Florida has a peculiar habit of hosting the most outspoken and insane lawyers in the country.
These are lawyers who simultaneously give the avocation a gross-out bruise, and also, in a way, elevate the profession to theatrical heights unseen outside of USA Network reruns.
First there was Jack Thompson, the anti–video game “lawyer” who was disbarred for aggressive, borderline antisocial behavior and incomprehensible filings, including one that, for no reason at all, included gay porn. If Thompson wasn’t such a right-wing douchebag censor, he would’ve been a pretty stellar guy.
Now a fresh-faced addition to the arena of unhinged professional lunacy: Graham Syfert.
Syfert, a lawyer in Jacksonville, Florida, is building a reputation for proffering legal resources to P2P pirates, who, as we all know, are representatives of the New American Dream. But his unconventional, foul-mouthed methodology is causing a stink.
He created do-it-yourself legal documents for those who found themselves staring down the barrel of a P2P illegal file-sharing lawsuit. All you have to do is drop $20, fill in the blanks, and boom: you’ve got yourself a motion to quash a subpoena.
Think about it: a lawyer creating an anti-lawyer solution. Why doesn’t this deserve a Nobel?
With these filings, Syfert was targeting Dunlap, Grubb, & Weaver (DGW), the law firm operating as the “U.S. Copyright Group” (which has been sued for extortion, conspiracy and fraud). Syfert told Ars Technica that his intentions were to fuck up the system’s plumbing with the ol’ cherry-bomb-in-toilet scheme:
My dream would be to have 10,000–20,000 people file all three documents to the lawyers and severely cripple the entire process and show them that you shouldn’t be allowed to join so many defendants.
Now DGW has cried foul and demanded $5,000 for having to deal with these filings, most of which have been rejected on the basis that they’re legally unsound.
This is where it gets awesomebots.
Syfert responded to DGW with an angry, defensive, and altogether mind-blowing email, replete with admissions of money grubbing, and, later on, brazen profanity. Discussing his nonexistent connection with the filers, Syfert wrote:
I don’t represent any of these people. I don’t care! You couldn’t tell by the tone of my voice when we were on the phone? I care more about my punctuation and my research than the people using it … When I’m not defending cases, I squeeze cash out of poor people for a living just like you. I understand, and I don’t care—not my clients, they didn’t hire me.
The greatest twist of the knife is when Syfert rejects a job offer that DGW didn’t offer in the first place and then shamelessly dumps the insults:
In short, if you’re not going to hire me, take a flying fuck and leave me alone about the forms—both of you. But, if y’all want to keep up a correspondence about some other topic because you find it entertaining, I’ll be happy to reply. Hire me or eat shit. Sincerely, Graham.
For the sake of protecting his reputation, I can see why he’d make that addendum—but it is precisely Syfert’s crazy-ballsy behavior that makes me want to hire him as my lawyer just to hang out and shoot the shit.
Three cheers to you, Graham Syfert. Not only are you willing to advocate for accused file-sharers, but you can write killer emails.