The 'F U' Response Letter: Two Examples for Inspiration - Strategist
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The 'F U' Response Letter: Two Examples for Inspiration

We've all dealt with that case, that opposing counsel, or have at least heard stories about it -- the frivolous patent troll, the baseless lawsuit asking for $5 million, the opposing counsel that threatens sanctions every other day.

And while not all of us are quick to flip the switch to hardball mode, once in a while you have say "screw it, this person deserves a butt-whipping." Sometimes, you have to send the 'F U' letter.

Here are a couple of recent examples, to serve as inspiration when crafting your own.

Tom Goldstein's Porn Star in a Pool Letter

Goldstein is known for many things: SCOTUSblog and an impressive appellate practice first and foremost. But this letter, which made the rounds late last week, is neither Supreme Court nor appellate related. It seems Mr. Goldstein has a third talent: the 'F U' letter

According to Professor Josh Blackman's blog, it all started with a porn star, a poker-playing playboy, a pool, and a roof. There was a deal in place to have Goldstein's client throw a naked porn star, Janice Griffith, from a roof into a pool. Alas, the throw came up short and her foot clipped the edge of the pool:


Your first reaction might be assumption of risk. Goldstein noted that. He also pointed out that she grabbed his client's t-shirt during the throw, despite warnings to the contrary, which contributed to the short hop.

Legal theories aside, his letter was peppered with just the right amount of sarcasm, jokes about her profession, and of course, the file this case and I will end you threat before signing off in a polite manner. His letter is the template for a perfect die troll die response.

'Dear Piece of S**t'

This, on the other hand, isn't quite as successful of a letter.

Above the Law recounts the tale of Chris Hulls, the founder of Life360, a networking app that involves faces on a map that you click to send individual or group messages. He was contacted by Advanced Ground Information Systems (AGIS) which had a patent that described the most generic concept possible: the ability to monitor other users' locations and to click a symbol on the screen to initiate a call. Sounds like ... Foursquare meets any phone dialer ever?

In any case, AGIS isn't a troll in the technical sense -- trolls are Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs) that buy patents and don't use them outside of the courtroom. AGIS makes products (including something called LifeRing), so the company may have legitimate beef, if that generic-sounding patent is valid.

Hulls didn't buy it, and was frustrated with all of the patent trolling that his company faced, so he fired off an impolite response that began with "Dear Piece of Shit." His response was included in AGIS's court filing.

Now, if your goal with an 'F U letter' is to scare away frivolous claims, this didn't work out so well. But we'd bet that it felt really good.

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