If you run a company and a blogger makes a critical review of your services you should learn the story of J. L. Kirk & Associates, aka Kirk Associates, or JL Kirk, or JLK, or JLK-A, or “Kirk“, before you decide to have your lawyers send threatening letter trying to shut them up.
Katherine Coble blogged about her husband’s experience with J. L. Kirk & Associates, she related that she felt that the firm was at best a hard sell and at worst, a scam, a fraud, a rip-off, or a con.
The company was foolish enough to have their lawyers send a letter threatening an action for defamation on what seem to be weak or non existent grounds, since the truth is an absolute defense to libel.
In the following 24 hours J. L. Kirk & Associates, has gone from being not well known, to infamous, to a new internet verb.
Kirk, is now a verb meaning to act like a stupid bully towards a blogger.
I have no knowledge of whether or not J. L. Kirk & Associates is or is not guilty of the practices Ms. Coble described. However I am sure that J. L. Kirk & Associates acted like stupid bullies who know nothing of the dynamic of the internet when they had their lawyer threaten Ms. Coble.
Given this I can assert that as fact that I would never do businesses with them and give as an opinion that anyone who does business with them is a fool.
Would you hire the lawyers who gave J. L. Kirk & Associates the service that they did? I would have advised J. L. Kirk & Associates to give it a rest. So would any lawyer who knows anything about the internet.
Also blogging on this are instapundit, captain’s quarters, bill hobbs, and bob krumm. A summary of local reaction is here.
By the way are Kirk and their lawyers now libel proof, that is to say are their reputations now so ruined it is impossible to injure their reputation? We shall see.
Also does Coble have a counter claim? The comment on her blog by a person claiming to be a J. L. Kirk & Associates employee was possibly defamatory.