célèbre, as a crusading blogger, with her claims of journalistic privilege and that she deserved protection under Oregon’s shield law. Cox is represented by Eugene Volokh, and Cox’s motion for a new trial was recently denied. Randazza had consulted with Cox on her case, but she decided not to work with him.

According to Carlos Miller:

Cox, who spent several years publishing negative blog posts about Obsidian Finance, damaging the Oregon company’s online reputation in the process, contacted them earlier this year to offer online reputation services at $2,500-a-month.

Cox sent the following e-mail to Randazza:

She offers her services to manage Randazza’s Google Footprint. The strategy is to set up numerous web sites with interconnecting links, and ensure that these web sites turn up first in any Google keyword searches. Ask Rick Santorum how that works. Apparently she offered the same service to David Aman – counsel for Kevin Padrick and Obsidian Finance – and he accused her of extortion.

In addition to, she also registered:


Cox then included Randazza’s wife and registered and Cox then focused her attention on Randazza’s three-year-old daughter, pictured, and registered

In his opinion, Marco A. Hernandez United States District Judge, wrote:

In my discussion, I did not state that a person who “blogs” could never be considered “media.” I also did not state that to be considered “media,” one had to possess all or most of the characteristics I recited. Rather, I confined my conclusion to the record defendant created in this case and noted that defendant had presented no evidence as to any single one of the characteristics which would tend to establish oneself as a member of the “media.”

H/T: VC, Kashmir Hill (Forbes), David Carr (NY Times), Philly Law Blog, The Fraud Files, David Carr (NY Times), The Legal Satyricon.

70 thoughts on “Your On-Line Reputation”

  1. Matt

    So your suggestion is that I should put on my resume that I was wrongly prosecuted and wrongly imprisoned? That’s a new one I didn’t see in any book. Or when and how should that information be presented if I don’t even get an interview?

  2. kaysieverding,

    Do you have your court documents? Provide copies to prospective employers. Leave them to draw their own conclusions.

  3. Matt Johnson

    I am certainly willing to ask the Catholic Church for help although I don’t understand exactly what you mean and was raised Lutheran. My resume is good in many respects. Do you think someone would hire me for a professional job despite the articles saying that I am scheduled to be tried for criminal harassment, that a restraining order was issued against me, and that I was imprisoned for federal “civil contempt” for litigating while pro se ?

    I’ve been having a difficult time getting interviews for minimum wage jobs. It’s actually criminal fraud to lie on a job application and not admit I have a post graduate degree from a prestigious university. I don’t have any retail experience and am a woman in my 50′s.

    Long-term unemployment is a death sentence as well as an economic cost.

    So what should I do to remedy the death sentence of on-line defamation if I can’t afford a lawyer, can’t find a free lawyer, and can’t represent myself in the courts with jurisdiction?

  4. JK,

    If Crystal Cox has a problem with Marc Randazza, that’s one thing. But don’t target anybody else.

  5. Did you even look at Crystal Cox’s side of this story on her blog before you jumped on this bandwagon? It seems like an important thing to do, to ensure that you yourself are not part of a “misinformation campaign” that is unfairly damaging another’s on-line reputation. I am not taking anyone’s “side” in this train wreck. I’m saying there is more than one side to this story, but only the lawyers’ side is being propagated on the law blogs. I’m also saying this is the kind of conflict that other lawyers should be loathe to weigh in on.

  6. Matt

    To the best of my knowledge none of the public aid attorney’s sue for damages or injunctive relief. They do indigent criminal defense, landlord tenant disputes, and family law mainly and there is one group that represents racial minorities. Do you have any others to suggest?

  7. Mike,
    I feel for your experience with the traffic ticket jailing incident. I was arrested for unlawful assembly in May of 1970 and was held in a county jail cell built for 4 people and we 8-10 in each cell. No bathroom privileges and we had the fun of receiving a full body cavity search! Bob Dylan had it right.

  8. Matt

    If you know a lawyer who will take my case for free publicity let me know.

    What does “losing well” mean in my case if I am left without my personal and professional reputation and no $? ….that I should disappear quietly into the night….. i.e. die? How can I survive? I don’t want to die.

  9. keysieverding,

    Lawyers usually take pro bono cases for the publicity. Publicity is basically free advertising. Do you remember the Randy Weaver case in Idaho? A hot-shot attorney from Wyoming took that case. How much national T.V. time did he get from that?

    I don’t mean to steal Dredd’s thunder but, when you lose, lose well. When you win, win well.

  10. Mike Spindell

    I agree that we don’t have the rights that were guaranteed by the United Nations International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Judiciary Act, the Rules Enabling Act, the Non Detention Act, and the Privacy Act. We don’t have a right to access the courts and we can be imprisoned and our property taken without written procedure. So now what? As I remember it, you are retired but I have a longer life ahead of me.

  11. Mike Spindell
    1, April 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm
    “We can now be strip searched for not paying parking tickets”

    The case of what you are refering to,happened to a fellow Jerseyite,I put this here when in your leisure you can read some of these comments and see a lot of people “don’t get it ” IMHO.

    N.J. man who lost strip-search legal battle says Supreme Court ruling ‘doesn’t make any sense’
    By Jason Grant/The Star-Ledger | Friday, April 06, 2012, 7:59 PM

  12. Matt

    I think that there are many advantages to having a lawyer but I can’t afford to pay one and haven’t found one yet. My impression is that they never take cases that were pro se at any time. Way back when there were very few lawyers in Denver that would take a section 1983 case and those that they took were employment cases or involved physical assault.

  13. Mike Spindell 1, April 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    “We can now be strip searched for not paying parking tickets”


    Precisely my point.

    As you and I have expressed on many an occasion lately, things have gotten much worse.
    Tru dat.

    I do not think, however, that you or I are really, really, and truly prepared for the “worse” that is going to happen.

    The reputation of the is down the tubes in the rest of the world.

    A world that is not hypnotized, mesmerized, and reality-damaged by the greatest propaganda machine is history … as we citizens tend to be.

    I had to face how sick I was down in the 98% of my cognition that desperately wants the olde America, and is desperate to believe anything that will make it real.

    I am over that sickness, unfortunately now sick with the reality that the is gone … my dear nation is gone.

    1. “my dear nation is gone.”

      I really wish I could dispute you, but I can’t.

  14. kaysieverding,

    Read your post after mine, then read Dredd’s post. The term “swim with the sharks” exists for a reason. Everybody has their vested interests, including lawyers.

  15. Dredd

    I guess I am doing what you say because I figured out a fool proof cause of action, (actually several) pointed to DOJ’s previous statements that their actions were intentional, figured out how to avoid defenses of res judicata, claims preclusion, lack of jurisdiction, and statute of limitations, and filed a proposed amended complaint with the necessary information, I think, and nothing else, I think. It has just been such a long fight that I am really exhausted.

    Even if I win cash damages from DOJ I don’t think I can ever get back my reputation or even litigate my original claims.

  16. kaysieverding 1, April 22, 2012 at 1:31 pm


    gravamen n. the basic gist of every claim (cause of action) or charge in a complaint, particularly the failure to perform.
    Matt has the idea.

    And in any case, focus on the action at a given time. Do not focus on the merits until it is ripe, take it one motion at a time and over-prepare.

    Normally you will never be able to present everything, so stick to the gravamen of the moment, because it constantly will change over the life of a case.

    When you lose, lose well. When you win, win well.

  17. Matt

    I don’t think I can get anywhere against “my original tormentor” because he is located in Steamboat Springs a very small community where all the lawyers have interests that are intertwined with the city and the tourist and second homes industry. Back in 2000 there were only three law firms there that did real estate law. One was the law firm of the city attorney, one turned me down because he said he would lose the water & sewer commission account if he represented me, and one turned me down because my neighbor’s wife was their client. Then I got a lawyer to be my criminal defense lawyer and he advised me to sue in federal court and gave me advice but he said that he couldn’t represent me against the city because he was worried about backlash against his legal practice. I put his letter in PACER DDC 09-0562 document 20-0 page 92. I started to file there but I filed a motion to withdraw so that I could go to federal court because Hibbard said that I would never get a fair trial there.

    The other problem with suing my original tormentor is that he could say that his lawyer advised him to do what he did. That’s why I sued his lawyer also. The federal magistrate held a hearing and said that I had a bad character because I refused to accept that lawyers have immunity for their actions as advocates. Then they filed motions to dismiss that said that my complaint should be dismissed because the magistrate said so. Nottingham adopted the magistrate’s report & recommendation even though I filed a timely objection to it.

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