Brown & Little, P.L.C. » Ethics, lawyers » Chris McCann Is So Gonna Sue Me

Chris McCann Is So Gonna Sue Me

Chris McCann is a California lawyer who really doesn’t think very highly of my blog. He only recently found out about it, I think, as he just started bombarding me with emails and waited until yesterday to leave a bizarre comment.

Chris’s problem is that he’s upset about a post where I mentioned his name in passing over thirteen months ago. He may be a little slow working the interwebs, as he also just stumbled across one of Brian Tannebaum’s old blog posts too, the one I had cited as the basis for my thoughts. Chris left a bizarre comment there yesterday as well. No one can accuse Chris McCann of not being proactive.

Getting back to the real issue here, why he’s upset, I think it’s probably best for me to let him explain. Here’s the email he sent me:

Go ahead and call me anytime if you doubt I pick up my own calls. It’s noteworthy that you criticize “lawyers” who don’t do their own work, when your post is a rehash of some other lawyers blog. How ironic.

You have committed libel against me. I am a professional, but a private individual, and your comments are patently false. I suggest you think twice about posting information that you have not confirmed first.

Call me ANYTIME and see who picks up my calls.

You do not have permission to post this communication.

Oh crap, I just messed up that last little thingy he wanted. Oops.

Anyway, he thinks that by saying he “apparently” felt the need to have someone else send out a request for a guest post, which he apparently (see how I did that because I’m not really sure about it?) does not deny and which is a scumbag marketing tactic in my opinion, I have libeled him. Forget about the fact that the post wasn’t really about him. Forget about the fact that very few people read the post and that the ones who did forgot about it long ago. He’s mad, and he wants me to know.

He also seems bothered that I cited to Brian’s post, which had inspired me to write in the first place. I guess he does have a point. Here’s my open letter to Brian:

Dear Brian,

I am sorry I linked to your website after something you wrote inspired me to write. What I had to say seemed too tangential and rambling to leave as a comment on your blog, so I wrote it on my own and egregiously stole two sentences of your content. Those are just empty excuses, however, and I now realize I was just inappropriately “rehashing” your blog. For that, I am deeply sorry and will gladly remove the dozens of links to your writings I have put up on my blog over the past five years if you want. Please forgive me.

Sincerely,
Matt

I hope that satisfies Chris.

Moving along, although it appears (see how I wasn’t sure again and used that type of language?) Chris has started to explore the vast archives of the blawgosphere, he clearly hasn’t read this post at the New York Personal Injury Law Blog yet. He might want to do that, as it explains that telling me not to post his email on the internet doesn’t mean I can’t post it on the internet. Even if he does register his email with the copyright office and tries to sue to enforce, what I am doing with his letter is obviously fair use.

Against my better judgment and in direct violation of Mark Bennett’s Rule 1, I responded:

Hi,

Thanks for your email and the comment on my blog, which I just approved. I am quite confused about your claim about libel, as I have no idea which part is false and only said you “apparently” felt the need to have someone else send out a request for a guest post. My post did not really have anything to with you at all.

Anyway, I appreciate the email and am pleased to meet another lawyer who answers all his own calls.

Thanks,
Matt

It didn’t make him any happier:

Mr. Brown:

Firstly, you said I “apparently” use “scumbag marketing tactics.” Then you say this “highlights” a “phenomenon” of lawyers who “suck” and don’t answer their phones or do their own work. Then you go on and on about this.

To anyone reading this, are clearly saying I am such a lawyer. You know nothing about me, my ability as a lawyer, or how I run my business. You simply cherry-picked some quote from another lawyer’s prominent blog in order give your blog more SEO juice, rather than simply use your own content. Please don’t pretend you referenced this other blog for some other reason. We both know better. The irony is you are criticizing lawyers who don’t do their own work by capitalizing on some other lawyer’s work that he puts into his blog.

Your problem is you republish his link and insult me again, and put me in a false light, without looking into the fact that that other lawyer is falsely portraying what happened so he can crowbar me into a point he wants to make. I answer my own calls and do my own work. I write content. I just don’t have the time or know how to find places to publish it. I hired someone more knowledgeable than me to find websites that would publish it to get my name out there. That neither makes me a bad lawyer, nor a “scumbag marketer.” All that lawyer had to say was “no thanks.” I get requests all the time. Instead he hides behind a computer and insults me and my colleague who stuck up for me.

He and others like you forget these contents do not go into a vacuum. You are using interstate communications to make accusations about real people–private individuals–who exist and are going to see this anywhere there is internet access. That makes your conduct actionable in any court that I wish to pursue this.

You have insulting me by clearly portraying me in a false light. As a private individual, that is actionable. I demand you remove any reference to me from that post and my comment.

If you do so, I’ll leave it at that. If not, I am going to explore my legal options against you and your partner who is cc’d on this communication.

I do wish Chris hadn’t cc’d Adrian, as I’m still on double secret probation after the last time someone in another state complained about me to him.

Anyway, when I finished wiping tears from my eyes after realizing he thinks I don’t write a “prominent blog” too, I composed myself and began writing this post. Why, you might ask?

If most of my non-lawyer friends got an email like that from a lawyer, they’d crap their pants. Sure, it’s ridiculous, but it’s threatening. Explicitly threatening. I can see his threats are absurd, but others might not.

Chris McCann is being a censorious bully, and he probably thinks he’s picking the low-hanging fruit by threatening me instead of Brian. I honestly can’t blame him for that (I’d sure as hell rather sue me than Brian too; seems like he’s a badass), but that really only makes it worse.

People should know that bullies can’t get away with that stuff. Instead, they should experience first hand the Streisand Effect for trying it. So that’s why I’m publicly announcing that Chris McCann is probably going to sue me. Maybe his threats work with people where he’s from, but not with me.

To conclude, I leave you with the ending of South Park Episode 912 – Trapped In The Closet, one of my favorite dialogues ever:

Brian: Oh! We are gonna sue you!
Stan: What??
President: Yeah, you think you can say our religion is a lie?! We’ll sue you, buddy!
Stan: YOU told me it was a lie!
President: Ho, now you’re puttin’ words in MY mouth! You are sooo sued!
Man 3: You can’t make fun of Scientology, kid! We are gonna sue your ass AND your balls!
Crowd: Yeah, that’s right!
President: How dare you mock our faith, you little punk?! You’ll be hearing from our lawyers tomorrow!
Field Reporter: We’ve just had an incredible development here, Mitch. Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and R. Kelly, have all come out of the closet! [The three of them come out the front door and Cruise releases R. Kelly, who moves off and out of view.]
Cruise: [approaches Stan] So you’re NOT the prophet, huh?! You made me look stupid! I’m gonna sue you too!
Stan: Well fine! Go ahead and sue me!
Cruise: I will! I’ll sue you in England!
President: You are so sued, kid!
Stan: Well go on, then! Sue me!
President: We’re going to!
Stan: Okay, good! Do it! I’m not scared of you! Sue me!

Anyone know a good lawyer?

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12 Responses to "Chris McCann Is So Gonna Sue Me"

  1. FERGUS O'ROURKE says:

    I am an admirer of this blog, but I find many of the sentiments expressed in this post to be unworthy and definitely not admirable. Sorry.

  2. I like this as a response:

    We refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram.

    1. Matt Brown says:

      Ha! I’d never heard of that before…

  3. Unfortunately, Christopher J McCann is an older and more experienced dopey yoyo than Joseph ‘Ponylove’ Rakofsky, and will probably figure out that the best course of action at this point is shutting up and ignoring mean words on the Internet. In case he doesn’t, of course, I’ve saved multiple pictures of his head for the purpose of crafting humorously offensive photoshops.

  4. You have insulting Chris McCann, Matt. You are a mean and hurtful bully. Have insulting someone is serious business.

    Oh, and you do NOT have permission to post my comment, which I have voluntarily placed on your blog.

  5. [...] course, when all you have is a shovel what else can you do but keep digging? McCann wrote Matt Brown, this time threatening a [...]

  6. Andrew B says:

    You know you’ve made the bigtime Matt when your scandalous libel from last year is news!

    1. Matt Brown says:

      You sure know how to cheer me up. I was prepared to sit around all day sulking about my lack of prominence.

    1. Matt Brown says:

      That’s amazing!

  7. Brian Cbuan says:

    You should have simply used the great two-word response Brian Tannebaum pointed out in his recent Above The Law article on dealing with legal blowhards:

    “I disagree”

    1. Matt Brown says:

      That certainly would’ve saved me some time.

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