Attorneys & Lawyers & Counselors, Fraudulently Fooled

Beware of email attachments purporting to carry case information, courts warn

If I skip my hearing on Tuesday and claim it was because I thought my Notice was a fake court e-mail, will that be a good enough excuse?

“But Your Honor, after Target got hacked and my bank account was drained, I just just couldn’t take any chances.”


Beware of email attachments purporting to carry case information, courts warn.


Attorneys & Lawyers & Counselors, Fraudulently Fooled, Litigation of Business | Business of Litigation

U.S. Judge Cuts Attorney Fees in Chinese Companies’ Price-Fixing Case


OK, it’s a price-fixing case and the attorney’s fees were lowered by the Court (a joke’s in there screaming to be let out). I know not many will see an injustice here. I know not many will defend class action lawyer fee awards. But think this one through with me. I’ll lead . . .

  • Money, it’s a Gas

The firms put in a total of $14,000,000.00 worth of their attorneys’ time. They could have done other work and been paid a guaranteed fee with no real risk. But they took this case and put their time on the line. They could have lost and been paid $0.00 per hour. Could have spent a lot of time they would never get back. No guarantee of success. A real chance of loss.

The firms also pulled out their own wallets and fronted about $4,000,000.00 in costs. This is different from time spent on a case. They had already spent time to earn the $4M first. They took a chance and doubled down with their time. No guarantee of success. A real chance of loss.

  • Now Gimme Money, That’s What I Want

If you take a high risk, you deserve a high reward. If the reward is low, no one will take the big risks. These firms deserve a high reward for taking this high risk–with their own money at stake. Why? Even if they personally profit off their own skills, talents and commitment, the profit they gained was realized by all US consumers. You have to consider the result. They procured a significant public good the entire country will enjoy. That’s not hyperbolic. That’s a fact.

  • Anything, Anything–Anything For Money

Don’t get distracted by all the zeros. Or the kind praise the Judge lavished on the lawyers for a job well done. An awesome job done. A job producing tangible public benefits. The firms held a foreign company responsible for price gouging US consumers. Violating US law for a profit. The attorneys recouped ill-gotten gains for price-gouged US consumers. The private law firms have provided a reason to deter future scams for the public. The lawyers got retribution for harmed US consumers, while protecting US consumers from the potential of recurring conduct. The list can go on.

  • Money Makes The World Go Around

To me, this sounds like a governmental responsibility. But no. The government ain’t got no time for that! Instead, the government made a law that would limit the compensation to the attorneys. In effect, deterring attorneys from enforcing US laws against unlawful practices by foreign businesses. This seems backwards to me.

The lawyers did a good job. The Judge said nice things. Then the law was applied and took 2/3 of the pay away. Kinda like expecting  $15.00 an hour if you do a real good job. No guarantee. But a chance. You do a real good job anyway. And ask.  For your reward, you are paid $5 an hour instead. You won. But the risk was not worth the reward.

Next time what do you do? Take a chance anyway? Only the fools. But don’t worry. The government is here to serve and protect foreign corporations US consumers!  

The real article follows . . .

U.S. judge shaves fee request in vitamin C price-fixing case

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. federal judge on Monday praised the plaintiffs’ attorneys who obtained a $153.3 million judgment against two Chinese companies in a price-fixing case over vitamin C, but still found reason to shave over $9 million off their fee request.

In a written decision, U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan of Brooklyn rejected a request for $13.7 million in attorneys fees by three law firms, citing roughly $9.5 million in fees they were awarded as  . . . . READ MORE:  U.S. judge shaves fee request in vitamin C price-fixing case.
Fraudulently Fooled, Litigation of Business | Business of Litigation

Best Password Idea Ever!

"Enter Password"

I use a couple of different apps to secure, assign and remember my passwords and I couldn’t live without them. But this is clever. It does not fix the risk of using the same password for more than one website, but it is clearly the winner of 2013’s “Damn, why didn’t I think of that?” award.

Click the following link to reveal this excellent idea in an article from Business Insider:

Idea For Easy-To-Remember Passwords – Business Insider



Fraudulently Fooled, Litigation of Business | Business of Litigation

Scammy the Invoice Manufacturer and his bright and shiny “Yellow Page Ad”

I got this mailer (image below) in my snail mail yesterday. The envelope grabs your attention because its looks like a billing envelope and has the same ominous warning FINAL NOTICE in big, bold letters. The envelope has the walking fingers logo just like in the image. If you are a particular age that is a pretty memorable logo that is always identified with the Yellow Pages phone books (and apparently not owned by anyone. More info below).

It was probably because I have ads with that my heart did that little stutter-step-thingy and I ripped the envelope open instantly.  The way the flyer inside is folded, the first thing you see is the part at the top of the image I circled in red. It took about a second and a half before it clicked with me and I remembered seeing this flyer before. And then after another couple-or-few seconds, I remembered I don’t get bills in the mail for my ads online. Never had. Mine have been auto-debited off a card from day one (so, I can be a little slow at times before I get some coffee in me).

The scam works  likes this: They are hoping the invoice goes to a busy office setting with a bookkeeper who is responsible for paying all of the bills every month.  The invoices are made to work  best if her employer has Yellow Page ads with bills arriving at seemingly random times every month. The bookkeeper here has never had a payment go in late and dimly feels the tiniest glint of pride at that fact.

Although she doesn’t know it, and wouldn’t much care anyway, the scammy company sending these invoices out is targeting bookkeepers just like her. The kind  that would never be mistaken for doing anything that slightly resembled, or could  be reasonably confused with, someone actually “keeping the books.” Her job is dull. But as long as she writes out the checks on time, keeps the accounts balanced every month and never lets any dastardly late fees accumulate, she can go about her day, pretty much remaining unnoticed, knowing life can be much worse than this.

So, when she sees the vaguely familiar fingers walking across the invoice and the bold FINAL NOTICE catches her view, the silent warning speeds her up by a step as the deeply-seated routine kicks in and takes over. Naturally thoughtless, she pulls out the checkbook just like a thousand times before. Then she fills in the amount that’s listed where it says DUE NOW. After sealing the envelope that is always enclosed, she presses down the stamp and tosses it in the bin. Dimly she this thinks, “no goddamn late fees gonna beat me,” knowing it will be in the mail by the end of the day.

What the bookkeeper just started was an automatically renewing “contract” when she unwittingly sent the check for $298.00 to the scammy company. They bank on this slipping through the cracks just like this and then their bills being paid this same way. Every time I see these they always make me wonder how many of these the scammy company sends out every day? How many businesses thoughtlessly send in their money?

Evidently, some of the scammy companies have a real free directory somewhere on the internet that you could probably never find. Another other way to pull this off is to just get your business’ contact info from a public source, like state incorporation records, real phone books/directories or from any where you advertise.  Once they have that info, and sufficient printing and mailing resources, the deceptive invoices can magically appear in your mailbox

The scammy company is banking on the invoice reaching a distracted small company with employees/owners that may be inattentive, too busy, careless or simply sidetracked , who all nonetheless dutifully pay their bills when they come in. I suppose if you send out enough of these invoices, the pure odds alone will wind up being profitable.

I am always impressed by the ingenuity, thought and creativity that goes into these scams. If they applied those same skills in a legitimate manner, the scammers could probably wind up being very successful. You know, kinda like a respectable and upstanding member of [fill in the name of a profession that you dislike right here]!

More info below the image. Be aware, be very aware!

sccam yp maile--FINAL BLOGGER--480x632

The Better Business Bureau has more info here (from January 2013–“This scam continues to gain steam despite numerous investigations and enforcement actions taken by the FTC) and Minnesota’s Attorney General does here (listing “clever tricks” employed in this scam– “the “let your fingers do the walking” or “Yellow Pages” logos are not trademarked and can be used by any directory publishing company.”).And has a story here. (When companies  did not pay the invoice, the scammy company got nasty and mean, “They would receive threatening letters, threatening phone calls saying they were going to report them to collection agencies and have lawyers call them”).