Russo & Hale, our law firm, sues us
Friday, March 23, 2007 by Dave Winer.
On March 12, I wrote a cautionary tale, part of the history of UserLand. The story was written in a general way, and raised a bunch of questions. Today I'd like to answer some of those questions.
1. It's really weird to be sued by your lawyer. Not a very nice feeling. Sort of like being made sick by your doctor, deliberately.
2. There are now two UserLands: The original company, and a new one which was formed in 2004 to market Manila and Radio, to create incentives for a new management team, and to settle claims by our law firm.
5. Russo and his law firm, Russo & Hale sued UserLand, Scripting News, and myself, in August 2006. Earlier this month, the court ruled to disqualify Russo & Hale from representing UserLand's shareholders due to conflicts of interest. Their strategy was clear -- to force me to spend a lot of money on lawyers while they used their own in-house, relatively inexpensive, legal resources.
6. In the 2004 settlement, Russo released all claims with UserLand and myself. He was compensated with a large share of the stock in the new company. He drafted the agreement, it was signed in his office in Palo Alto.
7. As I said in the previous piece, the company was in awful legal condition. While I take blame for that, as founder and former CEO, some of the responsibility must also lie with Russo, as the company's lawyer.
PS: I wrote a review of Russo & Hale on Propinions.