Law Firm & Angry Ex-Associate Settle Suit Over Badmouth Blog
Posted Jul 26, 2010 12:53 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Whether you saw it as the "horrendous cyber-assault" claimed by Levinson Axelrod or simply an ex-associate's legitimate expression of opinion, however unflattering, about the New Jersey law firm that formerly employed him, a badmouth blog that captured public attention with its angry audacity is no more.
A confidential settlement last month of the Lanham Act and Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act claims brought by the firm against ex-associate Edward Harrington Heyburn apparently involved an agreed take-down of his gripe site, Levinson Axelrod Really Sucks, according to a New Jersey Law Journal article reprinted in New York Lawyer (reg. req.).
However, neither side would discuss terms of the pact. The case was dismissed last month by a federal judge in Trenton after the deal was struck.
Before it was taken down, the site ridiculed the firm and its partners (complaining that one, for instance, was not only "overrated" but had a mustache reminiscent of a 1970s porn star), celebrated Levinson Axelrod losses and encouraged readers to file legal ethics complaints against the firm.
In the end, it appears that the firm may have gotten more satisfaction from the online reputation management consultant it hired to minimize the damage done by Heyburn's site. Although he clearly was using the firm's name, Levinson Axelrod likely would have had to show a profit motive on the ex-associate's part, which he denied, to win the case, according to the legal publication.
ABAJournal.com: "Law Firm & Ex-Associate Litigate Badmouth Blog Battle in State & Federal Court"