Last month I wrote a blog post criticizing a lawyer, Arthur Alan Wolk, who has been known to sue people for criticizing him online. Guess what happened? Wolk recently emailed me, threatening to sue me and Reason unless I delete the post:
Remove it because it is false and you get a free pass. If you don't I will sue you because you like your buds at Overlawyered did nothing to fact check anything before you wrote your blog. In fact had you read my lawsuit you would have known that what you were about to publish and republish was false but instead you recklessly failed to do anything to verify if what you were writing about had any merit or truth whatsoever. Guess what, you need to check the statute of limitations because it won't apply to you. I am giving you the opportunity you didn't give me, and set the record straight and to do the right thing. Please remove your lies from the internet.
This false and defamatory publication jeopardizes Reason.com's foundation status and I have already retained tax counsel to challenge the tax exempt status of all these public interest organizations who are nothing more than lobbyists for tort reform, a violation of the tax exempt status they claim. If you think for even a moment that my forty-one years of practice will be defined by lies on the internet you need to do a little more research. Please do not make me cause you and your officers to join your friends in Philadelphia. I just want lies about me off the web.
Although Wolk's reaction to my post reinforces the point I was trying to make, he reasonably complains that I did not include his response to the Overlawyered post that was the subject of one of his defamation suits. He says he avoided any conflict of interest in Taylor v. Teledyne by not participating in the settlement negotiations and by not asking the judge to vacate a discovery order that criticized him until after an agreement had been reached. He cites letters from two other plaintiffs' attorneys who were involved in the case, who confirm this account. Wolk also says the judge's criticism was unfair, in part because other lawyers at his firm handled discovery in that case.
Update—September 2011: See statement published here.