Trials & Litigation

Lawyer Who Sued Company CEO is Target of Claimed Cyber-Attack Campaign

  • Print

In nearly 20 years as a trial lawyer, Keith Fink has encountered plenty of hardball litigation tactics. But the cyber attacks he has suffered since he began representing former employees of American Apparel in litigation against the company are unique.

“I’ve never experienced it, I don’t know any lawyer that’s experienced it, and I’m sure I’m never going to experience it again in my career,” he tells

In an apparent effort to discourage and discredit Fink, company employees have launched an Internet attack on his character, as the New York Post reports it has documented in internal American Apparel e-mails.

In an article last week, the newspaper details the cyber campaign it claims the company has launched against Fink, who who has filed multiple lawsuits against American Apparel and its chief executive, Dov Charney, on behalf of various former employees: “According to internal e-mails allegedly written by American Apparel staff and obtained by the Post, company officials are buying Web ads and feeding and building sites that allege a litany of malfeasance by the Los Angeles-based lawyer.”

Among the efforts, the Post says, was text inserted into a Wikipedia entry about Fink. In it, as of mid-January, he was described as an “ambulance chaser” and worse. The newspaper also says that at least one website apparently was set up anonymously for the purpose of discrediting Fink, according to the internal American Apparel e-mails.

And, Fink himself tells, he believes the company is also responsible not only for this and other website criticism but Internet ads and even a critical—and, he says, factually inaccurate—print ad that ran prominently on Jan. 8 in the University of California Los Angeles campus newspaper, the Daily Bruin. Fink is teaching a class on free speech in the workplace at UCLA.

Although Wikipedia has taken down the critical entry about Fink in the website’s free online encyclopedia, other Internet attacks are still up (and can readily be found by doing a name search on Google or another search engine).

Responding to a Post request for comment, American Apparel’s general counsel said the e-mails relied on by the newspaper are unauthenticated and declined to discuss the matter further.

The Post article doesn’t explain how the newspaper obtained the claimed American Apparel e-mail copies. But Fink says he believes one of the company’s 10,000 or so employees has been sending them out anonymously.

Asked how he plans to deal with the cyber attacks, Fink says he doesn’t have time to try to respond to them individually and needs to focus his energies on representing his clients in their litigation against American Apparel.

“They’re never going to intimidate or silence me, so … these efforts are all in vain,” he tells But, he adds, “I’m going to kick their butt in trial in my cases.”

Earlier coverage: “Nearly Naked Fashion Exec Claims Legitimate Business Purpose” “Court Reveals Sham Arbitration Pact to Clear American Apparel CEO”

Wall Street Journal Law Blog: “Keith A. Fink Hearts American Apparel”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.