Taylor Swift’s Biglaw Attorney Has A Blank Space Where Constitutional Law Should Be - Home of daily updates

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Taylor Swift’s Biglaw Attorney Has A Blank Space Where Constitutional Law Should Be

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The blog PopFront published an articlepresenting a fairly detailed argument that Taylor Swift is at the very least unwittingly seen as an icon by the forces of racial hatred and at worst willingly fanning the flames of that base. It’s a thought-provoking piece and should inspire Swift to reconsider a number of her artistic and personal choices as a public figure.
But instead it inspired her to engage an attorney to write a ridiculous cease and desist letter. Taylor’s been known to hang out with Barbra Streisand before, and apparently she’s now taking Barbra’s lessons on how to deal with the Internet, because it’s probably safe to say more people have read PopFront’s post in the last 24 hours than did during its initial publication.
The unlucky lawyer who’ll be forever attached to Swift’s laughable effort to intimidate PopFront is Venable LLP partner William J. Briggs II. Oh, Taylor, look what you made him do!
In his long cease & desist letter to Meghan Herning, the Executive Editor of PopFront, Briggs offers the standard overreaching factual misrepresentations and hyperbolic threats about defamation per se (the last refuge of the impugned celebrity!), but provides an exceedingly light helping of caselaw for a four-page letter. He’s got a blank space, baby, and he’ll write your name, assuming your name isn’t a citation to any legally binding precedent.
But the real knee-slapper is in the last paragraph of the Briggs letter:
This is a confidential legal notice and is not for publication. Any publication, dissemination or broadcast of any portion of this letter will constitute a breach of confidence and a violation of Copyright Act. You are not authorized to publish this letter in whole or in part absent our express written authorization.
That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works. (UPDATE: And it’s been tried before and it wasn’t how it worked then either.)

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