Whoops! It happens...Rick Kordowski, owner of Solicitors from Hell has to pay £10,000 to a solicitor libelled by the site according to Mr Justice Lloyd Jones who was reported as saying the comments "were baseless, abusive, malicious, and an unwarranted slur on the competency and probity of a young lawyer."
Kordowski is appealing the judgment.
What really caught my eye, however, is the venomous interchange in the comments below the Law Society Gazette article. They are wonderful and not to be missed.
Let me give a few examples:
1. Mr Kordowski's behaviour is utterly reprehensible. He publishes allegations against solicitors with no attempt to ascertain whether they are justified and then refuses to remove them unless the solicitors concerned pay him money. That is morally cowardly and legally criminal. And then he claims he has no money so isn't worth suing.
Perhaps he would be so kind as to explain what his motivation is other than the money. If he had a bad experience with a solicitor at some stage, I suspect it was because he was the client from Hell.
I and my firm have never appeared on his site. While I normally post using my name, I am not doing so in this instance because I do not know what might be done in revenge by this odious and extraordinarily vengeful little man. (Anonymous)
2. Mr Kordowski makes some very bold remarks, but I bet he hasn't got the guts to say exactly how much money he has made from his sites over the years, including advertising income. No doubt he will say "not much" or something else suitably vague, but I'm sure it will all come out in the wash one day. (Anonymous)
3. I don’t have the time or resources to verify all submissions. If a poster agrees to my T&Cs, leaves their full contact details, makes a monetary contribution and above all, is BRAVE enough to post a complaint about a solicitor. That’s good enough for me! (Kordowski)
4. Rick Kordowski and his Solicitors From Hell website is the best thing that has happened to the legal profession in years, today too many solicitors dont know when to stop taking liberties. SFH can only improve the way in which too many Solicitors deal with their victims. (Beach)Interestingly, from what one can glean the critics of Kordowski are lawyers--doubtless in purgatory or heaven--but they all signed themselves in as "anonymous", which is on a par with their criticism of him.
While he may have run his site a tad carelessly, the fact that he got 5,000 submissions from punters suggests there is something in it. Doubtless some of these were crazy but I bet a substantial number were genuinely felt. And even if there are many lawyers toasting his comeuppance tonight they should think carefully about the consequences of this.
One of the main reasons we have the Legal Services Act 2007 is that lawyers didn't respond to complaints in a proper and timely manner. The result is that they now have external regulation instead of self-regulation; they have a new Legal Ombudsman who will name and shame; and in October 2011, just 6 months away, they will face Alternative Business Structures.
I have a feeling that King Canute was the most influential philosopher in history, more than Socrates, because he has more adherents.