Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sue Scheff: Dozier Internet Law - Top Ten Blogger Personas: The Mobosphere Unveiled

John Dozier, one of the leading Internet Lawyers in the country, wrote a very compelling article describing how Internet Slander and Defamation can be started. Who are the people hiding behind their keypads? Actually getting a thrill from harming others.

Are you a victim of Online Harassment, Internet Gossip, Cyber Slander, Internet Defamation? Find out more about where your perpetrator's motivation is. As a victim of this malicious conduct, this article by John Dozier can really explain so much about how revenge has become e-venge!

Top Ten Blogger Personas: The Mobosphere Unveiled

Ever since Congress passed Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act giving immunity to interactive service providers for publishing the defamation of others, a wide range of characters has arisen and infiltrated the mainstream blogosphere. Instead of becoming a source for obtaining reliable information, the blogosphere, and user generated content, is at risk of becoming a less credible information source. Dozier Internet Law defamation lawyers are constantly battling these “black hat” forces and over the past several years we have acquired quite an insight into this underworld; an anonymous and covert society bent on terrorizing businesses. These are our internal thoughts on the matter, and not scientific analyses. We are not psychiatrists; just defamation lawyers and trial lawyers trained for almost fifty years to figure out the human nature of clients, witnesses, and juries.

All too often blog attacks are simply protection rackets and extortion schemes in disguise. We have been working on documenting the organizational structure and operational methodologies used by these racketeers. For now, let’s take a look at the entire panoply of characters we seem, as business defamation lawyers, to run into. For those businesses under attack, it is essential that you first identify the publisher’s persona and motivation before beginning to identify the proper strategies for addressing his often seemingly legitimate posts. We don’t go into details on how we work with clients to deal with each type of personality, but the tools vary considerably from being passive, to utilizing SEO services, to implementing reputation management initiatives, to pre-litigation and lawsuit actions.

Defamation Lawyers Pursue Bloggers

1. Pickpocket

This is the guy who used to wait on street corners for elderly ladies to pass. He enjoys attacking defenseless people and stealing covertly using deception. This type of blogger will steal your copyright protected content, have the search engines push your prospective clients to his site, and then run ads and otherwise direct the traffic to your competitors. He could be an affiliate marketer for a competitor getting a share of the revenue, or he could simply be running Google or Yahoo ads on his site. Pickpockets also take great pleasure in stealing your trademarks…surreptitiously using your mark in hidden tags, meta tags, hidden redirect pages, or through a myriad of search engine optimization techniques, all in the hopes of re-directing your prospects to a competitor and taking money from you.

2. Wacko

We usually identify a wacko situation quickly. There are distinctive characteristics of his communications. The wacko is usually a “follower”, someone looking to gain attention and recognition, but escalates what may have started as fair criticism into more and more outrageous claims. Most sophisticated business people immediately view the poster as a “nut case”, particularly when an excessive amount of time or energy disproportionate to the merits of the subject is expended. But it is not easy for the typical browser on the web to see the pattern, usually spread over multiple web properties.

3. Druggie

Or, maybe “liquid courage” would be more appropriate. This guy is exactly what comes to mind. During the day this blogger is a normal guy, but at night he returns to the sanctity of his home, gets drunk or high, and goes out on the web looking for “hook-ups” and blogging on his “hang-ups”. This guy is hard to detect as a fraudster, and sometimes won’t recall what he said online the next day while under the influence. He posts aggressive, false and arbitrary attacks on whatever issue of the day (or night) catches his fancy.

4. Alien

No, not from another world. But from overseas. In a far, far away place, without any treaty with the US, in a country without an effective legal system and no notion of business or personal property ownership rights. Many of these types operate out of certain Russian provinces, but the blogs, postings and communications appear to be from the customer down the street. This individual usually has an ulterior motive, often working with the criminal discussed below. He has no fear, until he takes a vacation to Turkey and US federal agents grab him for extradition, which is exactly what happened on a case in the not so recent past.

5. Nerd

This is the guy who is scared to talk with a girl, but behind the keyboard, all alone, morphs into a Casanova. This empowerment of anonymity creates an omnipotent persona, and for the first time the nerd feels the effect of power and control, gets an adrenaline buzz when he exercises it, and he exercises it often, usually creating or perpetuating a volatile situation in which he feels he can outsmart the “opposition”. There is no principle involved. His blog postings are all about the adrenaline. It is hard to know if you are dealing with this type online…his posts are intelligent and on their face credible. But, once you identify the nerd blogger, he cowers and goes away, usually forever.

6. Rookie

Enjoy debating a thirteen year old? They are out on the net acting like adults, posting statements and play-acting like a grown-up. The challenge, of course, is that most people reading the posts have no idea these are coming from a kid. The tip off can be the utter immaturity of the posts, but most often the kids can sound credible criticizing, for instance, a CPA’s method of calculating RIO on REIT holdings, because they can mimic earlier posts. There is no insidious motive here; just kids having fun as the hormones kick in. But the readers of the blog posting don’t know that.

7. Sadist

This person attacks others, causes pain, and revels in the results in ways not worthy of mention. He loves to create, direct, control, and unleash a firestorm of criticism about a company just to create pain and damage. This type of person may often by the prime instigator of the online attacks, and tightens the noose by escalating the attack rapidly, almost as if in an obsessive state. You will find a sadist going to many sites and blogging, and he usually lets you know it was him because he uses his real moniker. He has characteristics of a stalker, and he is most likely to be the one that starts recommending direct physical violence against the executives of a company. This person is not motivated by money, but by the pure enjoyment of pain being visited upon innocent parties.

8. Bankrupt

No, not morally bankrupt. Actually bankrupt…no money, no assets, no prospects for work, and nothing to lose. These bloggers post without fear of the consequences or any regard for the truth because you “can’t get blood out of a turnip”, you “can’t get water from a rock”, and all these other sayings handed down, we surmise, through his generations. This is usually not a smart guy, but his postings are damaging and inflammatory. Many will own and control blogs without any concern about the consequences of liabilities that might arise through the perpetuation and “enhancement” of posts, and sometimes will post to their own blog and act like it was from a third party.

9. Criminal

Career criminals, no less. Like the convicted felon running a sophisticated extortion scheme against a very prominent business. Or the owner of an open blog avoiding service of process with guard dogs protecting his compound. The thieves and crooks of the world are online today; and the criminals often have both an organization and a highly effective and surprisingly coordinated operational plan in place to target a business. Rumors of $500,000 a year payoffs seem to promote this problem, which emanates from more of a “mobosphere” than the blogosphere.

10. Mis-Leader

This person is in no manner a leader. This blogger has a hidden agenda, but he just makes it sound like he is a totally objective commentator. He can create an appearance of authority and the casual visitor to his blog does not question the legitimacy. This type of persona is hard to figure out. One of the most pervasive practices is to control a blog and allow negative posts against all except his generous advertisers. Another common technique involves omission; not disclosing conflicts of interest or the existence of a business or personal relationship because the readers of the blog would totally discount the commentator’s posts as unreliable and biased.

Dozier Internet Law Defamation Lawyers

In closing, most of the blogosphere is legitimate, offers honest opinions and comments that add value to an open dialogue, and is an excellent example of the exercise of constitutionally protected free speech. As business defamation lawyers, we seen another side. The “mobosphere”, on the other hand, operates outside of the spotlight and often uses reckless, irresponsible, false and defamatory statements for personal or professional gain, all too often focused on self gratification and pecuniary benefits. As businesses attempt to leverage user generated content (“UGC”) into a valuable tool in the Web 2.0 environment, the proliferation of the scofflaws interrupting the free flow of credible speech in the online world puts at risk the reputation and integrity of UGC and raises the very real risk that consumers will begin viewing web content with disdain and suspicion.

Dozier Internet Law defamation lawyers offer a free consultation to qualified businesses and professionals undergoing attacks from the scofflaws of the web.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sue Scheff: Internet Defamation Can Cost You

Back in September 2006, I was awarded over $11.3M jury verdict for damages. They were defamatory and false statements about my organization, myself and my family.I fought back, and won!

The defendant attempted to have the judgment set aside - although she was firmly denied in July 2007, she filed an appeal.

It is official - she loses again in the appellate court, and the $11.3M judgment stands firm!Free speech is still in tact, but it will not condone defamation.

Remember, think before your post - sometimes keystrokes can be costly!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dozier Internet Law: Public Citizen Lawsuit Thrown Out of Court

A lawsuit filed by Ronald J. Riley through his lawyers at Public Citizen against Dozier Internet Law has been summarily tossed out of Federal Court in Richmond, Virginia today. Judge Henry E. Hudson, declining to even entertain oral arguments on the points, found that Riley and Public Citizen's assertions in the lawsuit don't belong in Federal Court and are nothing more than defenses to the lawsuit Dozier Internet Law had already filed in state court against Riley.

This major setback for the litigation team at Public Citizen, and Paul Levy in particular, follows by a day or so another major loss for Public Citizen in the "Jones Day" litigation in which the Federal Court refused to even consider the arguments in the brief filed by Public Citizen, Paul Levy, and others, and found for Jones Day, and against Levy's position, by rejecting motions to dismiss the trademark infringement lawsuit filed by the mega-law firm over the use of its name online. Jones Day had earlier reportedly requested the Court to discard the Public Citizen brief on the grounds that Public Citizen's lawyers were biased.

Paul Levy, recently a labor lawyer relatively new to the online legal scene, has developed a reputation for publicly denouncing lawyers, judges, and anyone supporting legal interpretations with which he disagrees, and he continues to suffer legal setback after legal setback as his interpretations of the law are regularly rejected across the country by the Courts.

Earlier today, the Federal Court also reinstated the lawsuit filed by Dozier Internet Law against Ronald J. Riley by rejecting Levy's arguments and returning the case to State Court for further proceedings after Riley and Levy had removed it to Federal Court. Judge Henry Hudson declined to listen to oral arguments, and then stripped Riley and Public Citizen of Federal Jurisdiction.

The briefs and orders are available on the Pacer system. Although the issues were elementary and the deficiencies of the Riley and Public Citizen arguments obvious, the briefs are informative with respect to the interesting arguments and legal positions Levy continues to offer up to the online world.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sue Scheff: Learn from my Mistakes - Parent and Teen Help

Are you considering any of the following programs for your child? Take a moment to read my experiences - as well as my book where you can hear my daughter's experiences for the first time - order today at .

Choosing a program is not only a huge emotional decision, it is a major financial decision - do your homework! Learn from my mistakes - Gain from my knowledge!

Academy of Ivy Ridge, NY (withdrew their affiliation with WWASPS)
Ally Schools - Marketing Arm - Jane Hawley
Canyon View Park, MT
Camas Ranch, MT
Carolina Springs Academy, SC
Cross Creek Programs, UT (Cross Creek Center and Cross Creek Manor)
Darrington Academy, GA
Help My Teen, UT (Adolescent Services Adolescent Placement) Promotes and markets these programs.
Gulf Coast Academy, MS
Horizon Academy, NV
Lisa Irvin (Helpmyteen)
Lifelines Family Services, UT (Promotes and markets these programs) Jane Hawley
Mark Peterson - Teen Help Marketing Arm
Majestic Ranch, UT
Midwest Academy, IA (Brian Viafanua, formerly the Director of Paradise Cove as shown on Primetime, is the current Director here)
Parent Teen Guide (Promotes and markets these programs)
Pillars of Hope, Costa Rica
Pine View Christian Academy (Borders FL, AL, MS)
Reality Trek, UT
Red River Academy, LA (Borders TX)
Respect Academy, NV
Royal Gorge Academy, CO (recently closed)
Spring Creek Lodge, MT
Teen Help, UT (Promotes and markets these programs)
Teens In Crisis
Tranquility Bay, Jamaica
Alert - rumor is that a new program is Mexico is opening soon.
ALERT - It is also rumored that there is a short-term program in or near Oceanside, CA - which may be connected with this organization.

Visit for more information.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sue Scheff Speaks with Kim Iverson

Sue Scheff talks with Talk Show Radio Host, Kim Iverson about her new book, Wit's End! and helping to educate parents on today's teens.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sue Scheff: Victorious Again Proving Internet Defamation vs Free Speech

It has been almost 2 years since I won the unprecedented $11.3M jury verdict for damages that was done to me. In these past 2 years I have been contacted by many victims of Internet Defamation and Slander. You can feel literally powerless - however also know, that with my case, the truth is always your defense.

There have been many articles written about this new rage and growing concern not only with parents of teens online, but with business owners and regular people.

I didn't ask to become a limited public figure, and many people don't ask for this - with all the media attention I can be considered this since my initial victory in September 2006.

I will continue being a voice against Internet Defamation - as well as working with my Senator and Congresswoman towards new legislation to help protect individuals and their careers.