Cybersquatting Former Client Vexes Pair Of L.A. Divorce Lawyers

Two Los Angeles divorce lawyers are suing a former client who, unhappy with their representation of him in a matrimonial action, registered web addresses under their names and launched sites asking other clients to report on their experiences with the attorneys.

Lawyers Sandra Segal Polin and Lauri Kritt Martin accuse ex-client Andy Behrman of cybersquatting and trademark infringement in a federal lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court (click here for a PDF of the complaint). In May, Behrman, a writer and public relations agent, registered the web addresses sandrasegalpolin.com and laurikrittmartin.com, records show.

Both web sites consist of a single page describing Behrman’s “unhappy experience” with the two lawyers. Writing that he was “tremendously displeased” with his representation, Behrman, pictured above, notes that he is “extremely curious to learn more about the experiences” of other divorce clients” of the attorneys. Replies are to be sent to "[email protected]."

Behrman’s sites turn up on the first page of results when a Google search is done for either lawyer.

Behrman, who was represented by the attorneys for about a year, ending last July, is the author of “Electroboy,” a 2002 memoir chronicling his struggles with bipolar disorder and his treatment with electroshock therapy. He has also been a paid spokesperson for Abilify, an antipsychotic drug marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb. That $400,000 arrangement lasted two years, and ended with Behrman complaining about the drug’s side effects. According to a Wall Street Journal story last year, Behrman sought $7.5 million in hush money to keep from going public about his experience with Abilify. He is now reportedly preparing a tell-all book about his work for Big Pharma.

Comments (1)

I'll be curious to see how this turns out and if the case holds water. Because I've ordered a book from Amazon and have therefore conducted interstate commerce using my name, can I now have sole claim to it and the de facto trademark as these attorneys are alleging?