The critics and lunatics have come out in force over the past week.
Criticism is fine.
It at least means you’re doing something. If you’re not getting criticized, you’re probably a bystander instead of a player.
And that’s okay too. The world needs fans…even those who boo.
So whose side am I on? Let’s cut to the chase…
Internet Lawyer Clients in General
When I’m representing a client as an Internet lawyer, that’s exactly what I do.
If representing the client makes you dislike me, that’s no big deal. You probably won’t like the music I listen to, the boots I wear, or the truck that I drive.
No one goes to law school (or two for that matter) to win a popularity contest.
But if you don’t like me because of who I represent, it really isn’t valid criticism to say “you stink” because Guru X is my client.
Am I turning a blind eye to client misconduct while criticizing deceptive Internet marketing practices of non-clients?
But here’s something you should know.
In many cases, you simply don’t tell a client “you’re fired” and be able to cleanly end the attorney-client relationship.
There are rules of professional conduct that govern how Internet lawyers and other attorneys treat their clients, even when terminating representation.
And it gets more complicated because of the current economic recession/depression.
Former Internet Lawyer Clients
Some of the most ethical clients I represented just a few years ago are now blatantly violating the law to make a dishonest buck online. They became desperate and tossed their ethics out the window to maintain lifestyles their incomes can’t justify.
Understand this…every single one of these Internet marketers I’ve been able to get rid of as a client. I’m not going to aid and abet ongoing fraudulent activities.
Prospective Internet Lawyer Clients
And for every one of these I’ve terminated, there have been a half dozen who have come to me as prospective clients for legal representation that I have flat out said “no” to from the beginning.
The funniest ones were the blatant bribes with offers to pay for legal work if I would just stop criticizing their deceptive practices online.
That’s not going to happen.
Existing Internet Lawyer Clients
What about existing clients who are criticized?
Here’s what you should know. I’m comfortable as an Internet lawyer representing every existing client as they currently run their online business operations.
Have some made mistakes in the past? Sure.
Have you ever made mistakes? Of course.
If perfection was the benchmark for doing business online, no one would have a commercial website.
And here’s the key thing you should know…I’m comfortable representing these clients because they are willing work on improving their marketing practices, want to obey the law, and don’t have business models designed to profit by scamming people.
However, I’m not going to breach attorney-client confidentiality by posting the intimate details of their business operations online to defend these clients against unsubstantiated charges of misconduct.
Until now, you and I have been talking about these issues from the perspective of representing clients as an Internet lawyer. Now let’s turn to the more personal side of what’s been happening lately.
Cyber Stalking and My Family
My rough guesstimate is that half the population has mental issues, many of which are treated with prescription medication. That’s fine. Thank God for Big Pharma.
However, 5-10% of that group is absolutely off-their-rocker looney-tune certifiably crazy-as-a-loon dangerous to deal with.
Some of these nutcases have gone beyond disagreement and debate into patterns of threats, intimidation, harassment, and potentially far worse. Not dumb, they’re manipulating victims of Internet cons into a frenzy in order to get them to take action as a cyber lynch mob.
This is the politics of personal destruction where the insane person attempts to harm someone else in order to make himself feel better. Think of it as “misery loves company” on steroids.
And it gets worse…
Minerval the Crazy Internet Troll
For example, there is a particular loon (let’s call him “Minerval”) who has tried for over a year now to hurt me online…and he’s now escalating the bizarre behavior.
To give you an idea of how crazy Minerval is, the guy believes that (a) 9/11 was a U.S. government conspiracy and cover-up, and (b) that I’m a member of a Jesuit/Illuminati/Masonic elite that’s running psychological warfare operations against him.
Minerval’s recent tactic has been to hunt down the homes of his “enemies” and post their addresses online with pictures of their houses. This is an intimidation tactic at a minimum and likely an attempt to incite someone to take action against those “enemies” in their homes.
In his latest attack, Minerval mistakenly posted someone else’s address and home picture on another site and claimed that’s where I live. It is not my home and he has put strangers in danger.
To his credit, the website owner promptly took down the wrong address that Minerval had posted. Some of Minerval’s targets on other websites have not been so lucky.
But what if Minerval had posted my real home address online?
Here’s how things work in the real world…
I’m an Internet lawyer…but I’m also a husband and a father.
If you want to debate me over Internet legal issues or criticize me because I represent clients you dislike, that’s okay. We’ll exchange words and agree to disagree.
But when Minerval or anyone else threatens, intimidates, and tries to do harm by dragging my home and my family into it, the gloves come off.
For those who would prefer a professional response, here’s the lawyer lingo you’re looking for…If an individual or individuals trespasses at my physical residence with the intent to do immediate bodily harm to one or more family members, I will apply force pursuant to the Second Amendment and the Castle Doctrine to neutralize the threat.
As a husband and father, I will do everything in my power to defend my family’s personal safety. That includes shooting in self-defense any cyber stalker who tries to break into my house.
And as a lawyer, I will take all legal steps necessary to make sure that the Minervals of this world never show up on my doorstep in the first place.
If you’re uncomfortable with this response, what would you do if Minerval or a similar nutcase went after you and your family?