Quoted in AP Article on Spambulance-Chaser Balsam

The AP has run a story on professional spam litigant Dan Balsam whom I have opposed and even sued a few times.  Since I am apparently his nemesis, AP asked for my comments.  The Today Show and some local San Francisco stations have also called me about the story.

 

For those fortunate enough to be unfamiliar with Balsam, here is an excerpt from his Wikipedia entry:

Bennet Kelley, an internet lawyer whom Balsam has faced in court, has been vocally critical of Balsam’s tactics in court and in Sacramento. . Kelley charges that Balsam unfairly takes advantage of anti-spam laws, citing his practice of suing many out-of-state companies in California small claims court. One such company, Rapid Response Marketing, LLC, was able to get the San Francisco Small Claims court to dismiss Balsam’s claim as improper for Small Claims Court, asserting in their post-victory press release that Balsam “ambushes companies in small claims court where lawyers are not allowed leaving upstanding legitimate corporations with their pants down”.[10] Balsam contends that this does not happen often, however, because California small claims court rules require that the defendants are served within California. These companies sometimes agree to pay small settlements rather than expend resources on a potentially costly court battle. .

Kelley also registered the domain DanHateSpam.com (which is one “s” shy of Balsam’s DanHatesSpam.com). The site was registered while Balsam was trying to amend California’s anti-spam law in light of recent losses. Kelley opposed Balsam’s legislation in Sacramento and used the site to link to an article condemning the bill and criticizing Balsam for being part of a “cottage industries of zealots suing legitimate companies”. [11]. The article’s author, Ken Magill, wrote an article about the “Kerfuffle” between the parties and Balsam’s threat to sue. [12] Kelley did not renew the domain when it expired shortly thereafter.

Balsam has been sued by Tagged.com for threatening to post on his website that Tagged sent emails to Balsam’s e-mail address that he had given to Tagged specifically to be added to the company’s suppression list.

Balsam also has been sued by ValueClick, Inc. (twice)[13] and Bloosky Interactive, LLC [14]for allegedly violating settlement confidentiality and/or non-disparagement agreements very shortly after entering into a settlement. Balsam maintains that these suits are purely retaliatory.[1]

An AP story noted that Balsam has been accused of zealotry in court documents such that ‘anyone who disagrees with him must be villainous;’ a view that is shared outside the court house as one reporter has noted that ‘[to Balsam, opinions that didn’t agree with his were factual errors, or more aptly put, lies.’[15]