Florida Bar Laughs Off Nonsensical 'Bar Complaint' By Reputation Management Bro Patrick Zarrelli

from the manage-that-reputation,-bro dept

Remember Patrick Zarrelli? Of course you do. He’s the dude bro, who claimed to run a “reputation management” service, who was hired by an attorney named Gary Ostrow to “clean up” his Google mentions. At issue were a bunch of blog posts from blogging lawyers mocking Ostrow’s ridiculous press release. Zarrelli seemed to think that the proper strategy to “manage” Ostrow’s “reputation” was to call up a bunch of these lawyers — many of whom have built their reputations on protecting free speech rights — and threatening them, saying they should take down their blog posts. That went about as well as you’d expect if you’ve spent any amount of time online. Lots of people wrote about Zarrelli’s fuck up, including us. As that mess was happening, Zarrelli lashed out a few times, threatening bar complaints against the lawyers mocking him.

A week and a half later we received a bizarre little package from Zarrelli with stacks and stacks of paper, claiming that he had filed bar complaints against all of the lawyers who had mocked him, and that he was “filing criminal charges” against all of them — and our own Tim Cushing who wrote the original article. We pointed out, in response, that individuals don’t file criminal charges (that’s up to law enforcement) and nothing that was done was a criminal violation. Hell, it wasn’t even a civil violation, though Zarrelli insisted he was filing one of those cases too. We noted that the most likely story was that Zarrelli wandered into a local police station and whined about people being mean to him online, and they gave him a report number, like they do with anyone. That’s not a criminal case. It’s just wasting the time of the police. We soon got a copy of the police record confirming our suspicions.

As we noted, nothing in the packet included details of any lawsuits or bar complaints. Instead, they were just pages upon pages of screenshots of people on the internet being mean to him. You can see it all at the bottom of this post. We noted that we assumed the “bar complaints” would go nowhere pretty fast — and at least in Florida, that’s exactly what’s happened.

Brian Tannebaum shared with us the fact that he has been safely exonerated by the Florida Bar (not that anyone expected anything else). The Florida Bar is as professional as can be, even in the face of Zarrelli’s ridiculous complaint, but still makes it pretty clear what it thinks of the complaint.

Your several complaints regarding Mr. Tannebaum, and three other attorneys, primarily contains allegations of harassment, stalking, cyber-stalking and libel, pursuant to the definitions therein provided. Please be advised that The Florida Bar’s mailing instructions for complaints provides that, there is a page limit of 25 pages and your submission was more than 200 pages. The instructions also provide that photographs and similar material is not suitable for scanning into the electronic file and therefore are not a proper submission for complaint purposes.

The materials regarding the aforementioned three other attorneys, and the material not suitable for submission in the above referenced matter will be held for 30 days for you to make arrangements for the return of same, by providing a self-addressed envelope with the proper postage amounts applied. If no such arrangements are made, these materials will be shredded.

The remaining 16 pages have been kept and scanned into the above referenced matter as the Official complaint. Regarding those materials and the allegations contained therein, I understand that you believe the attorney acted unethically, but I must conclude, however, that your complaint constitutes a civil dispute which is best resolved through the civil system. The Supreme Court of Florida has ruled that the disciplinary process and proceedings are not to be used as a substitute for civil proceedings and remedies. In the event that a court of competent jurisdiction makes findings in your case which suggest misconduct by the attorney or the attorney is prosecuted for any criminal activity, you may refile your complaint at that time, enclosing the relevant findings.

After careful consideration, I conclude that the matters referenced in your inquiry do not constitute violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct, and accordingly, your inquiry does not fall within the purview of the grievance system framework. Consequently, I have closed our record in this matter.

So, at this point, we can conclude that Zarrelli doesn’t understand much about reputation management (his apparent chosen profession), “cyberstalking,” criminal law, civil law or how various attorney’s bars work. Also, free speech. And the internet. Need we remind you that this was the guy who, early on in this process, put up a hilarious Facebook post, insisting that it was actually all of those criticizing him who didn’t understand the law or the internet. So far, that claim isn’t holding much water.

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Comments on “Florida Bar Laughs Off Nonsensical 'Bar Complaint' By Reputation Management Bro Patrick Zarrelli”

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That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

So he did what he said he was going to do, the problem is he is an idiot.

So are we going to see a post about every bar telling him to get over his butthurt or just keep updating this one?

Seen 2 answers to complaints now, and it really is amazing they managed to not just scribble LOLWAT? on the answer.

So given his pattern, who does he file a complaint about the bars to and how long until he sends them 100 photocopied screencaps?

dakre (profile) says:

Ironic Stupidity wrapped in a taco?

So he calls himself an internet hero, since his clients are being cyber-bullied. Then admits that he’s a cyber bully, ready to cyber bully the cyber bullies.

Cyber bullying is always fun, till a bigger bully comes along, so watch your step lawyers. #truth

Maybe if I go around trolling trolls, I can call myself an internet hero that slays the virtual trolls with my trusty mouse and keys.

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