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Author Topic: Higbee Emails for supposed Stockfood America Image  (Read 6508 times)

icepick

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Re: Higbee Emails for supposed Stockfood America Image
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2018, 04:18:54 PM »
It is possible, but it appears very counter-intuitive. Higbee wants people to send in a check and don't ask questions. The more time he spends on a case without getting that check equals his investment and risk of unpaid time going up. The last thing he wants is his target getting informed, independent (hopefully competent) legal advice. It certainly struck me as an odd addition to his letter and one I do not think he made of his own volition.

I've raised points on some of the rules Higbee may be skirting the edges of in other posts if you want more info, but the biggest gray area he faces is any kind of conduct involving "dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation" is a potential violation in certain states he is licensed in, not all. It has no bearing if the communication is pre-litigation or not, it covers all conduct of any type at any time to anyone. A bar overseer reading his blustery letters without a disclaimer that you may want to consult an attorney since I'm threatening the end of the world on you could see an issue.

His letters also have him playing good cop/bad cop at the same time and that can create the impression to the recipient that he is giving them advice when he is their adversary. That confusion can be a perceived conflict of interest and another avenue of violation that an overseer would want him to clarify with the 'speak to an attorney' line.

It's just a theory. I will certainly watch Higbee's career unfold with great interest.

You could be right IcePick, but my guess is that the change in language is a psychological ploy.  The language projects confidence and infers a seriousness to the matter.   If they send a lot of letters, my guess is that they test the language and that the language of letters reflect the test results.  Do they use the exact same language for different clients?  It is also possible that the client exercises some control.

Also, I am not aware of any state having a rule of professional conduct that requires a prelitigation letter to state the obvious fact that a person may wish to hire an attorney.   Do you know of any that do?    My guess might be colored by the fact that I also am very skeptical about complaints to regulatory agencies having any impact on situations like this, other than making the attorney focus more on the claim.

clist

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Re: Higbee Emails for supposed Stockfood America Image
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2018, 05:48:35 PM »
...A bar overseer reading his blustery letters without a disclaimer that you may want to consult an attorney since I'm threatening the end of the world on you could see an issue.

His letters also have him playing good cop/bad cop at the same time and that can create the impression to the recipient that he is giving them advice when he is their adversary. That confusion can be a perceived conflict of interest and another avenue of violation that an overseer would want him to clarify with the 'speak to an attorney' line...


 8)
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omlov21

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Re: Higbee Emails for supposed Stockfood America Image
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2018, 01:50:43 PM »
If you have a license for the images, please provide me information and accept my apology for the intrusion.

I wanted to comment on something I saw in your first post in item number 3.  The person is basically saying you are guilty and owe a lot for damages but if for some unforeseen reason you just happen to have a license for the image please provide it and accept their apology? 

What kind of amateurs does Higbee have working for them that they are willing to throw out rather serious allegations without being 100% sure said person does not have a license for the images?  That's like insulting a female coworkers husband at work without ever having met him and not knowing if he's a 6'3 250 lbs UFC fighter ready to pound your a$$ 6 feet under only later to apologize later because you didn't know he was a UFC fighter.

This makes me believe they are trying hard over and over again with their letters to get some type of response from you by an amateur "client resolution specialist".  They are probably trained to write the letters such that the chance of a received response is greater.  I imagine no response from the get go is the worst as they have to put a lot more resources to find out if they even have a case, and how could they be 100% sure this person does not have a license?  Higbee probably hires a bunch of lower paid employees with no real experience in the legal field and does a quick training and let's them draft these letters.  I bet his upper management reviews their performance over a few months to see how effective they are in getting people to fork over money and maybe even pay them commision based.  He probably doesn't even review these letters himself and doesn't get involved until a case is recommended for filing.  Let me also comment that I looked up the name of one of these "client resolution specialists" working at his firm and it looked like this person had a lot of non-legal experience in industry doing admin stuff prior to joining the Higbee racket.  Higbee probably wants to maximize ROI vs. paying a more expensive paralegal.  Anyone else think this is possible?

This brings me to my next point.  What if someone purchases a license using their DBA (doing business as name), but their company is actually called or registered under something different?  Are there any regulations that would cause that license to be invalid if hosted on that website by a sole proprietor?  This is where their approach could really backfire on them if they haven't done their due diligence to find out who really owns the website and how that license was purchased.  This is maybe why they try so hard to get some type of response by drafting the letters the way they do.  No response maybe gives them to much risk for suing a company or person with little info that can be easily obtained.

For people who can dig deeper and learn mind tricks people play, to me it seems that letter just revealed a flaw in their approach that most people wouldn't catch.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 01:47:21 AM by omlov21 »

omlov21

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Re: Higbee Emails for supposed Stockfood America Image
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2018, 01:58:13 PM »
His letters also have him playing good cop/bad cop at the same time and that can create the impression to the recipient that he is giving them advice when he is their adversary. That confusion can be a perceived conflict of interest and another avenue of violation that an overseer would want him to clarify with the 'speak to an attorney' line.

Here's my theory, it could be to add some authenticity to the letter so people don't just discard it as a scam and throw it away and ignore.  No response is probably the worst outcome for Higbee as it means much more work for them to find out any information.

Also, maybe Higbee figured out most people will start to panic when they see the word "attorney" and will cause people to think the case is extremely serious.  Most people would then think about the high cost of hiring an attorney and assume its cheaper to just negotiate and settle with them and get it over with.  The "you might want to hire an attorney" may cause some people to go crazy as most perceive that as a serious threat or that they are in really hot water.  Let's be honest, most of the people getting these letters may not be the fighting type so it will freak out a lot of people.

They must have done some statistics on which letters bring in money and which ones don't.  A lot of them seem to have some similarities and they probably have template letters people modify and metrics on what works the best for certain people.  I'm sure that Higbee has a data analyst he hired as a summer intern, etc doing some studies on which letters bring in the most money and is maybe providing some guidance to these "client resolution specialists" who are drafting the letters. 

It's like Higbee wants to be the Amazon Inc. of  copyright trolling with his fancy pay online portal and having low paid workers with no real qualifications.  If he could figure out how to make his "client resolution specialists" have just a first name and last initial like Cheryl H. like Amazon does, he'd be right on par.  I'm sure other lawyers in the industry would poke fun at the types of people he has working for him if they looked up who these "client resolution specialists" are.  However if he had these people use just a first name and last initial to keep them anonymous on the letters/emails sent out, people might perceive them as scams. 
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 01:49:18 AM by omlov21 »

Matthew Chan

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Re: Higbee Emails for supposed Stockfood America Image
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2018, 05:37:32 PM »
I never said McCormack had any record of discipline. I said there were complaint letters sent to the State Bar about him. I know this because both Getty Images and McCormack himself stated it in writing in non-public documents we have. I am not going to elaborate on that except to say what we have was very legally obtained.

The State Bars I am familiar with do contact the lawyers and they generally are required to respond. And regardless of outcome, they do make an impact on the person being complained about.

I am not going to draw a straight line about why it works and the impact it has. The general public may not see the impact but it does have impact. If you think that official "adverse action" is the only thing that matters to a lawyer and it goes "nowhere", you are obviously not getting what I am saying.

Your comments continue to suggest you think ELI resistance is all about legalistic tactics and strategies. As so many ELI posts suggest, we don't limit discussions to the legal arena.

There are many things creative non-lawyers can do and have done successfully. But it always comes down to the person.

Attorney Timothy McCormack has no public record of discipline from the Washington State Bar, neither does Higbee (admittedly,  I only checked CA Andy he is admitted in about 10 states).

Usually state bar associations let the complaintant know the outcome of the complaint.  My guess is that if the complaintants were getting good results, they would be posting on this forum. Do you have any evidence or feedback that shows any adverse action was taken on a complaint to a state bar?

If a state bar reviews a complaint and finds no violation of the rules, my guess is that all similar letters received in the future go nowhere; the attorney probably does not even get made aware of them. 
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 05:40:43 PM by Matthew Chan »
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

Matthew Chan

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Re: Higbee Emails for supposed Stockfood America Image
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2018, 05:45:31 PM »
Icepick makes a lot of great points here. Higbee and their ilk like simplistic-thinking victims who view things black and white. They are much easier prey to go after.

They hate out-of-the-box thinkers, fighters, and resistors.

It is possible, but it appears very counter-intuitive. Higbee wants people to send in a check and don't ask questions. The more time he spends on a case without getting that check equals his investment and risk of unpaid time going up. The last thing he wants is his target getting informed, independent (hopefully competent) legal advice. It certainly struck me as an odd addition to his letter and one I do not think he made of his own volition.

I've raised points on some of the rules Higbee may be skirting the edges of in other posts if you want more info, but the biggest gray area he faces is any kind of conduct involving "dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation" is a potential violation in certain states he is licensed in, not all. It has no bearing if the communication is pre-litigation or not, it covers all conduct of any type at any time to anyone. A bar overseer reading his blustery letters without a disclaimer that you may want to consult an attorney since I'm threatening the end of the world on you could see an issue.

His letters also have him playing good cop/bad cop at the same time and that can create the impression to the recipient that he is giving them advice when he is their adversary. That confusion can be a perceived conflict of interest and another avenue of violation that an overseer would want him to clarify with the 'speak to an attorney' line.

It's just a theory. I will certainly watch Higbee's career unfold with great interest.
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

Matthew Chan

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Re: Higbee Emails for supposed Stockfood America Image
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2018, 05:53:46 PM »
My comments inline...

This makes me believe they are trying hard over and over again with their letters to get some type of response from you by an amateur "client resolution specialist".  They are probably trained to write the letters such that the chance of a received response is greater.  I imagine no response from the get go is the worst as they have to put a lot more resources to find out if they even have a case, and how could they be 100% sure this person does not have a license?  Higbee probably hires a bunch of lower paid employees with no real experience in the legal field and does a quick training and let's them draft these letters.  I bet his upper management reviews their performance over a few months to see how effective they are in getting people to fork over money and maybe even pay them commision based.  He probably doesn't even review these letters himself and doesn't get involved until a case is recommended for filing.  Let me also comment that I looked up the name of one of these "client resolution specialists" working at his firm and it looked like this person had a lot of non-legal experience in industry doing admin stuff prior to joining the Higbee racket.  Higbee probably wants to maximize ROI vs. paying a more expensive paralegal.  Anyone else think this is possible?

Absolutely correct. In Higbee's case, the first-responders are lower-paid, non-lawyers (whom I refer to as clerks) whom I believe are compensated by an hourly wage with a bonus incentive attached. Their clerks admit they are not lawyers and their job is to try to secure a settlement prior to "escalation". 

This is where their approach could really backfire on them if they haven't done their due diligence to find out who really owns the website and how that license was purchased.  This is maybe why they try so hard to get some type of response by drafting the letters the way they do.  No response maybe gives them to much risk for suing a company or person with little info that can be easily obtained.

Again, you are on point and insightful. Their letters are designed to be "overwhelming" and "definitive". However, the educated, experienced, and informed understand it is neither overwhelming or definitive. It is largely a fishing expedition. And make no mistake, the obedient, compliant, low-hanging fruit are the ones who are most victimized vs. the people who are committed, informed, and resistant.

For people who can dig deeper and learn mind tricks people play, to me it seems that letter just revealed a flaw in their approach that most people wouldn't catch.

Absolutely correct.
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

Karma

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Re: Higbee Emails for supposed Stockfood America Image
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2018, 05:06:07 PM »
Has anyone seen this article from Fast Company? It says clients pay to use Higbee's "proven" letter templates, and they then pay Higbee 50% of all settlements.

https://www.fastcompany.com/40494777/here-come-the-copyright-robots-for-hire-with-lawyers-in-tow

Matthew Chan

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Re: Higbee Emails for supposed Stockfood America Image
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2018, 03:32:57 PM »
Yes, we have seen it.  It was an interesting article.  Of course, Higbee got in his quotes which serves his narrative which I don't agree with.  If things were so clear and obvious, there would be little need for an ongoing, relentless extortion letter campaign calling, begging, pleading, threatening, cajoling, and manipulating people to settle.

Has anyone seen this article from Fast Company? It says clients pay to use Higbee's "proven" letter templates, and they then pay Higbee 50% of all settlements.

https://www.fastcompany.com/40494777/here-come-the-copyright-robots-for-hire-with-lawyers-in-tow
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

 

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