War has broken out between some Texas criminal defense lawyers and Sparta. Not the Greek City/State, but an SEO marketer who goes by unpretentious name Internet Guru Girl, no doubt because SEO Spammer Girl wouldn’t have a distinctive brand. The initial skirmish began with Austin criminal defense lawyer Jamie Spencer, whose comments were bombarded by Sparta Townson on behalf of lawyers who wanted to make a dent on Google via Jamie’s blawgs popularity.
Jamie, who is a far nicer fellow than most, called Sparta to suggest she not cause her clients harm by making them the target of ridicule. Sparta hung up on him, after telling him that his open comments are her playground. Whatcha gonna do about it, boy? Mark Bennett answers the question at Social Media Tyro.
It’s not like Guru Girl Sparta shouldn’t be a little more circumspect in her dealings. She’s already being sued for defaming the ex-boyfriend of her girlfriend, and subject to an injunction for behaving like a nasty, spoiled, unbalanced three year old. This should be sufficient for Sparta to realize that the internet isn’t completely lawless, and that whatever fine idea pops into the head of Guru Girl Sparta isn’t likely to reflect the state of the law that applies to less Guru-type people.
Do Guru Girls spend their off hours playing cyber-stalker to attack and libel ex-boyfriends for practice? Is this how they put that SEO expertise to good use? Is this how they want to be known online, as another internet nutjob who falsely flames her enemies? Maybe it’s just me, but this doesn’t strike me as conduct becoming a self-proclaimed Guru Girl. And yet Sparta battles on.
It turns out that Sparta is trying to scare up business in a variety of quarters, including the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, with a proposal that will blow the socks off anybody who has a clue at what a website should cost. Of course, one could wonder whether Sparta, at the prices she hopes to charge, might put some effort into correct spelling, given her apparent challenge as shown on her own blog.
That Bennett posted Sparta’s proposal to the HCCLA appears to have outraged Sparta. Here’s why :
I sent a proposal to a particular counties criminal lawyers association and it was sent with the following message in the email:
This electronic message contains information from Internet Guru Girl. The contents may be privileged and confidential and are intended for the use of the intended addressee(s) only. If you are not an intended addressee, note that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or use of the contents of this message is prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please contact reply to this email.
Then one of the particular attorneys posted it on his blog.
Another one thinks it’s unsolicited and is obviously another UNINFORMED one.
AND IT WAS “Solicited” by a board member.
This seems to be unethical and questionable legally???
AND IT WAS “Solicited” by a board member.
It never ceases to amaze me that people persist in the irrational belief that by including the words “privileged and confidential” in the footer of an email, with the ominous “prohibited” to follow, that somehow makes it so.
I’ve come to realize that internet marketers go to sleep at night hoping that they will wake up to be “professionals” so they won’t be cast into the sea of snake oil salesgirls, but they aren’t. They are just people pretending to have expertise that doesn’t really exist to fool people who have even less clue how this whole internet thingy works. And if anyone is foolish enough to pay the numbers Sparta is asking, then they get what they deserve (with or without spellcheck).
But Sparta Townson suffers from the bizarre delusion that she dictates what becomes of her electronic communications. The only confidential communication in her world is the one between her lawyer and defendant Sparta. Sparta has no privilege other than that, and doesn’t create a privilege because she can copy and paste someone else’s prohibition.
As a courtesy to this Internet Guru Girl, I offer some thoughts. When you send out an email, the recipients can do whatever they please with it unless they have agreed, in advance, to keep it confidential. You cannot dictate the confidentiality of your email. Even if your quote was solicited by someone, that doesn’t create an agreement to maintain confidentiality unless it was a condition agreed upon in advance. You, Guru Girl Sparta, lack the capacity to prohibit anyone from doing anything.
There are, of course, limits that the law imposes, such as libeling the doctor ex-boyfriend of your girlfriend. But there is no law that requires others to conceal the contents of your email. Sorry that it makes you unhappy, and doesn’t comport with your Guru Girl understanding of how the world should treat someone as important as you who commands others to do as she says, but that’s just not how it works.
On a more upbeat note, thank you, Sparta, for not spamming my blawg with your efforts at promoting those foolish enough to pay you. I’ve wasted enough time dealing with other spammers, and certainly don’t need more marketing trash to deal with. Plus, I’m not nearly as nice as Jamie when it comes to such matters, and might be inclined to point out the foolishness of your clients and cause them some embarrassment.
One final piece of advice, Sparta. Try spellcheck. You really come off poorly, given that you call yourself Internet Guru Girl.