This column is occasionally accused of burying the lede, to which I can only reply "what's a lede?" or possibly just make underarm farting sounds.
Nonetheless, on the theory that what they're referring to is my fondness for setting the stage a bit too richly before getting to the pithy pith of things, herewith is a token of my New Years Resolve to strive for better lede work in the form of an email we just received here at BigSoccer World Headquarters.
Name: Erick Simpson
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Message: Dear BigInternet Team
You are hereby directed to
CEASE AND DESIST ALL DEFAMATION OF JACK WARNER’S CHARACTER AND REPUTATION. Jack Warner is an educated, respected professional in the community. He has spent years serving the community in his profession and building a positive reputation. Jack Warner has learned that you have engaged in spreading false, destructive, and defamatory rumors about him.
It is unlawful to engage in defamation of another’s character and reputation. Defamation consists of
(1) a statement that tends to injure reputation; (2) communicated to another; and (3) that the speaker knew or should have known was false.
We demand that you (A) immediately cease and desist your unlawful defamation of Jack Warner and (B) provide us with prompt written assurance as soon as possible that you will cease and desist from further defamation of Jack Warner’s character and reputation.
Links where the defamation statements published:
If you do not comply with this cease and desist demand within this time period, Jack Warner is entitled to seek monetary damages and equitable relief for defamation. In the event you fail to meet this demand, please be advised that Jack Warner has asked us to communicate to you that he will pursue all available legal remedies, including seeking monetary damages, injunctive relief, and an order that you pay court costs and attorney’s fees. Your liability and exposure under such legal action could be considerable.
Before taking these steps, however, my client wished to give you one opportunity to discontinue your illegal conduct by complying as soon as possible.
Now I will admit that the first time I read through it I figured it was something Loney whipped up after too much egg nog:
Warner is a "respected professional" who has "spent years building a positive reputation" and I'm the Queen of Romania.
Then I tried to figure out who Lawyer Erick With a K Simpson is or where he's located since he chose to issue this threat via email thus depriving us of even the dignity of being threatened on actual law firm letterhead.
The closest I can come is a guy in Michigan who does Personal Injury stuff and seems to specialize in truck-related accidents which, not owning a truck and/or running over anybody as far as I can recall would seem t make me an unlikely target for Mr. Simpson's anger. If nothing else, he at least sounds like the kind of guy who would have enough respect to threaten you via the US Mail.
In any case, the gentleman in Michigan doesn't spell his name with a K so I'm guessing he's the wrong guy.
If I had, say, an address or something I could at least respond to Erick with a K in an appropriate manner. Email seems so Nigerian Prince or Viagra reorder confirmation.
In the absence of an address, I can only say that if alleged human being Jack Warner would like to pursue legal remedies for any wrongs he feels he has suffered, then I know a whole bunch of lawyers who would love to sit down with him and take his deposition, under oath, on the entire range and scope of my piece in every particular.
Many of them currently work for the US Department of Justice.
I'll look forward to it.
UPDATE: Professional-type journalist Beau Dure, a man who would never, ever bury a lede, looked into the lawyer.com domain and discovered that while there IS a site for lawyers called Lawyer.com, they do not issue email addys.
That email address is owned by the Mail.com website.
They let you sign up for free email accounts in a wide range of areas, like dr.com, accountant.com, engineer.com, consultant.com and - my favorite - cheerful.com.