Cease And Desist

Cease-and-desist letters are usually useful legal tools to help combat the appropriation of intellectual property, but sometimes lawyers are a little too quick to send them out.

Take, for example, a recent C&D letter Instagram’s legal department sent to a website owner who was supposedly infringing upon the photo-sharing service’s trademark with his registration of the “slutsofinstagram.com” domain name.

You can’t blame Instagram for not wanting its mark to be associated with a website purporting to depict the “Sluts of Instagram,” but as it turns out, the offending website doesn’t have any sluts at all…

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It’s all over. Finally. Some of you complained that this competition took to long. I ask, “What else were you doing with your Tuesday afternoons?” This segment, originally planned for three weeks, became a marathon when it became clear that too many of these letters had almost identical titles. But we certainly had fun revisiting these classics from the archives.

And now we have an all-time champion to measure all future letters against.

Who is it?

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You have one more chance to make your voice heard in defining the greatest lawyer letter ever.

In a sense, all the letters in this competition were winners. But since we don’t give out participation trophies around here, we need to crown a champion.

We have two monumental lawyer letters remaining. Letters that loom above the field and shame the rest of the practice to up its game. Letters that provide the perfect, potent cocktail of playful condescension and brass-knuckled lawyering.

So let’s watch these two square off and figure out who wrote the greatest lawyer letter ever.

Until the next one….

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And then there were four. According to Above the Law readers, these are the four best lawyer letters we’ve ever profiled. Four testaments to becoming a legal legend. Or at least a minor celebrity to the ATL faithful. In a couple of weeks it’ll all be over and we’ll have a reigning champion against whom we can judge all future letters.

So which will it be? There are few competitions that can say “throwing a porn star off the roof has a good shot to win.” At least very few competitions outside of Bangkok.

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After slogging through 4 weeks of Sweet Sixteen voting, we’ve finally identified the eight best lawyer letters ever featured in the pages of ATL. Unsurprisingly, the seeding largely held — after all, that’s what good seeding does — but there were also some critical upsets, especially where stories from different eras clashed.

And so now that we’ve pared the field down to a manageable number (not that 16 isn’t manageable generally, but when half the entries have similar titles it would be a mess) we finally have a bracket image to work with.

So it’s time for you to vote!

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Now for the last 4 contenders in our lawyer letter bracket. Be sure to check out the previous three installments where polls are still active for another week. Here’s Day 1Day 2, and Day 3. As of right now, there are a pair of upsets in the offing.

Let’s see how the final tally turns out next week when we begin the Elite Eight….

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We’re halfway through the first round of this epic bracket. We’ve got polls active right now from Day 1 and Day 2 featuring eight different lawyer letters — seeded by all-time traffic — vying for a trip to the Elite Eight.

Now the next four entrants join the party.

Do you remember these gems of legal authorship?

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Welcome back!

Last week, we kicked off The ATL Lawyer Letter Bracket by letting you choose your favorite piece of lawyer writing from the annals of ATL. Day 1 pitted No. 4, The Greatest Response To A Cease And Desist Letter, Probably Written While Drunk, against No. 13, This May Be The Best Cease And Desist Letter Ever Written, and No. 5, This May Be An Even Greater Response To A Cease And Desist Letter, against No. 12, Scathing Letter Suggests Smart Lawyer A Dumb [Expletive].

Today we have the next four teams in our competition looking for your vote….

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One of the most popular recurring features on ATL is the intentionally (or unintentionally) funny lawyer letter. Cease-and-desist letter responses famously offer lawyers the most freedom to let their comedy flags fly, but we’ve profiled some pretty entertaining C&D letters, rants to executive agencies, settlement offers, and cover letters. They’ve covered intellectual property, political speech, and throwing porn stars off roofs.

With years of these hilarious letters piled up, it’s time to revisit the archives and determine a champion….

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Kevyn Orr, probably not an alien.

A couple weeks back we reported on the big hissy fit that Jones Day threw over Kevynorr.com, at the time a bare-bones website that promised to be a sarcastic look at former Jones Day partner Kevyn Orr’s “emergency management” of Detroit. Jones Day wrote themselves a nasty cease and desist letter.

The anonymous proprietor of Kevynorr.com is represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and their lawyers drafted a scathing response calling out Jones Day’s disingenuous, bullying letter….

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