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The PJ Tatler

by
Nina Yablok

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July 30, 2012 - 2:52 pm
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In this case the agent for service of process for Twitter was a human being (yay), not a company, and the very person who appears to be either associate general counsel or general counsel for Twitter. In other words, I had the name and address to whom I could address a letter. And this is a person who should understand that a letter from an attorney about a trademark issue should be answered. And even if he has a secretary and an undersecretary and a person who answers the mail, as general counsel AND agent for service of process, there’s a good chance someone sentient will open a letter.

You might say: Nina, why didn’t you just pick up the phone and call this guy? I would normally make a phone call, but while most attorneys have their phone number listed on the Bar Association’s attorney listings, the Twitter attorneys don’t (and I can understand why).

So I wrote a letter nicely asking Twitter to check into things. I told them about my problem and my little episode with the 4 emails late on Friday night, and ended with:

“I am disinclined to submit another form through your system since it appears to be … well let’s be honest, possessed.”

Hopefully my cheerful demeanor does not belie the fact that I have a serious and legitimate trademark issue on which I would like to have someone seriously act.

I sent my letter on July 12, 2012, by Federal Express to Mr. Alexander Macgillivray, and it was delivered by Federal Express on July 13, 2012.

It’s been another two weeks, and I’ve yet to hear anything back. But the @Instapundit account has been suspended, so I thought (naively I admit) that the case had been reopened and was being handled. I wrote back to trademark support to ask for an update and was again told: “your issue has been closed.”

So where do I go from here?  Phone call? Fugettaboutit.  Their automated phone system has two choices: Customer Support – which sends you back to their website; and Communications – which tells you to send an email to their PR firm.

Maybe I should go to court and get an Order to Show Cause why Twitter shouldn’t be required to have a human being talk to me?  Well that would be the exact type of heavy-handed legal maneuver I dislike so much in other attorneys.

Do I hire the Grace L. Ferguson Airline (And Storm Door Co.) to skywrite “RESPOND TWITTER” over San Francisco?  I would worry that anything to do with Judy Garland could cause a stampede in San Francisco. Besides, that’s just a little tacky, don’t you think?

So I’m writing this blog post, which I will tweet about, and hopefully I can communicate with Twitter, Inc., in the format which they created. Hopefully Twitter will take this attempt to talk to a human being about a real legal issue in the spirit in which it’s intended, which is simply: I’ve run out of more traditional ways to get your attention and I don’t want to ask a judge to order you to just send me an email from a human being.

And for what it’s worth, Twitter’s legal department, in fact the very same individual to whom I wrote more than 2 weeks ago, is apparently all in favor of attorneys using non-traditional approaches. Although I’m not sure he actually thought someone outside of his organization would do so.

Please re-tweet #RespondTwitter and link to this blog post.  Please do NOT Direct Tweet to Twitter or Twitter support. I will contact @support and ask them to track this hashtag and to read this blogpost.  I don’t want  to abuse the system by having everyone direct messaging  them. I just want a human to talk to me. If this doesn’t work, I may be back to ask for more help.  For now please just re-tweet with the hashtag. I’ll let y’all know if it works.

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Nina Yablok is the owner of The Law Office of Nina Yablok, a business and corporate law firm in Milpitas, California (near San Jose) specializing in representing privately held businesses. She has been the PJ Media attorney since its inception. Nina’s been active with both the State Bar of California and Santa Clara County Bar Association’s Business Law sections. She has written and lectured extensively in the areas of independent contractor disputes and business start-ups.
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