Bank Julius Baer Drops Lawsuit Against Wikileaks

from the well-that-was-productive dept

The Swiss firm Bank Julius Baer learned all about the Streisand Effect last week, after somehow convincing a judge to force Wikileaks offline for hosting a document that they objected to (most likely because it alleged corruption and fraud on the part of the bank). However, in forcing the entire site offline, the whole thing got a lot more attention, raising free speech concerns, and the judge eventually put the site back online. While the bank claims that it never intended to have the whole site shut down, people pointed out that it certainly didn't rush to court to tell the judge to leave it up. Well, now that Wikileaks and the specific documents in question have been all over the news (as opposed to before, when almost no one knew they existed), Bank Julius Baer, tail between its legs, has dropped the lawsuit against Wikileaks. One more lesson for overly aggressive lawyers to think about the consequences of certain actions, rather than just launching lawsuits because they can.


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    Law, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 4:43pm

    Please don't blame the lawyers

    The lawyers who say "This is an imprudent move" to their bosses tend to get fired. After all, it's impossible to prove, after not taking action X that taking action X would have caused action Y. It's always the lawyers that everyone dumps on, but it's not our fault, it's the fault of the pressures of the market. Tell the damn companies to actualy listen to us when we say it's untenable, and stop firing those who say it's untenable, then using some slick jackass who claims to shit gold to attempt it.... and more often then not fail.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 6:02pm

      Re: Please don't blame the lawyers

      Kudos sir for stating what is often the truth. There are many folks in the world who cant afford to tell their bosses no.

      Just as often the blame may lie with unscrupulous execs who are uninterested in their underlings' efforts to maintain professional ethics with respect to not shitting in their own dwellings. How do you convert the value of that restraint to dollar$ for the execs to understand? Sometimes you just have to let them make their own mistakes, and hope that when they do you're still around to clean it up for them and make things right.

      I am not necessarily speaking of the law. This is how every professional discipline is.

       

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      Hellsvilla, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 8:24pm

      Re: Please don't blame the lawyers

      Lawyers can't afford to tell their clients no? Really?

      Can they afford to lose their whole career when they get disbarred? 'cause that's what happens to lawyers who don't advise their clients properly.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 10:40pm

      Re: Please don't blame the lawyers

      The lawyers who say "This is an imprudent move" to their bosses tend to get fired.

      Bull. It's the lawyers who DON'T say "This is an imprudent move" to their bosses when they should that tend to get fired.

      After all, it's impossible to prove, after not taking action X that taking action X would have caused action Y.

      So? If someone tells you that shooting yourself in the head is likely to cause bodily harm are you going to do it anyway just to try prove them wrong? OK. I'm telling you. Now prove me wrong.

       

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      Chris Brand, Mar 6th, 2008 @ 10:03am

      Re: Please don't blame the lawyers

      "The lawyers who say 'This is an imprudent move' to their bosses tend to get fired. After all, it's impossible to prove, after not taking action X that taking action X would have caused action Y."

      But it's surely very easy if they fired you and then found another lawyer who went ahead with their plan ? And presumably the lawyers who go ahead with it and see it backfire get fired, too, anyway ?

      If I were a CEO, I wouldn't want my lawyers to say "that's a bad idea" or "ok, I'll file the suit". I'd want a reasoned argument of the pros and cons of each approach (plus any other approaches I hadn't thought of), with a recommendation at the end.

       

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    Alan Bordeaux, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 6:06pm

    Julius Baer has some bigger issues

    It looks like in fact most of what was on WikiLeaks was true:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,539068,00.html

    "Once in circulation, the flow of data couldn't be stopped. A few weeks ago, customer records -- some genuine, some forged -- from the Caribbean Bär branch appeared on "Wikileaks," a Web site that publishes sensitive corporate and government documents. The bank's lawyers sued the site's operators and the domain name was taken offline. Apparently, the information came from Elmer's collection."

     

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    publius, Mar 5th, 2008 @ 6:49pm

    RE: Don't Blame the lawyers

    Sir,
    Though your point is well taken that market pressures rewards those who "claim to shit gold and more often than not fail". The point is that criticism is launched specifically for this purpose. Hopefully in lambasting these fools who persist in their arrogance that a law degree is a license from god, we can realign the market forces to reward prudent counsel. To most non-legal folks (execs included) the value added of an attorney is hard to quantify. Because the law seems arbitrary to a non attorney we often implicitly trust our counsel no matter how foolish their advice might be. Hopefully in demystifying this black box of jurispudence can we bring back reason and sanity to the legal profession. Hopefully we can have a market place that rewards prudent legal advice instead of rampant wanton litigation.

     

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    Lisa Westveld, Mar 6th, 2008 @ 4:40am

    Well, another nice Streisand effect...

    ...is going on in the Netherlands. Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician, claimed a few months ago that he was working on a short movie about the Quran and all it's "evil aspects". Apparently, this movie is finished now and will probably appear at the end of this month or maybe the beginning of next month. (Just around a very suspicious day, april 1...)
    Now, no one has seen this movie yet. No one even knows it's exact contents, except that it could be very hateful towards Islam. So most people would just have to wait until the movie appears before they start condemning this movie.

    Not so in the Netherlands. Right after Wilders announced that he was making this movie, several groups started to protest against this. They even go as far as preparing lawsuits against him because of this movie. These protests have become so severe that the Dutch government also started their investigations and they're even trying to check the local laws to find any way to ban this movie, even without knowing it's contents. They haven't seen it but it's almost banned already because Wilders made it. Several Islamic countries also filed formal protests against this movie, even demanding justice to be carried out because Wilders movie. Even though his right of free speech is guaranteed in Dutch law, they still demand this movie to be banned.

    And it's funny because this movie could turn out to be the biggest April's fools day ever!

    Information about this movie can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitna_%28film%29

     

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