Friday, November 25, 2011

In Practice: Solicitors from Hell Edition

I reported last week that the High Court had ordered Rick Kordowski to "cease, forthwith, to publish the website solicitorsfromhell.co.uk". This week The Lawyer informs us that following that court action "similar websites attacking UK firms are appearing online, with some said to be hosted abroad to protect them from the British authorities". The article mentions four sites, but quickly admits that only one of them, Solicitors From Hell 2 (which does indeed tell us that: "For freedom of speech the domain name is owned by a USA Citizen and the website is hosted on US servers"), was registered after Mr Justice Tugendhat's decision, although somewhat confusingly that site appears to have an archive going back to 2009.

OK, so these sites may not all have their genesis in the demise of Rick Kordowski's site. This is hardly surprising, given the special vitriol that dissatisfied clients can have for their former solicitors and the ease of setting up a website, but are any of these sites likely to gain the same notoriety? I have had a quick look at each of them:

Cowboy Solicitors (or is it Cowboy Solicitors From Hell?) eloquently tells us that: "Solictors have ruled the roost for far too long, the law society is completely bias against any complaints. The truth is that many UK legal practices are filth ridden and need exposing.", and invites visitors to: "Become a free member and start shaming your solicitor within minutes." It appears that some nine solicitors and (despite the site's name, whatever that is) one barrister have thus far been so 'shamed' since the domain was registered on the 21st September last (there is also as category for judges, but that has had no takers yet).

Avoiding Bad Solicitors is actually just a page on another site (the purpose of which escapes me - if you know it, don't bother telling me), rather than a site itself. The site owner has actually commented on the article in The Lawyer, and denies that the page mimics the Law Society website as The Lawyer suggests - must be just an amazing coincidence then. As for the contents of the page, this seems to comprise primarily of some 'advice' about how to choose a solicitor, and a copy of a list of solicitors taken from Rick Kordowski's (former) site.

solicitorsfromhell.com looks like something from the very early days of the internet (love the clip-art). I quickly lost the will to live whilst reading it, but, despite the domain name being in the plural, the site seems to be just a rant aimed at the senior partner of the firm that the author instructed.

Lastly, back to Solicitors From Hell 2. This somewhat cryptically tells us on the front page that: "Based on the mistakes made on the Solicitors from Hell website and the fact that I the owner of a website that was falsely removed from the Internet, I have been allowed to be the Editor on this website." Whatever that means. The site "will allow people to upload articles about Solicitors from within the UK free of charge and automatically." However: "Should a complaint arise we will require evidence to substantiate your complaint. or the removal of the offending post or words will take place. This will be at the sole discretion of Solicitors From Hell 2 editors. Further should anyone claim that any item is defamatory and can prove the information wrong then the post will be removed free of charge." So that's all right then.

8 comments:

  1. It doesn't matter where they are hosted the sites can be rendered useless on the DNS,a control used by government to block other content considered unsuitable

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arnie, question;
      Are you suggesting that 'Government(s)' should close down all or any 'Protest' websites that Des Hudson and his Chancery Lane 'Cronies' disapprove of??? Interesting , tell us more.

      Delete
  2. http://theconversation.edu.au/sopa-bill-could-wreck-the-internet-4434

    and

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/11/anonymous-bit-dimnet-tries-to-be-a-hedge-against-dns-censorship.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi there, I don't think there is to much cryptology with the Solicitors From Hell 2 Website. If you have a closer look it feeds from another website.

    But also gives people the opportunity to upload articles themselves.

    It reveals the life of a person falsely accused by a law firm for something he didn't do.

    Looking at the latest posts on their it reveals a court case on 2nd December 2011 in the High Court London.

    http://solicitorsfromhell2.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks. With that clarification, I shall enjoy the site all the more.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi John,
    Took a look at SFH2 and appears to have two options.

    One of the is uploading the Articles.

    The other uses Internet Automated Combing Tools. looking for comments etc.

    Tracking some comments back to a source on a website called
    Nick The Nasty Greek

    http://nickthenastygreek.com

    An in depth WHOIS search reveals the Registrant as Paulo McGrath from Michigan. looking through Facebook and twitter there is a guy called that.

    Back on Nick The Nasty Greek this is registered to a Stephen Jones.
    They appear to be friends on Facebook.

    Going through the website which weirdly cannot be found at all on Google UK. if you then check another Google like dot com it comes up loud and clear.

    Checking through the website there is a forum with a massive database of what looks like every law firm in the UK. Checking some of them there appears to be a only a 10% bad to 90 OK rating.

    So it would appear that the UK have somehow censored this website but there still appears to be very recent traffic on it.

    Back to Solicitors From Hell 2 there is a way to have an archive from even before the website started. Again this is done by automated tools.

    Whoever built this website knows exactly what they're doing and show some pretty amazing skills.
    I would have said the type of people that could create havoc if they chose. But looks like they don't want to bother all but probably just the bad.

    Hope this info is helpful. by the way your website is pretty cool.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That's probably more information than I need, but thanks anyway. :-)

    ReplyDelete

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