legal trouble for zembla


Re: Unauthorized Publication of Information on Internet

The undersigned and this office have been retained by ______ Pool, Inc., relative to your apparent posting of Internet transmissions with information as to participants in and activities with the _____ Swim Team. Specifically, we have been provided with copies of your e-mails posted on July 17, 2002, July 20, 2002, and most recently, an e-mail posted on January 17, 2003. These e-mails identify various activities undertaken by children, oftentimes eight years old and younger, describing not only the swimmers' names but also their attire.

The disclosure of private facts concerning the children at _____ Pool into a medium which can be viewed by literally millions of individuals with no legitimate contact with _______ Pool is at best ill-considered. We can conceive of no legitimate purpose for the posting of information concerning a six year old boy "clad in a small blue Speedo" or a six year old girl "clad in a wet suit" At best, your choosing to disclose this information shows incredibly bad judgment on your part.

We have made various recommendations to the _______ Pool Board concerning what further action should be taken by this entity relative to your e-mails. By this letter, this office as the authorized representative of ______ Pool makes a formal demand that you cease and desist any further disclosure of the individuals or activities undertaken at _______ Pool, a private club where you are admitted only as an employee. We make the further demand that to the extent possible that any e-mails relating to any _______ swimmer or activity be removed and/or deleted from any web page or posting.

This letter does not serve to foreclose any action by the individuals or their parents relative to the information contained within the e-mails generated by you. Certainly any further e-mails which reference _______ Pool, members of the ________ Swim Team, or which provide for the continued disclosure of private facts related to swimmers at _________ will be viewed as an intentional act on your part.

If you have any questions concerning any of the above, or wish to discuss this matter further, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.

Very truly yours,

Rand Chritton

* * *

I think I'm certainly within legal rights here, since there's nothing libelous, or defamatory, or untrue. I didn't violate my employment contract. Still, if anyone has any objections to their kids', or their own names being used, I don't have a problem with removing them. So I deleted or altered any names in those three entries, including those referencing the pool club itself.

Still, threatening letters are disturbing, especially ones that allege that there was something salacious in my descriptions of the swimmers. For the record, I had a very positive experience working for this team. It's unfortunate that they have chosen to communicate through cease-and-desist letters sent through certified mail, but I wish Mr. Chritton and the rest of the club nothing but the best.


And, just for clarity, I didn't write that a girl was wearing a "wet suit" but rather a "wetsuit." Like surfers wear. World of difference. Not salacious at all.

reluctant to be caught in the trap she designed and copyrighted, didofoot circles this post warily, wanting to make lewd comments about child swimmers but refraining, just in case it *isn't* a trick. she feels stupid, betrayed. fucking lying bastard sean, she thinks pre-emptively, just in case.

Not a trick. From the firm of Archer Norris. Based in Walnut Creek, Los Angeles, Richmond, and, for some reason, Corona. Gene wanted me to scan the complaint and put it up, but I have not done so yet. I did submit a copy to, an online repository of cease-and-desist letters.

It sounded a bit ridiculous at first to me, too, but then I was just angry, offended, and sad. Possibly this is just how things work in affluent suburbs like _______ .

Wow, our first legal issue. I knew it would happen sooner or later. See, Erica, I told you!

We're behind you, Sean. If this ever goes to trial, I want to be the bailiff.

this certainly rules out my upcoming post about what i saw in the boy's bathroom the other day, now doesn't it?

i would imagine that you could talk about all the boy-ass you want as long as you don't use any names or other identifying characteristics. no names = no injury = no grounds on which to form a cause of action = Rule 11 sanctions if you even THINK about setting foot in my courtroom, motherfucker.

disclaimer: this isn't actual legal advice.

datclaimer: the "motherfucker" identified above is a hypothetical motherfucker and does not refer to any actual person, living or dead, regardless of motherfucking activities.

It makes me sad. I live in the suburbs - and the kind of people who would take unwarranted offense to your blog surround me. It's truly absurd.

yes this is very sad. sorry you have to deal with this, sean.

my advice is not to use names, not even first name + last initial, or any distinguishing characteristics.

but hey couldn't gene sue them for their continual use of 'e-mail' to mean 'weblog/blog' ? look into it, holohan! future motherfucker!*

* by which i mean 'future-mother fucker.' i'm covering all my tracks here

What fun stuff! I wonder what those lawyers charged to write that letter.

I can't be giving legal advice or guidance, but you might find the following cases to be interesting reading: M.G. v. Time Warner, Inc., 107 Cal.Rptr.2d 504 (Cal. App. 2001); Shulman v. Group W Productions, Inc., 74 Cal.Rptr.2d 843 (Cal. 1998). They can be retrieved at free of charge.

curses. bested yet again.

Yes, that is very sad... not only b/c some suburban mom obviously freaked out about these clearly benign, if not sickeningly sweet, stories, but b/c Sean really digs those kids and only wanted to share his positive experiences with us. Furthermore, b/c Sean cares for the kids he coaches, he was willing to submit to the request made of him in this attorney's unnecessarily harsh letter by changing the kids' names... although I believe he was perfectly within his rights and all (normal people's) conceptions of decency in telling his stories. The random taking of peoples' rights to "publish" perfectly acceptable material w/o so much as a citation of any rule, code, statute or agreement supporting such an action, makes me sooo angry and a little ill, too... *barf* I hope the members of Las Pompous are proud of themselves and feel that they've won some kind of great moral victory, cuz only that would make their taking of my friend's rights and symbolically slapping him in the face even remotely worth while.

As a citizen, and not as an employee of an unnamed science center, I fully support Sean in his right to post whatever he chooses here or elsewhere (as long as it isn't done during business hours at the unnamed science center). I would also add that I've thoroughly enjoyed and can attest to the remarkable truth of at least some of these narratives . . . Keep writing, Sean!

February 2012
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29      

About This Site

Sean Keane on Tumblr

Sean Keane Comedy Dot Com
Short posts, better name-branding

Backup Blog

Friends and Associates

San Francisco Comedy

Fine Sporting Websites

Local Bands


Sean Keane's Internet Famousness

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Sean Keane published on March 7, 2003 8:32 PM.

there is a light that never goes out was the previous entry in this blog.

Emeryville IKEA Declares Independence is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 5.04