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I Love the Smell of Litigation in the Morning

While many attorneys in a rut dream of leaving the law to start their own business, at least one litigator-turned-businessman seems to miss the heat of battle. When audio-visual equipment maker Monster Cable sent a cease-and-desist order to Blue Jeans Cable, a small competitor, they got a prompt and lengthy response from Blue Jeans president Kurt Denke:

RE: Your letter, received April Fools' Day

Dear Monster Lawyers,

            Let me begin by stating, without equivocation, that I have no interest whatsoever in infringing upon any intellectual property belonging to Monster Cable.  Indeed, the less my customers think my products resemble Monster's, in form or in function, the better.

Denke goes on to question the validity of the five design patents and trademarks Monster cites in its letter and requests a few clarifications, but he can't resist throwing in a little biographical detail to warn Monster's counsel about just who exactly they're dealing with.

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1985, I spent nineteen years in litigation practice, with a focus upon federal litigation involving large damages and complex issues. My first seven years were spent primarily on the defense side, where I developed an intense frustration with insurance carriers who would settle meritless claims for nuisance value when the better long-term view would have been to fight against vexatious litigation as a matter of principle.  In plaintiffs' practice, likewise, I was always a strong advocate of standing upon principle and taking cases all the way to judgment, even when substantial offers of settlement were on the table.  I am "uncompromising" in the most literal sense of the word. [...]  I would rather spend fifty thousand dollars on defense than give you a dollar of unmerited settlement funds.  As for signing a licensing agreement for intellectual property which I have not infringed: that will not happen, under any circumstances, whether it makes economic sense or not.

             It may be that my inability to see the pragmatic value of settling frivolous claims is a deep character flaw, and I am sure a few of the insurance carriers for whom I have done work have seen it that way; but it is how I have done business for the last quarter-century and you are not going to change my mind.  If you sue me, the case will go to judgment, and I will hold the court's attention upon the merits of your claims--or, to speak more precisely, the absence of merit from your claims--from start to finish.  Not only am I unintimidated by litigation; I sometimes rather miss it.

[Hat tip: Audioholics]

Posted by John Bringardner on April 16, 2008 at 01:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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