Lawyers spend decades building up their reputation. One bad case and you might be driving a stake through the heart of your business.
For bankruptcy attorney Mark S. Zuckerberg, the stake through the heart of his Facebook page was ironic - it was for sharing the same moniker as Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO.
Zuckerberg, Esq. already had a tough time setting up a Facebook account in the first place.
Unsurprisingly, Facebook shut down his account last week. The likely reason? They thought Mark Zuckerberg was trying to impersonate Mark Zuckerberg.
"I was originally denied an account with Facebook two years ago because of my name, and I had to send them copies of my driver's license, birth certificate, and Indianapolis Bar Assn. license just to get them to believe that I exist and to allow me to set up my page," Zuckerberg said, The Los Angeles Times reports.
Sharing a name with a public figure can be tough, and it's something that Zuckerberg is very familiar with given the wide publicity Facebook has received. Zuckerberg has even set up a website - IamMarkZuckerberg.com, to explain his identity.
"I have put a lot of energy into becoming an exceptional bankruptcy attorney and establishing my good name nationally. If you had Googled Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, you would have found me... [i]f you had repeated the search two years later, you wouldn't have found me at all," Zuckerberg writes on his website.
Facebook has since restored Zuckerberg's personal account. He also maintains a professional Facebook account, which advertises his firm and provides a link to his firm's website - zucklaw.com.
Of course, it's probably not too likely that Zuckerberg will ever be "the Mark Zuckerberg." And, nobody has control over what parents will name their kids, or if those kids will grow up to be famous or infamous one day. It's strange to imagine that your name and reputation, something you can spend a lifetime building, can be so drastically undercut or shortchanged by a complete stranger.
For all you attorneys out there that are curious to see who your namesake competitions are, HowManyOfMe.com provides a rough estimate.
- Facebook reportedly disables account of attorney Mark S. Zuckerberg (Los Angeles Times)
- How to Legally Change Your Name (FindLaw)
- Facebook Privacy Breach Exposes Users' Facebook IDs (FindLaw's Common Law)